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Inside the manifestos: JLP moots 'growth triangle' to drive job creation

Published:Thursday | February 18, 2016 | 3:43 PM
JLP Spokesman on Finance Audley Shaw, party leader Andrew Holness and chairman Robert Montague review the party's manifesto lauched ealier today in Kingtson.

The Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) is promising to use a "growth triangle" as its vehicle to drive job creation if it is elected to form the next government.

The JLP's proposal is contained in its 56-page manifesto that was published today, exactly a week before Jamaicans go to the polls in the country's 17th general election since Universal Adult Suffrage.

"Our Growth Triangle refers to the close connections between housing construction, water, and energy. Housing construction means both jobs and improved living conditions for home owners and residents," the party stated it its manifesto.

The Statistical Institute of Jamaica puts Jamaica's unemployment rate at 13.5 per cent with youth unemployment in particular running above 30 percent, one of the highest in the region. 

The JLP says the growth triangle is heavily dependent on water and energy, which it argues are expensive and short in supply. 

According to the Andrew Holness-led party, solving the water and energy problems will also lead to more jobs. 

"We therefore propose to address them as interconnected activities: create jobs in supplying water and energy sustainably, and the improved conditions and costs will lead to an increase in housing construction and development, and thus more jobs," it says.

The JLP further says the costs of water catchment and energy saving facilities will be rolled into the mortgage and not borne up front by the homeowner.

For more than a decade Jamaica has been trying to source cheaper energy however, the process has been botched several times. 

At the same time, the past two years have unleashed intense drought conditions raising concerns about water storage and supply and the effects of climate change. 

The JLP has accused the governing People's National Party for focusing on passing tests under the programme with the International Monetary Fund, and not ensuring economic growth and job creation.