THE EDITOR, Sir:
It pains me to see Jamaica continue to slide into this economic abyss. The International Monetary Fund deal will not stop this slide, but only slow our momentum.
If Jamaica wants to turn itself around and be economically self-sufficient, we need to do a number of things besides those that you have already recommended. We cannot continue to borrow or tax our way out of our problems. We need to encourage more foreign investment, entrepreneurship, small business investment, and make it easier for more of our foreign nationals to return home and reinvest in Jamaica.
Our Government must implement the following initiatives:
Further crime reduction.
Mandatory two-year stint in the army for all youths (especially dropouts).
Reduction in bureaucracy.
Low interest rates on loans.
Reduction of GCT to 12 per cent.
Removal or reduction of all taxes and duties on solar-energy equipment.
Reduced dependence on imported oil.
Reduction in the cost of commercial electricity and water.
Development of recycling plants for bottles, plastics, tyres, etc.
Rehabilitation of dams and water supplies.
Mechanised farming for export market.
Support for medicinal research in Jamaican herbs.
Support for health tourism such as mineral baths.
Development of Port Royal as a tourist destination. (A pre-earthquake Walt Disney-type pirate city).