Thu | Aug 17, 2017

Not another high-end luxury automobile dealership!

Published:Thursday | April 21, 2016 | 4:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

I am disgusted to learn of approval for a Porsche automobile dealership in Jamaica. To the few who can afford this fine automobile, it must be good news. To the other 99.99999% of Jamaicans, the news is bad. It is bad because the Bank of Jamaica should have taken a stand against this spectacle and with good cause. In plain language, we do not need another high-end luxury automobile dealership. In allowing this to happen, the Bank of Jamaica will have violated their own stated monetary policy.

A casual search at the Bank's website, says this regarding monetary policy:

"Under the Bank of Jamaica Act (1960), the conduct of monetary policy is aimed at regulating the growth of money and credit in line with the resources expected to finance economic activity and generate employment, without undermining the conditions of price stability. This is in keeping with the Bank's main objective of safeguarding the value of the domestic currency. The other key objective of ensuring the stability of the financial system is organically related but operationally separate from the conduct of monetary policy."

foreign exchange

In general, automobile dealerships are not significant employers, and I suspect that to accommodate this new line, this new dealership will need very few additional workers. This move will further drain the country's foreign exchange reserves and working class Jamaicans, and others, will suffer the consequences of a devaluating currency. Price stability will be impacted negatively and the economy will feel the effects of a higher level of imported inflation. I am not against the Porsche automobile, in fact I have owned one myself for the past 12 years. What I dislike, is the fact that the economy does not need another high-end luxury automobile and further, the speed limit on our highways, is less that half the comfortable operating speed of any Porsche.

Our economy is under the watchful eyes of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and this decision weakens our ability to repay foreign debt and to seek independence from foreign domination of our economy. Others have said the government will realise additional tariffs and taxes on these cars. However, the trade off is not in the interest of the majority and only serves to delight a very, very few to the detriment of the many.

It is not too late for common sense to prevail.

Paul I Pringle