Letters to the Editor

Good start, Holness and Phillips

Friday, January 10, 2014    

Print this page Email A Friend!

Dear Editor,

As a PAYE worker who is close to breaking point, I am happy that the Opposition leader has picked up the dispair of many of us who were alarmed at the prospect of having to pay more taxes. I am also happy that the finance minister has seemingly heeded the warning.

Normally, I wouldn't be inclined to contemplate standing on the roadside with a placard. But if graduate students in the US find it necessary to join the 'Occupy' movement and take over major public spaces to drive home their point about the greed of the elite in their economic system, then why shouldn't I find it my duty to protest unfair treatment by the tax man here?

Make no mistake about it, Dr Phillips deserves kudos for his sincerity and steadfastness. But he should remember that genuine economic reform cannot be lopsided. Intense effort must be made to close in on tax dodgers and well-heeled economic untouchables. They must be required to shoulder their fair share of the sacrifice. PAYE workers are sick of being 'hit up' for new taxes by successive finance ministers when revenue targets are missed.

But there is another point I wish make. It has to do with the demeanour of both gentlemen -- Andrew Holness and Peter Phillips -- as well as the content of their exchanges. This week we saw the best of both men. Holness made a solid case for the introduction of an economic stimulus and a sound growth strategy. His call was accompanied by thoughtful and practical recommendations. He spoke without being quarrelsome and fixated on the past. If he keeps this up he will, indeed, earn the title "transformational leader".

While I am not satisfied with Dr Phillips's response, I very much appreciate his willingness to speak to the public and in a manner that is neither imperious nor quarrelsome. It is so encouraging. Perhaps there is reason to hope that this 'pairing' of intelligent and dignified competitors will be a productive one where the welfare of Jamaicans is concerned. I look forward to a greater exchange of ideas and to them taking the debate to the next level.

Enough of the mindless criticsm and tit for tat. Jamaica is crying out for dignified and transformational leadership. Time is running out. Fast.

E Levy






1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper – email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus


Should the shift system be eliminated  in all high schools?
Not All

View Results »


Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon