Letters to the Editor

Frequent-flying PM

Wednesday, December 11, 2013    

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Dear Editor,

The PM's frequent absences/travels have seemingly gone unnoticed. But, to my great relief, the Opposition has seen it and is questioning it.

Wasn't it recently that approximately 80 per cent of the civil service signed a wage freeze because the Government could not pay them. So how are these trips funded?

The Observer, on December 4, reported that it cost approximately $20 million for the trip to China. Now, you tell me, what could they be doing that cost so much, and the citizens of Jamaica are not getting value, or information for their money? What is the Government playing at?

Remember the Government asked those who work throughout the year, despite the political changes, to maintain themselves within the austerity measures. This is a case of 'do as I say and not as I do'.

The current government may be the most travelled set that I have seen in my young life. They are definitely not practising the austerity that they want Jamaicans to follow.

Can't Mrs Simpson Miller give up some of the trips, allow the embassies or the respective ambassadors to lead based

on the issues and focus on reclaiming the dollar and setting the country right?

Even more, can't we use social/multi-media, Skype or teleconferencing?

So while we Jamaicans are patiently waiting on our dear 'Mama P' to talk to us, everything is swept under the carpet and shrouded in secrecy. What has happened to accountability and access to information? Are those non-existent like the PM's presence in Jamaica?

Then, because Mrs Portia Simpson Miller said she doesn't watch TV, she possibly has no inkling of what is going on here.

For our benefit, before any more trips are taken the costs, what will be discussed -- as long as it does not put national security in danger -- and results of the discussions must be disclosed to justify these very extensive and expensive travels. Invites that are not of national importance or unnecessary should be politely declined to save the Jamaican taxpayers and civil servants the expense for the trips.

The people have a right to hear from our prime minister to know what's working for our benefit. The prime minister cannot hide. When on the campaign trail, Mrs Portia Simpson Miller talked, so she needs to talk now as the prime minister.

Mrs Simpson Miller is really living up to not 'talking, talking, talking' -- well at least not to us -- but flying, flying, flying.

Colette Campbell






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