Fri | Jun 5, 2020

Opposition urges forward oil purchase to help with post COVID-19 recovery

Published:Saturday | April 4, 2020 | 2:32 PM
Opposition Spokesman on Finance, Mark Golding - File photo

Opposition Spokesman on Finance Mark Golding is urging the Government to use the fuel tax to purchase oil or liquefied natural gas (LNG) which are now at low prices on the global markets due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Golding says this would help to safeguard the Jamaican economy in a post COVID-19 environment.

“Such future purchase would be more than useful when the world economy starts coming out of the slump and oil prices would have been restored. Jamaica gets the benefits of the prices for a longer period of time.”

“This is the kind of thing the tax was put in place to finance and I think it’s something we ought to be looking at doing,” Golding said while addressing a digital press conference hosted by the Opposition on Friday.

He again criticised the government’s stimulus package aimed at softening the economic blow caused by the virus, saying the programme is inadequate.

“We have already said that that sum of money, which roughly amounts to half of one per cent of the country’s GDP is not sufficient as a response because the design of the CARE programme does not adequately address many vulnerable groups in the society,” said Golding.

He repeated his call for a $50,000 grant per family on the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH) and a $15,000 grant to National Insurance Scheme (NIS) pensioners.

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