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#JaVotes2016: The PNP should be punished - Holness

Published:Sunday | February 21, 2016 | 11:40 PM
Holness accepts a 'tax relief placard' from his Finance Spokesman Audley Shaw during the JLP mass meeting in Half-Way Tree, St Andrew on Sunday night.

Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Leader Andrew Holness on Sunday night used the very same venue at which the Prime Minister a few weeks ago announced the February 25 general election to outline why the People's National Party (PNP) should not be returned to power.

Holness, in front of thousands of Labourites in Half-Way Tree, St Andrew said as much as the party he leads, has lifted its campaign to a higher level, the PNP has undermined the democratic process by hiding from the national political debates.

In so doing, Holness accused the PNP of denying the Jamaican people a real opportunity to test the plans of both political parties.

"This is a disrespect for the views and votes of the people," he declared.

"They calculate that they own you so much that they don't have to compete in the contest of ideas, that you will buy whatever they sell," he said.

"There should be punishment for their unwillingness to be held publicly accountable to their government."

He then turned to what he regarded as the failure of the PNP to build adequate schools and houses yet endorse an offer from the British Government to build a prison here.

At the same time, Holness said the PNP had not been accountable, citing the failed Krauck & Anchor investment promise, the high phone bills incurred by Government Ministers and the purchase of new SUVs for Cabinet members.

Holness also again defended the JLP's 10-point plan saying it has been giving the PNP a "heart attack."

However, he said he recognised the concern that some people would be placed at a disadvantage if the income tax threshold is eradicated for people earning up to $1.5 million a year.

The PNP has been insisting that people earning even marginally above $1.5 million a year would take home less pay than their subordinates because the current income tax limit of $592,800 would apply and their salaries, and so the bulk of their pay would be subject to income tax.

"We know a small number of persons will face an anomaly between pay and rank. Will put something in place to address it," Holness said.

He also said it was the PNP Government which allowed Jamaica's deal with the International Monetary Fund secured by the Bruce Golding-led Government to die because Finance Minister Peter Phillips never followed through on it.