KINGSTON, Jamaica - Following Opposition Leader Mark Golding’s 2023/24 contribution to the Budget Debate in Parliament on Tuesday, which promises a shift in the focus from the policies of the Jamaica Labour Party-led (JLP) Government, supporters and members of the People’s National Party (PNP) are lauding his presentation.
Opposition Spokesperson on Finance, Julian Robinson, told OBSERVER ONLINE that he believes the PNP “covered all the bases.”
“We outlined the steps of a new direction the country has to take. The path that we are on is not one which will uplift the life of the majority of people. So, it was a criticism of where we are now, but with specific proposals as to how we can build a Jamaica to include all Jamaicans,” he said.
Robinson added that the path that the country is on now will see growth, but only “those at the top will benefit.”
“The majority at the bottom won’t be uplifted. We are committed to policies that will uplift everybody,” Robinson said.
At the same time, one PNP supporter said the country needs a “strong leader.”
“We want [a] man of integrity. We want somebody with integrity fi lead we. We nuh want nobody fi come flip-flop and and promise we [something] an’ no gi we. We need a strong leader,” the woman stated.
READ: New direction Golding promises shift in focus from policies of JLP Gov't
However, Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett, did not share the same sentiments. He believes the presentation was lacking in “substantive and meaty presentations of elements the people could hold on to as being achievable and something that really would represent hope.”
“What he (Golding) spoke to was being critical of everything,” Bartlett added.
But, the PNP’s Joan Gordon-Webley commented that the presentation was “absolutely wonderful.”
“I felt very privileged to be listening to him for this very in-depth presentation and I am very, very enthused to work with him [when the] time comes,” Gordon-Webley said.
Meanwhile, PNP Councillor for the Whitfield Town, St Andrew South Western, Eugene Kelly, said, Golding’s presentation was awesome.
“It went from the economic, the social, the cultural, the creative; it spanned the whole gamut of Jamaican society. This man intends to remake Jamaica and remake it for Jamaicans. He is proven, his track record as a leading commercial lawyer, a proven investment banker, and now he wants to turn his skills to lifting Jamaica. He is about lifting up Jamaica and Jamaicans, not himself.”
In his speech, Golding made clear to members of the PNP that anti-corruption policies, would not escape under a Government led by him.
"When we form Government, under my leadership, don't expect leniency, don't expect accommodation when it comes to that kind of wrongdoing or any kind of wrongdoing. Expect full accountability. We will govern with integrity; public resources are for the benefit of the people, and not for any individual's personal gain or profit," Golding had stressed during his presentation.
Other major reforms which he said a PNP Government would deliver include fixing the education system; solving the long-standing issues around land tenure; tackling crime; boosting productivity; and enabling the creative and cultural industries to thrive.
Among them is a plan to attempt to regularise housing arrangements for the 700,000 people living in informal settlements. He said this will involve a slate of far-reaching legislative proposals that will, for the first time, fully tackle the issue of land titling. This is alongside a review and overhaul of existing laws to make land ownership more affordable and accessible, he said.
After his presentation, Golding was seen leaving Parliament surrounded by a host of supporters cheering and shouting “time come!”
- 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.
- 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.
- We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.
- Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.
- Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: email@example.com.
- If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.