Sun | May 26, 2019

#BudgetDebate2019 | Phillips wants SLB guarantor system removed

Published:Thursday | March 14, 2019 | 5:06 PM
Dr Peter Phillips

Leader of the Opposition Dr Peter Phillips has said that a People's National Party (PNP) government would abolish the requirement for a guarantor for borrowers of the Students' Loan Bureau.

The issue has been a vexed one for years.

Delivering his contribution to the Budget Debate in Parliament this afternoon, Phillips also said that a PNP government would mandate that the repayment of student loans only begin when graduated borrowers are employed.

He further said that the monthly repayments for student loans would be capped at a percentage of income.

Additionally, Phillips said that a PNP government would establish a first-in-family scholarship programme.

"This programme [would] provide full scholarships (tuition and expenses) for the first child of every Jamaican family to enrol in a tertiary institution," he explained.

Here are other highlights of Phillips' plans for a would-be PNP government:

1. Prioritise investments in high schools to provide space for the over 20,000 students who are presently enrolled but are accommodated in unsatisfactory conditions.
2. Expand the teacher-training programme to global standards to provide a trained teacher in every classroom in the shortest possible time.

3. Incentivise employee training by providing tax relief for companies that invest in certified training programmes for their employees. Phillips said that this is critical if the country wants to benefit from higher-value-added jobs.

4. Invest at least an additional $100 million in the health services budget to bring an end to the present situation in which patients are sleeping in wheelchairs and on benches. According to the opposition leader, this could be achieved by cutting the advertising budget of various ministers.
"Beds over PR!" he said.

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