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Put a little oil in your lamp- Phillips

Published:Tuesday | August 18, 2015 | 12:19 PM
Dr Peter Phillips


THE CAMPAIGN director for the People's National Party (PNP) Dr Peter Phillips made it clear at Central St Mary's constituency conference in Highgate on Sunday that the party is in election mode.

"We have a system of government that requires elections to be held at least once every five years for the election of a government to guide the affairs of Jamaica," said Phillips, while noting that this September's annual conference will mark the fourth conference since the last general election.

"I would say to anyone who is wise, put a little oil in your lamp. Get yourself ready for that time because you know not the time and you know not the hour when the trumpet will sound," Phillips said.

The PNP won 42 of the 63 seats in the 2011 general election as the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) was booted from office after one term.

All three St Mary constituencies elected a PNP member as Member of Parliament, reversing a situation where the JLP had two of the three seats after the 2007 general election.

Phillips, while asking party supporters whether they are ready for Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller to sound the trumpet once again, said they should ensure all three MPs are re-elected.

The three MPs are Jolyan Silvera (Western St Mary), Dr Winston Green (South East St Mary) and Dr Morais Guy (Central St Mary).

"These comrades represent the winning team of the People's National Party ... . I expect them again to be the winning team for the People's National Party with your support when that time comes," Phillips said.

Phillips, who is the country's finance minister, while conceding that it "has been a very difficult time" because of the economic reform programme, said the Government "has been able to rescue Jamaica from the road to bankruptcy on which the Jamaica Labour Party had placed it".

"All who said nuttin naah gwaan, this administration, led by Portia Simpson Miller, has provided more titles to land by any other administration in the history of Jamaica," Phillips said.

He said also that the country's debt to GDP ratio will be reduced by 25 points when compared to where it stood at the time the IMF programme started in 2013.

The finance minister also pointed to a decline in unemploy-ment from 16 per cent in 2013 to 13.2 per cent, as well as increased investment in the areas of tourism, agriculture, energy and the business processing outsourcing sector.

"It is not an easy road, but a necessary road," Phillips said of the journey required to make Jamaica a prosperous nation.

"It is not road when you just chat, but it is a road that requires a serious commitment to study, hard work, and effective implemen-tation. Jamaica needs a committed, united, visionary People's National Party," Phillips said.

Silvera, meanwhile, said now that the PNP has taken to the streets, more Jamaicans will understand and embrace the policies of the Government.

"The PNP has finally gone to the streets to explain to the common man what are the policies of this government in going forward because for far too long even the policies that we are doing we were not explaining it to the people," the West St Mary MP said.