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I expect the new government will ...

Published:Saturday | February 27, 2016 | 12:03 AMDujon Russell



That the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) has been elected on February 25 to form the government for the next five years, it must get the ball rolling on the critical issues that inhibit the social and economic development of our country.

Crime is a major problem and, perhaps, the greatest inhibitor to our prosperity. Employment opportunities are sorely lacking for many youths. There is incontrovertible evidence that social deprivation and crime are inextricably linked. There must be a resolve to stimulate job creation for our youths to prosper and to deter them from a life of crime.

It is imperative for the justice system to be equipped with the resources in order to mitigate and deter crime, maintain social control and sanction perpetrators with criminal penalties and rehabilitation efforts. Citizens must not feel daunted by the inordinately long time that it takes for cases to be settled. Justice must be swift.

Adequate resources must be channelled into crime control and law-enforcement activities in a targeted and sustained manner that will assure citizens' safety and security. Only then will it inspire confidence for investments and entrepreneurship to accelerate economic growth.

There must be a complete overhaul of the health sector. Free health care is not sustainable in a country that aspires to be prosperous. Those who can pay must pay for services rendered in our public health system. The Band-Aid approach to fixing the operational ills of this essential sector must be a thing of the past.

Human-rights issues must be wholesomely addressed. Our fundamental rights and freedoms, which are the fabric of our very existence, and the most important of all issues, must be vigorously promoted and defended.

The destruction of our country is largely attributed to the self-interest and a lack of respect by politicians. Corruption flourishes where accountability is lacking. Corruption must be significantly reduced in every aspect of governance by implementing more zero-tolerance policies and harsher prison sentences.

Integrity, competency, transparency, accountability and respect for the people are some of the key tenets of good governance; it is the foundation upon which a prosperous society is built.

I expect that the JLP will fulfil all its promises, focus on our welfare and tackle the issues that threaten our social and economic development in every context.