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Holness promises more jobs

Published:Thursday | November 10, 2011 | 12:00 AM
Prime Minister Andrew Holness (centre) and Mike Henry (second left), minister of transport and works, cut the ribbon to open the new Dry River Bridge yesterday. Looking on are Richard Havercroft (left), project manager, KIER Construction; Othneil Lawrence (third right), state minister for transport and works; West St Thomas Member of Parliament James Robertson (second right), and Joan Gordon-Webley (right), executive director of the National Solid Waste Management Authority, during the official opening ceremony for the bridge in Harbour View, St Andrew, yesterday. - Rudolph Brown/Photographer

Daraine Luton, Senior Staff Reporter

PRIME MINISTER Andrew Holness has thrown jabs at the People's National Party's (PNP) proposal to create jobs.

Holness, speaking during the opening of the new Dry River Bridge in Harbour View, St Andrew, said his government would soon be delivering jobs in agriculture, information communication techn-ology and tourism.

"Those jobs will not be temporary jobs, those jobs will not be jobs subsidised by the state. Those jobs will be genuine, real, sustainable jobs coming out of the private sector, supported and facilitated by the Government," Holness said.

The governing Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) came to power in 2007 on the promise of "jobs, jobs and more jobs". However, amid turbulent economic conditions and what the PNP claims has been bad economic management, more than 100,000 jobs have been lost since the recession.

Holness noted that the Govern-ment has been able to achieve low inflation, low interest rate and a stable foreign-exchange rate.

"The economy, though stable, is still vulnerable and we are aware of this. But of course, this is not unique to Jamaica," the prime minister said.

No false hope

He argued that in spite of the macroeconomic accomplishments, "unemployment is still a concern and the Government is very sensitive about that concern".

Holness added: "We don't want to give false hope. We don't want to tell you we are going to give you crash work. We don't want to tell you that by the snap of your fingers we can automatically create jobs overnight. If anyone comes bearing such gifts, turn them back."

PNP President Portia Simpson Miller has said that if her party forms the government after the upcoming general election, it would implement a job creation vehicle called JEEP.

JEEP is the acronym for the Jamaica Emergency Employment Programme, which the Government has labelled a crash programme. Simpson Miller has refused to divulge the details of JEEP saying the country is close to an election and that her party would not be sharing its ideas with the Government for fear that they would be stolen.