Sun | Aug 20, 2017

PNP lacks accountability - Holness

Published:Tuesday | February 23, 2016 | 2:00 AMGary Spaulding
Opposition spokesman on finance Audley Shaw hands over a 'tax relief' sign to Jamaica Labour Party Leader Andrew Holness during Sunday night's mass rally in Half-Way Tree, St Andrew.
Mike Henry (centre) dances up a storm while Derrick Smith looks on during Sunday's mass rally in Half-Way Tree.
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Andrew Holness, the leader of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), has suggested that the People's National Party (PNP) must be held accountable for all its broken promises, coupled with its failure to act.

"They promised you an IMF deal in two weeks, 15 months later, they signed one and every year since, this Government has placed more and more taxes on you - $52 million in all," declared Holness at a JLP mass rally in Half-Way Tree on Sunday.

Making reference to the PNP's promise to remove general consumption tax (GCT) from electricity, Holness declared: "This was the biggest con of all because GCT is still on light bills today."

The JLP leader asserted that he would never forget election night 2011 when PNP supporters were celebrating the promise of oxtail and curried goat.

"Today, the price of oxtail and mutton has almost doubled," he said.

After promising that there would be no job cuts, Holness said the PNP was finally saying that there will be job cuts in the public sector, but that they could not say how many.

"They promised accountable governance, yet the prime minister took no action against those involved in the purchase of the Outameni facility, where your NHT (National Housing Trust) savings were used to bail out their friends."

 

CUTTING HOUSING GRANTS

 

He charged that while this was happening, the NHT board was cutting housing grants for low-income beneficiaries.

Holness complained that Simpson Miller took no action against "an obviously inept minister of health", Fenton Ferguson, when he did nothing after being warned of the chikungunya threat two years in advance.

"Having left the minister in place, an unusually high number of babies died in our intensive care units because of poor sanitation, lack of resources, and poor oversight by the ministry under his watch," he said.

Holness said that even after this national tragedy, the prime minister delayed taking action against the minister.

"She is as much to blame for the death of our babies as the former health minister, especially as she swore to protect the people of Jamaica," declared Holness.

The JLP leader also cited what he described as the failings of the Simpson Miller to take action with the worst fire at Riverton.

He said that Simpson Miller took no action when her Minister of Energy (Phillip Paulwell) mishandled the diversification of the energy sector.

According to Holness, it is the same minister who presided over "bad gas getting into the supply chain" with no action and no compensation to those who suffered.

"The prime minister took no action when the farmers were losing money under the agroparks or when the funds in the PC banks were being used for non-agricultural purposes," said Holness.

"The prime minister took no action when her Minister of Industry and Commerce made a grand announcement of a US$5-billion Krauck and Anchor deal that turned out to be the real three-card trick," he added.

According to Holness, Simpson Miller also failed to take action when it was revealed that her ministers had telephone bills in excess of J$1 million.

"She must have approved the purchase of a fleet of brand new SUVs for her Cabinet ministers," he said.

Holness said that although the PNP Government promised a logistic hub, "all now we can't find even a spoke around the hub".

gary.spaulding@gleanerjm.com