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LETTER OF THE DAY - Portia's déjà vu

Published:Friday | November 16, 2012 | 12:00 AM


It could never be the same Portia Simpson Miller pleading for unity and yearning for cooperation and goodwill of the Opposition to make it feasible for her Government to finalise arrangements for a new International Monetary Fund agreement, which when in Opposition bluntly refused to heed the invitation of the then prime minister, Andrew Holness, to walk with him through the garrisons.

Or her adamant rejection of Prime Minister Bruce Golding's pay-cut proposal for all parliamentarians at a time of grave economic austerity; and as a first in scenario where the civil servants and public-sector workers would be called upon to subject themselves to a wage constraint because of the inability of the Government to meet their legitimate demands. Those on her side stood aloof, unyielding and impervious, totally oblivious to the plight of the Government of the day and the people as a whole.

The bald truth is, had the Opposition then, along with bodies such as the Jamaica Teachers' Association, the Civil Service Association, the Nurses' Association, and other public-sector workers, cooperated with the Government, we would have been long over the hump Mrs Simpson Miller now faces, and our country would be well on the way to growth and prosperity. The private sector would have been fired up, free of the unnecessary jitters, doubts and fears currently experienced.

remember these words?

It is instructive to note a quote attributed to the director general of the Planning Institute of Jamaica, published in the Financial Gleaner of September 9, 2011: "Many of the top business persons that I have spoken to now tell me that the environment for doing business in Jamaica has never been better. They say this is the best macroeconomic environment they have had to business in ... ."

Look at the background against which this statement was made:

  • A stable exchange rate;
  • Low interest rate;
  • Low inflation;
  • Healthy net international reserves.

The People's National Party must cease to discredit the JLP for its own failures, and take positive and realistic steps to offer the country credible leadership. We are not all gullible.


Palmer's Cross, Clarendon