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Holness says Cabinet retreat should focus on crime, IMF, energy

Published:Friday | October 12, 2012 | 12:00 AM

CABINET MEMBERS are preparing to go into a huddle next week for a retreat.

The retreat, which will be the third for the 10-month-old Portia Simpson Miller-chaired Cabinet, will take place next week.

Well-placed government sources said yesterday that an agenda for the retreat has not yet been signed off on.

Yesterday, Opposition Leader Andrew Holness told The Gleaner that Cabinet retreats are always necessary as they allow the Government to reflect on what it is doing. His only dictate to Simpson Miller was to keep the retreat in Kingston at Jamaica House so as to minimise cost.

Holness also said that while it was not his place to tell the Government how to conduct its affairs, he hoped it would focus the discussions on crime, the negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and energy.

"I am not convinced that a totally private sector-led energy solution is the best route to go," Holness said in a jab at the Government's decision to turn over its liquefied natural gas project to the Jamaica Public Service Company.

The first Cabinet retreat took place in February. Then, the Cabinet considered mechanisms for the implementation of the Jamaica Emergency Employment Programme.

Issues related to the economy were also discussed, including the way forward for the country's relationship with the IMF.

Two months later, Simpson Miller again brought her Cabinet to examine ways of dealing with the country's economic situation.