Mon | Nov 30, 2020

#JaVotes2020 | COVID-19 handling, economic management will secure election victory - Holness

Published:Tuesday | August 25, 2020 | 2:31 PM
Prime Minister and leader of the Jamaica Labour Party Andrew Holness speaking at a press conference on August 25, 2020 - Contributed photo

Christopher Serju, Senior Gleaner Writer

The ruling Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) is banking on its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the management of the economy as factors that will count in it winning the September 3 general election.

At a press conference this morning to launch the party’s manifesto dubbed ‘Stronger Future’, Prime Minister and JLP leader Andrew Holness boasted that his government’s management of the crisis over the last six months compares favourably with several “advanced countries”.

“In terms of protecting the lives of our citizens, Jamaica is comparable with top performers like New Zealand, Singapore, and South Korea….We in Jamaica have proactively implemented the CARE (Covid Allocation of Resources for Employees) Programme to cushion the economic impact of the pandemic on the most vulnerable Jamaicans.

“We’ve done that in record time,” Holness declared.

He noted that in his travels across Jamaica, the fallout from the economic crisis is not visible “and this is primarily because of the swift response of the government with our interventions of various support programmes whether it is the Best Cash or the Compassionate Grant.

“That very timely and swift intervention has cushioned the economic impact for the most vulnerable in the society and that has placed us in good company in terms of countries that have done well and we have been recognised for this internationally.”

Holness says the government has transparent in managing the COVID situation.

“In managing crises sometimes leaders may be tempted to manage information. Leaders may sometimes feel that they should be very careful in what they release and what they don’t release.

“We have taken a very open and transparent approach. We have taken the position that the Jamaican people are the best judge to determine what to do with the information; our job is to get the information to them in a timely way. So, just in terms of information management, there is no question that we have been very transparent and very consistent in the provision of information.”

He says the government’s approach has engendered trust among the population.

“People can have trust in the government….in what the government says it has done and what it will do and that trust is the most important political capital that any political organisation could seek to have.

“So we must do everything to guard that trust, including what we say we are going to do in a campaign, including the promises and commitments that we make, because if we go ahead and make outlandish promises and outlandish commitments in our manifesto the question will come back to haunt us, can the people trust what we say?”

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