Sun | Nov 29, 2020

Editors' Forum | Bunting plans to help PNP stalwarts

Published:Friday | July 5, 2019 | 12:00 AMChristopher Serju/Gleaner Writer

A People’s National Party (PNP) under the leadership of Peter Bunting would treat as priority the welfare of stalwarts, people who have supported and stuck with the party through times of good and bad.

That’s according to the man seeking to displace Dr Peter Phillips as president of the party in opposition.

The sad state of people who have served the party, can no longer help themselves, and now find themselves with no one to help in their time of need was brought home during the recent by-elections in Eastern Portland, the Central Manchester member of Parliament admitted during a Gleaner Editors’ Forum.

“People say to me, ‘let me carry you to visit an old lady or an old gentleman. Dem roof leaking.’ And this was a party stalwart, and you could help feel sad, embarrassed, or whatever, because this person was always, in their youth, running up and down with every PNP motorcade and working,” Bunting recalled.

From his days as general secretary of the party, Bunting said he recognised the need for assistance to such people and had, in fact, done a pilot project.

“We developed a pilot that really said, if you are a member of the party for five years, you should be better off than when you joined, and that doesn’t necessarily mean because we are going to give you any money. What it means is that instead of going this sort of traditional 1938-designed meeting agenda, we have to look at what are the skills, the life skills, we can impart to the group members that every three months they go get a one-day workshop.

“They learn about financial literacy, they understand that when you hire-purchase the thing in two years, you going pay twice the price that you would have paid if you waited six or nine months to make the purchase.”

In addition, these persons would receive lessons in health and well-being, and those with an interest in entrepreneurship would be taught how to manage a small-business operation.