First Look

G2K presses Minister Phillips for answers

G2K | 2015-06-16 00:00:00

It has come to the attention of Generation 2000 (G2K), the young professional affiliate of the Jamaica Labour Party, that the Minister of Finance, Dr. Peter Phillips, will be updating the nation on the ‘Economic Reform Programme’. Given the dismal state of the economy, G2K is pressing the Minister for answers about matters of national concern.

G2K is of the view that the failure of the current Government to execute its duties and properly manage the country has created undue hardships for all Jamaicans. The demeaning 7 per cent wage increase offer does nothing but rub salt in the wounds of the public sector workers, the vast majority of whom have grown tired of empty promises.

“The current administration has developed a bad habit of making grand announcements and failing to deliver anything substantial. This is tantamount to gambling with the futures of the Jamaican people,” said Matthew Samuda – President of G2K

Many of these projects had potential to generate significant revenue or deliver significant savings and put the Government in a position to offer civil servants a better salary, but have remained fruitless. These include, but are not limited to:

·        The 360 Megawatt energy project, that is yet to get off the ground
·        The Bauxite industry, which remains relatively passive                                           

·        The Global Logistics Hub, for which there is nothing tangible to show

Sadly, instead of sharing in the sacrifice that Jamaicans have made over the past 3 years, the Government has been carelessly spending public funds like there is no tomorrow. The current Prime Minister received a 53 per cent pay increase when she took office. ‘Outameni’ received hundreds of millions in bailout. Ministers’ monthly telephone bills exceed what some public sector employees earn for the year.

Generation 2000 is calling for Dr. Peter Phillips, to use the opportunity that his national broadcast provides, to address the following matters of national concerns: 

1.     What is the status of the transformation of the public sector, as it relates to the recommendations of the Public Sector Transformation Unit (PSTU)? This includes contraction by attrition, merging of government bodies, and divestment of loss making entities, among other improvements that will increase efficiency.

2.     Why has the government opted for a policy of increasing taxes and fees to a small pool of registered tax-payers as opposed to implementing tax reform in a comprehensive manner, including the widening of the tax net?

3. What was the result of the Gordon Shirley- led committee’s review of Krauck Systems and the Anchor Finance Group? The logistics hub project had potential to drive significant economic activity, and generate revenue that could assist with public sector wages.

4. What is the timeline of the new 360 megawatt project? Both residential and commercial electricity customers wait with bated breath for this information, which is essential for medium and long term financial planning.

5. By what percentage will the salaries of all members of the government be reduced? Though largely symbolic, this will instil a sense of solidarity in the public sphere.

6. When will the Minister present a credible growth strategy to the nation?

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