PNP will solve squatting problem, says Phillips

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

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OPPOSITION Leader Dr Peter Phillips has said that the next People's National Party (PNP) Government will put an end to squatting and ensure that people living on unregistered land have access to titles.

Dr Phillips gave the assurance Sunday night at a political meeting in Brandon Hill, St Andrew West Rural, where attorney-at-law Jennifer Housen was presented as the party's standard-bearer for the constituency.

A news release from the PNP said that Phillips, the party president, has been spreading the message of solving the problems of land titling after a study was completed by a commission established by the party to look into ending squatting in Jamaica.

According to the PNP, Phillips's comments have caught the ear of Prime Minister Andrew Holness who had announced in the recent Budget Debate that the Government would be issuing 7,000 land titles per year.

In response to the announcement, Phillips said issuing 7,000 titles per year would will solve the present problem, and that it shows that the prime minister has grossly underestimated the extent of the issue. At this rate, it would take 40 to 50 years to fix the current problem, and it also does not take into consideration any new issue which may arise, the news release said.

“Our mission in the People's National Party in our next term is to change that historical condition by having the most far-reaching land-titling effort ever seen in Jamaica. We intend to solve this problem during the lifetime of the next PNP Government,” the release quotes Phillips.

Additionally, he said that a Government formed by the PNP would strike a new deal with farmers to increase productivity and drive the development of the country.

He said Dr Fenton Ferguson, who was appointed as shadow minister of agriculture and rural development, would manage the development of rural areas as well as ensure that there is equity in the distribution of goods and services to farmers.

The Opposition leader emphasised that the PNP's approach is more than land titles. “We want a RADA (Rural Agricultural Development Authority) that is not just working for 'one colour' people; we want a RADA that is willing to give service to all farmers regardless of political persuasion. We want modern farming that brings technology to the farm. We want to approach farming with hand-held tractor which uses an irrigation system that pump water to the farm in an efficient manner; we cannot have modern-day farming and depend on rainfall,” Dr Phillips said.

He also used the opportunity to applaud PNP Chairman Fitz Jackson for his work on the Banking Act and stated that the objective of the legislation falls within the policy of the new type of government which works for all.

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