Saturday, February 27, 2016

JLP Government 10 Point Plan and Promises to Prosperity


Plan and Promises Publish Date: Feb 04, 2016

1) We will reform government and establish a Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation. This ministry will ensure that investments are rapidly facilitated to avoid government obstacles, such as one agency giving approval to mine sand for the construction of a hotel and another agency placing a stop order on the activity. That doesn't make any sense.

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2) We will immediately restore the benefits at the Junior Stock Market to grow equity financing for the expansion of small to medium size businesses, as they form the stable base for job creation.

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3) We are committed in principle and practice to real reform of the tax system. This means leaving you with more of your income to save or invest. This means lower taxes and a business friendly tax system. We will again reduce transfer taxes, stamp duties, estate taxes, and as our economy grows.
  • To help our economy grow and help you take care of your families, we will get rid personal income tax for everyone who earns a gross salary of JA$1.5m or less.
So nurses, policemen and women, teachers, public sector workers, and young people starting out, the JLP will give you a break, because we know you need one. As per the JLP 118,000 Jamaicans earning $1.5 million and less per year will be exempt from paying Income Tax. The $592,800 threshold still exist for people above $1.5 Million. However 128,000 public-sector workers would be affected by this PAYE tax threshold increase and the PNP said the number affected would be 129,000 people living income tax free and would reduce the Government Revenue Stream by $32-billion but the JLP said they would make it back from GCT.

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4) Apart from divestment of loss making government entities to which we are already committed, we will list on the Jamaica Stock Exchange several state owned enterprises such as the UDC and Factories Corporation. They all have significant asset bases which can be properly packaged and placed on the stock market with realistic investment plans would unleash the economic and job creation potential latent in these assets.

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5) Jamaica’s water infrastructure is inadequate, we will fix it. We will make strategic capital investments in water. Jamaica is not short of water, this government does not know how to manage our water. There are still too many households and farms without reliable water supply. The investment in water will reduce the impact of drought on the economy, but it will also boost agriculture and housing construction. This is an example of synergy in our economic growth plan.

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6) We will reform the NHT, the Housing Agency and the Mortgage Bank to expand affordable housing construction and reduce interest rates on mortgages. We will create a special intergenerational 50 to 60 year mortgage which will make home ownership and payments easier. It is the Jamaican dream to own a home, whether you are a household helper or a young professional, and the JLP will help you make that dream come true.

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7) We will create a special council of investment ambassadors who will be tasked to specially seek out large investors from all over the world and bring them to Jamaica. Jamaica must improve its international profile as an investment destination and not merely as an emerging market to lend money. We will complete the work we started to develop Jamaica as an International Business Centre. All our foreign missions will be tasked for economic diplomacy as the main objective. Our foreign policy must support our economic priorities.

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8) Economic growth must mean jobs for our people. While we will seek investments that match the available skill sets, we are committed to improving the skills of Jamaicans to attract high value investments to sustain long term economic growth. Among other human resource development plans, we are particularly excited about our compulsory education and skills policy. All your young people who are not in a job or currently in school will have the opportunity to develop their knowledge, skills, and attitude through a National Apprenticeship Programme and a National Service Programme, where they earn stipend and gain work experience and certification.

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9) We will advance Jamaica as a digital society. An important step on this part is to digitize all government records, and business processes. This will improve the efficiency and accessibility of government. And this is just one area in which we will employ the young people we have trained under the national apprenticeship and service programmes. This is an example of our coordinated economic growth and job creation strategy.

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10) We will revitalize and rebuild our town centres and cities. There is so much value lying idle in our real estate in blighted urban areas. However, government has to lead the way with a clear, vision, policy and commitment to partnering with the private sector to get this done. We will start with the redevelopment of the Kingston waterfront and market district. And as another example of our coordinated thinking, this will be partially funded by the listing of the UDC on the stock market.

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Apart from the above 10 Point plan the JLP also promised to:

11) Double The National Minimum Wage forcing employers to pay more to their workers.

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12) Remove all subsidies from Healthcare

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13) Remove all subsidies from Education
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Holness promised also not to increase GCT

The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men

The Plan to not collect Income taxes from people making $1.5 Million and below as well as doubling minimum wage and removing all fees from Education and Healthcare while not increasing GCT, is intended as a stimulus for increase economic activity.  The idea is that if you give the people more money to spend the multiplier effect will kick in, more spending equals more GCT tax collection and more spending on local goods should increase business activity and kick in the old economic 101 principles. That is increase spending, increases demand which causes increases in supply and leads to increase employment thus growing the economy and Bobs your uncle!

It is a very romantic outlook on life hoping that you get all your ducks in a row and the dominoes all line up and fall straight. But economics was never a perfect science, too many variables and far too many unknowns to control. Changing one part can affect a lot of others parts and not for the better, it is a balancing act and very difficult to get right especially when the behavior of Human beings are involved. Jamaicans do not react to market forces like most other people, we are in imperfect people who love to import everything we consume, so how we will react is a major unknown and 75% of what we consume is imported even if we produce it for ourselves. That is why changes are normally made in small increments with a wait and see attitude but this is aggressive, a massive change and how it will play-out is very difficult to determine.

Holness said “There are some who believe that out of that fiscal discipline will come growth” this is not something Holness believes, enough of this fiscal discipline thing, Austerity is over and Holness is going to “Showa” the people with money and by doing that Grow the economy, the only problem is the Jamaican economy has no money, what little it has was borrowed and our productivity is low.

This is not Audley Shaw's plan, the old states man does not have it with in him to put forward something so aggressive, this is a plan of youth, open, carefree optimistic youth who believes that they know everything, this is the same mentality that created OLINT and Cash-Plus Pyramid Ponzi schemes. This is a plan of desperation from a young person who is forced to go all out in order to secure his position.  It is now up to Audley Shaw to restrain youth and control that youthful exuberance so I expect delays and changes to the pre-election plan now that it has achieved its objectives, which is to get Holness and his wife elected to parliament.


On Thursday, March 3rd 2016, Andrew Holness will be everyone's Prime Minister, like it or not and the Government will be my Government regardless of Party, Jamaica's Government and as such gets the respect all Governments should get, at least from me. That does not say I will not be open, objective and vigilant because I will be and I will oppose bad policies and Support/defend good policies and I will judge you based on your delivery of pre-election promises. My opinions and my outlook in life is based on my principles and my ideology which I will never betray. I only support principles and ideology that is in league with mine and will never compromise them, country over party. But Andrew Holness will be my Prime Minister and the Government he leads will be my Government and I wish my next Government all the best in bringing the promised property and delivering solutions for the problems we face.

On the things we do not agree on or see eye to eye on, I only hope for the good of the country that you prove me wrong, if the right things happen then I am happy to be wrong, I welcome being wrong, this is not about pride or ego but about about Nation Building and the advancement of a people. Congratulation and Good luck.