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Stop misleading the public, JLP tells PNP senators

Monday, November 13, 2017

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The leader of Government Business in the Senate Kamina Johnson Smith is calling on the People's National Party (PNP) senators to “stop misleading the public on the National Identification System (NIDS) Bill”, arguing that the consequences of their misinformation will have consequences far beyond their current political interest.

Johnson Smith, in a statement yesterday, charged that the PNP was “fear mongering” and criticising the very amendments that they suggested.

According to Johnson Smith, 100 amendments were made in the lower house to address the concerns expressed by civil society groups and the PNP.

“The government has been very receptive of the concerns of stakeholders. It is interesting to note that members of the Opposition encouraged the NIDS to be mandatory and that fact is reflected in the minutes of consultations held with them by the government technical team. This is reflected in the Bill passed in the lower house. The further changes made since tabling in the Senate, have largely been to accommodate civil society concerns, as well as to include clarifications needed”.

Johnson Smith argued that when the then Jamaica Labour Party government created the National Insurance Scheme, the PNP sought to undermine it, calling the NIS a SIN.

She urged Jamaicans to once more not fall for their fear mongering adding that the country should be assured that the government is working in their best interest.

“It is disappointing that after suggesting amendments which were taken on, there is now criticism by the Opposition that there are too many amendments. We carried out an open process where groups were encouraged to suggest changes. The government is committed to transforming Jamaica and will fulfil its mandate given to it by the people of Jamaica,” said Johnson Smith.

Debate on the NIDS Bill in the Senate continues this morning.

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