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Portia urges Golding to spend PR money on needy students

Published:Monday | August 30, 2010 | 12:00 AM


The Opposition has proposed that Prime Minister Bruce Golding assist needy students with back-to-school preparations, using the money intended to facilitate his islandwide consultations to explain his handling of the Manatt, Phelps & Phillips matter.

"The money that the prime minister is going to use to explain by way of PR (public relations), I call on the him to use that money to assist parents that will not be able to send their children back to school because they cannot afford it," Opposition Leader Portia Simpson Miller suggested on the weekend.

"Whether it's auxiliary fees, books or uniforms, whatever the money you are going to be using to go around, whether it is party or what, give it to the education of the children of this country."

Simpson Miller was addressing officers and supporters at the People's National Party (PNP) North West St James constituency conference at the Montego Bay High School auditorium in St James on Saturday night. Businessman Henry McCurdy was returned as the party's chairman and caretaker for the constituency.

She also stated that the PNP would also be going on the road to give a clearer picture of the hiring of United States law firm Manatt, Phelps & Phillips.

The Government has maintained that the law firm was hired by the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) to settle the impasse with the United States authorities over the extradition request for alleged west Kingston strongman Christopher 'Dudus' Coke. However, the American law firm states it was contracted to work on behalf of the Government.

Supporters agree

"You (prime minister) might be meeting up on me and my team because we will be going around the country as well explaining Manatt, Phelps & Phillips," added Simpson Miller, a statement that was met with shouts of approval from her supporters.

"We will be paying our way to go around explaining to the Jamaican people. Bruce, let me say to you tonight, do not use taxpayers' money to go around the country for what you claim is a JLP matter."

She again called on the Government to offer full disclosure on the issue.

"It's not too late, come clean, tell us the truth. It is not going to die as long as we continue to get the truth from overseas."