Sun | Dec 17, 2017

GDP growing but lives not better off, says Crawford

Published:Sunday | October 22, 2017 | 1:41 PMJason Cross

While charging a group of young Seprod Scholarship recipients with the responsibility of seeking to create their own independence, recently named People's National Party spokesman for youth and culture Damion Crawford is stressing that Jamaica is growing from a gross domestic product (GDP) standpoint, but the lives of many are not necessarily better off.

Twenty five new high school students received scholarships.

Crawford was the guest speaker at last week's Seprod Foundation Awards, held at the Knutsford Court Hotel in St Andrew, to honour children of employees who excelled in last year’s Grade Six Achievement Test.

“The country that I want is simply a developed country. A lot of times when I am in Parliament, you hear them talk about growth," he said. 

"Very often they don’t talk about development. Growth simply means that the GDP is increasing, which means the country is becoming more productive but doesn’t mean that the people are automatically better off. I need a developed country that you would measure by the human development index and not just the GDP.”

He added: “Your responsibility as young people growing up is for you to achieve independence. Where is it going to come from? The only place I’ve seen independence come from is education. I have not seen any other thing that is capable to create individual independence like education has. We have a country that I call a cookie jar country, where one person blames somebody else the best.”

jason.cross@gleanerjm.com