Mon | Nov 19, 2018

Letter of the day: Seize the day!

Published:Friday | February 26, 2016 | 12:31 AMKevin K.O. Sangster


After a gruelling political campaign, the newly elected government should commit to laying the foundation to making this the last generation of Jamaicans who either have to emigrate to achieve success or remain at home with diminished chances of succeeding. Economic independence must finally come our way.

The new government must hit the ground running by continuing the current International Monetary Fund-backed economic reform programme, but supporting it with a growth-inducement plan to provide gainful employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for our people. 

The economic plan should rebuild and expand the middle class through income-tax cuts and the creation of private-sector jobs that actually pay, and transition able-bodied people from welfare to work through training and education.

In order to attract quality investments to provide employment, Jamaica must be made more attractive and welcoming to investors.

To that end, the government should move expeditiously to cut the bureaucracy that has proven a huge disincentive to starting and maintaining a business in Jamaica. It should be the desire of the Government to strive to operate at the speed of any successful business enterprise and not be an inhibitor to investments.

A new, strategic initiative should be implemented to make the public sector more efficient, effective and customer-focused in an effort to have a government that works. There should also be an immediate plan to cut waste in all government ministries and agencies, and improve accountability and transparency in governance.

Our crime problem, an inhibitor to growth and development, must be treated with the seriousness it deserves. The government should implement a raft of measures, including enforcing and strengthening our laws to provide stiff penalties for serious crimes and imposing non-custodial sentences for minor offences, so as to free up prison spaces for violent and major offenders.

A task force should be established in the justice ministry, comprising possibly young attorneys and guided by retired jurists, to research and recommend the minor offences to be reclassified for non-custodial sentences, and identify outdated laws to be repealed and those to be amended to better conform to present-day realities.