Opposition Leader Andrew Holness outlined several initiatives his administration would undertake to protect the islandís most vulnerable, if the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP)were elected back to power.
In an impassioned address to delegates and supporters at the JLP's 67th annual conference in Kingston today, the Opposition leader declared that his party had begun its campaign for the next general election, due in 2016.
He said the JLP was the only modern progressive party capable of leading the country through its current problems, noting that the current Peopleís National Party (PNP) administration was from an old vanguard, poorly equipped to solve the nations crises.
Holness says his party would review the islandís social safety programmes to increase coverage for the countryís abject poor and establish sustainable economic structures to ensure that the poor benefit more from economic growth.
He notes that if the JLP was elected in the 2011 general elections, one of its first tasks would have been to reform the Programme for Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH). He says although the PATH concept is good, it needs administrative and technological resources to broaden its reach. He says his administration would have matched the programme to the current poverty rate and increase it to 500,000 participants.
Holness says he would also improve the Career Advancement Programme (CAP) to provide opportunities for unemployed youth, particularly young men.
The JLP leader says the economy has to be fixed to tackle the issue of poverty and chided the current PNP administration for squandering the gains made by the his party during its four-year administration. Holness pointed out that the JLP made a political sacrifice in the best interest of the country.