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#JaVotes2016: Portia shreds Andrew's ten-point 'con'

Published:Sunday | February 7, 2016 | 9:59 PM
Simpson Miller ... Holness' tax plan will likely lead to an increase in the national debt which translates to "a dark future of poverty".

Daraine Luton, Senior Staff Reporter

"It is 10 point con!"

That is how People's National Party (PNP) president Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has described the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP's) recently unveiled 10-point plan.

At a mass meeting in Yallahs square, St Thomas Sunday night, Simpson Miller said Holness was making an election gimmick.

"Do not trick the people because you know it cannot work," she warned.

Among Holness' plan is to increase the income tax-free portion  of people's salaries from $592,000 a year to $1.5 million.

"The Jamaican people have rejected deficit spending and empty promises," Simpson Miller said.

She said the tax plan will likely lead to an increase in the national debt which translates to "a dark future of poverty".

Her comments came two days before Nomination Day.

The PNP is staging the St Thomas meeting to boost its chances of reclaiming West St Thomas, which it lost to James Robertson in 2012.

"It is time that Western St Thomas is returned to the winning column of the People's National Party," the PNP president said.

Jamaica votes for a new government on February 25.

Tuesday is Nomination Day and the PNP is scheduled to nominate Marsha Francis Johnson to tackle James Robertson.

The PNP's Dr Fenton Ferguson is facing the JLP's Delano Seiveright in the east of the parish.

Adamant that West St Thomas is in need of a good representative, Simpson Miller told party leaders  to walk the streets and lanes to secure victory.

But already, Francis Johnson is projecting victory. "We have served the notice today. He is out, he's out!" she said, referring to Robertson.

Only Ken Clarke (1955), Selvin Dwar (1976) and Anthony Hylton (1993 and 1997) have won the seat on a PNP ticket.

Robertson has been MP since 2002 when he defeated Hylton, the Yallahs homeboy.

Since then, Robertson has had a stranglehold on the seat, moving his victory margin from 1,310 in 2002 to 2,136 in 2007.

However, Robertson's fortunes took a hit in 2011.

A former energy minister in the Bruce Golding-led Cabinet, he suffered the embarrassment of the revocation of his US visa.

He was, however, able to retain the seat, beating the PNP's Leonard Green by 317 votes.

Robertson got 8,969 votes to Green's 8,652 vote in an election which saw 50.96 per cent of the 34,913 registered voters casting ballots.

Francis Johnson, a first-time councillor, got 57 per cent of the 1,585 votes cast in the last local government election to win the Cedar Valley Division.

The Voters' List has since swelled to 38,171.