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PNPYO slams Comrades for Parliament fracas - Simpson Miller calls Gov't disingenuous

Published:Thursday | January 21, 2010 | 12:00 AM

The People's National Party Youth Organisation (PNPYO) yesterday veered away from its customary towing of party lines to launch a broadside on its parent organisation.

In an uncharacteristically strongly worded statement yesterday, the Damion Crawford-led PNPYO said members of the organisation were disgusted by the display of the parliamentary representatives at Tuesday's sitting of the House of Representatives.

"We are of the belief that this display shows the limited level of seriousness with which the country's affairs are being handled, as well as the continued partisan approach to governance that has crippled our country for years," the Comrades complained.

Very disappointed

The PNPYO expressed disappointment "in the performance of our own party".

The statement said the PNP seemed to have been waffling in its attempts to communicate the actual reasons for not being willing to debate a document that had already been sent to the IMF.

However, it stated that this was no reason for the representatives of the Opposition (the PNP) to have contributed in a prolonged shouting match with the representative of the Government (the JLP), who have consistently shown that they were willing to put their party's access to power above the betterment of the Jamaican people.

In the meantime, the PNP has called theBruce Golding-led administration disingenuous.

The PNP called a press conference at its Old Hope Road headquarters in St Andrew yesterday to explain why it could not participate in the long-awaited debate on the terms of the IMF agreement.

The Opposition leader said she had written to the prime minister requesting information on the letter of intent so that the Opposition could prepare itself.

However, she said the document was provided to the party Opposition Spokesman on Finance, Dr Omar Davies, just a day before the debate.

She added that a resolution highlighting the issues to be debated was sent to the leader of opposition business on Monday. However, she said on Tuesday the Government revised the resolution, making a significant change.

According to Simpson Miller, reference to the revised tax package presented by the prime minister on December 23 was excluded from the revised resolution.

The party leader said important information contained in the letter of intent was not disclosed to the Opposition when it met with the prime minister at Jamaica House last week.

She said the Government's decision to raise bus fares by 40 per cent before April as a condition of the IMF agreement was never discussed with the Opposition.

Issues hidden

Simpson Miller also indicated that the prime minister concealed the June deadline for the liquidation of Air Jamaica if efforts to divest the airline failed.

Opposition Senator Mark Golding said the letter of intent was a critical document that would govern the country's macroeconomic programme for the next 27 months.

"You can't receive a document like this 18 pages long of details, numbers and appendices at the back at midday one day and be expected to contribute to a debate on that document, it would be irresponsible for us to participate in a debate on that basis," he asserted.

On Tuesday, Leader of Government Business in the House Andrew Holness argued strongly that all the issues set out in the letter of intent to the IMF were discussed publicly and, therefore, the Opposition should not have been constrained to participate in the debate.