Wed | Jun 16, 2021

Noise without a solution

Published:Friday | October 16, 2015 | 1:06 PM


To many, on September 29, 2015, "the master had come back". The British Prime Minister visited Jamaica to "reinvigorate" relationships. This caused afrenzy as the voiceless spoke, a MP refused to sit in Parliament and a past prime minister wrote a letter from his retirement. Through all the chaos one thing was constant, the calls for reparation or even an apology.

The National Commission on Reparations says Jamaica would be due at least PS2.3 trillion (approximately J$416.3 trillion) based on its calculation. This would allow for our little island to pay off its debts and chart a path forward vision 2030.

Sounds like a fairytale doesn't it? The truth is with all these calls for reparations not one viable option has been put forward. That is a lot of money to a country that over the last 25 years has seen several corruption scandals valued at about $10.32 billion.

Even if the reparation money is granted by Britain, government would control it. After so many scandals from both governments, I personally would not trust either with a dollar for an icy mint.

Therefore, I suggest that rather than simply asking for money through reparations, the government put forward a viable solution or initiative.

The solution I put forward is education. I have had many friends who get into universities in England and are unable to pay the international student prices. Instead of reparation why not slash these prices to ensure that persons are able to do their masters or undergraduate degrees at a subsidized cost.

The UWI struggles each year with the subsidy provided by the government as each year it is reduced due to constraints which causes an increase in fees. Instead of paying the subsidy ourselves why not ask the UK government to pay it with the money we are asking for through reparations. This would ensure a constant and reliable flow of money.

Kirk Harris

UWI Mona