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PNP's calculated deception on GCT

Published:Friday | April 13, 2012 | 12:00 AM


I refer to your editorial of Thursday, April 12, in which you seemed to have given Energy Minister Phillip Paulwell kudos or the benefit of the doubt in his and his party, the People's National Party (PNP), now in government, effectively backtracking on a key election promise to remove the general consumption tax (GCT) on electricity.

According the editorial, that is a case of the Simpson Miller administration merely beginning to recognise that some of their campaign promises that should become policies were flawed and the Government, acting responsibly, therefore will not pursue said policies merely because they were promised or stated.

The editorial very casually, if not generously, referred to that campaign promise as a 'mirage'.

How generous of The Gleaner in so believing, or is it a case of my being too cynical? I submit it is more the former, as I am firmly of the view that it was part of a calculated deception by the PNP to regain political power. Now that they have the power, what are they doing with it?

The PNP, during its 2011 election campaign, knew, or should have known, or could have easily found out with a little research, that the overwhelmingly majority of our people were not paying GCT on their electricity bills because they were not consuming more than the 200 kilowatt-hours of energy per month. And those who do go over 200kWh per month are not your average suffering Jamaican.

The PNP, while campaigning in 2011, would have easily realised and would have been able to correctly advise itself that the GCT on electricity was not affecting the majority of our people.