Fri | Oct 20, 2017

A desperate election ploy?

Published:Saturday | November 14, 2015 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

We're not entirely surprised by the People's National Party's (PNP's) latest move to increase the National Housing Trust (NHT) loan ceiling from $4.5 million to $5.5 million that took effect on November 1, 2015. While we welcome the adjustment, one must pause to consider: Why is it that after almost four years in office an increase in the NHT loan ceiling is being granted at this time? Is this a desperate election ploy on the part of the Government?

The last NHT adjustment came all the way back in 2010 and saw the loan ceiling being increased from $3.5 to $4.5 million. In light of the rapid slide in the value of the dollar, the considerable erosion of people's purchasing power and increased socio-economic hardships, an increase in the loan ceiling should have come long ago.

vote-grabbing attempt

On the political platform in Brown's Town, St Ann, recently, Finance Minister Dr Peter Phillips announced that the PNP would provide 100,000 jobs if re-elected to a second term of office. My view is that this promise is being made because general election is fast approaching. I see this as a crafty vote-grabbing attempt by the Government. In the prime minister's speech at the party's annual conference in September, she told the nation that 60,000 jobs were provided under the Jamaica Emergency Employment Programme (JEEP), however, those statistics do not accord with data from the Statistical Institute of Jamaica. In an ever-shrinking economy, Dr Phillips must be asked: Where are these 100,000 jobs going to come from, and why weren't they made available in this current term of office?

shun self-serving politics

It is quite evident that this increasingly unpopular and exposed underperforming PNP administration is feverishly trying to entice the voting population with election ploys in a bid to cling to state power. I urge my fellow Jamaicans to shun this type of self-serving politics; politics which sees them being mistreated, neglected and taken for granted by the Government. The Government should have heeded calls from the Opposition and other stakeholders for an increase in the NHT loan ceiling long before now, and demonstrated that it truly had the homeowning interests of the people at heart, rather than its own electoral fortunes.

Jamaicans must seriously pause to contemplate the timing of these announcements. The electorate must ensure that it does not give fodder to a kind of politics which sees them being of value to politicians only on the eve of elections, and must demand effective representation and good governance. We must reject the overtures of a government now clamouring to dole out state resources because elections are in the air.

Kimberly Rowe

kimberlyrowe3@gmail.com