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Simpson Miller calls for new approach to economic growth

Published:Monday | April 19, 2010 | 12:00 AM

OPPOSITION LEADER Portia Simpson Miller is clamouring for a more inclusive approach by the Golding administration to achieving economic growth and job creation, which she indicated had eluded the Government to date.

Simpson Miller argued that the Government's net growth projection of 1.3 per cent growth for a six-year period beginning from 2008 was unacceptable.

"The issue of economic growth and job creation must be the subject of extensive, intense and ongoing discussion within the Parliament and outside," she said.

40,000 jobs

Simpson Miller said dialogue should be held with captains of industry, the private sector, the financial sector, the small-business sector, the self-employed, farmers, artisans, the trade union movement and civil society.

According to the opposition leader, the small-business sector, numbering nearly 400,000, could be the catalyst for economic growth in Jamaica.

"Imagine what would happen if one-tenth of these 400,000 businesses could be facilitated to each employ one additional person this year," she said.

"(This) single step forward would add 40,000 jobs and compensate for the 50,000 jobs lost this year."