Win or lose, PNP fund for workers is a go, says Golding

Win or lose, PNP fund for workers is a go, says Golding

Senior staff reporter

Saturday, October 24, 2020

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THE endowment fund being promised to People's National Party (PNP) workers who fall on hard times will be established even if presidential aspirant Mark Golding loses the internal election on November 7.

Golding made the commitment during this week's virtual Jamaica Observer Monday Exchange during which he was speaking to journalists.

The St Andrew Southern Member of Parliament (MP) has promised to establish the fund with $15 million in honour of PNP founder O T Fairclough.

The promise is being touted ahead of the contest between him and Lisa Hanna, the MP for St Ann South Eastern. The two are vying to replace Dr Peter Phillips as PNP president.

“Yes, it will go on whether or not I win. I am committed to establishing this fund as a legacy to the party and to the party workers, who are really the backbone of the party and have carried us forward over the years. We need to do something meaningful and something tangible to assist those of them who have served long and may have found themselves on hard times and living conditions maybe not up to a certain level, and so on,” said Golding.

“So, yes, it's absolutely something I'm committed to. I'm going to endow it, as I've said, with $15 million, and I hope that will be the yeast that will attract others to join me in building a very strong fund that can really help to show the communities in which our workers live, and the families of our workers, that the party cares for our own and we do so in a meaningful, tangible way,” he added.

Golding said, too, that the fund must have a robust governance structure to ensure transparency and to ensure that the process is equitable and fair, in terms of how benefits are distributed.

“This is something I'm committed to, regardless of who is the president of the party,” he said.

The plan was first announced last September during the leadership contest between then Manchester Central Member of Parliament Peter Bunting and Dr Phillips.

Golding had announced then that he had raised $10 million to create an endowment fund to help struggling party workers, but received heavy backlash from members of Phillips's camp who described the move as “suspicious”.

At that time, he was chairman of Bunting's 'Rise United' campaign.

Bunting eventually lost in his bid to unseat Phillips.

“That fund is going to be there to be invested, and the income from the investments is going to look after our party workers who have served long and hard and who face bad living conditions and other problems in their lives,” he announced last week in pointing out that he would revisit its establishment.

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