Sun | Aug 20, 2017

Abominable and repulsive! ... Gov't hits back at Shaw over 'undernourished' claim

Published:Tuesday | December 29, 2015 | 12:24 PM
Audley Shaw. In rejecting his assertion that the People's National Party administration has ignored the plight of Jamaicans, the finance ministry said the government has pursued a number of policy initiatives aimed at protecting the poor and most vulnerable in the society.

The government has hit back at the Opposition Spokesperson on Finance Audley Shaw who has accused the administration of ignoring poor people following a UN report showing almost one in 10 Jamaicans is undernourished. 

A statement from the Finance Ministry this afternoon said the government views Shaw's statements as abominable and repulsive. 

Government data point to an increase in the number of undernourished Jamaicans under the previous Jamaica Labour Party administration in which Shaw was finance minister.

In rejecting Shaw's assertion that the People's National Party administration has ignored the plight of Jamaicans, the finance ministry said the government has pursued a number of policy initiatives aimed at protecting the poor and most vulnerable in the society.

It cited increased allocation in the budget and increases in the minimum wage, PATH benefits, among others. 

In a Facebook post yesterday, Shaw said the government has been ignoring the plight of Jamaicans so that it can meet its economic targets. 

He also pointed to high food prices, which he says are caused by a 40 per cent devaluation of the Jamaican dollar in relation to the US currency. 

The UN report says about 200,000 Jamaicans are undernourished -- a figure that has remained constant over the years.