The National Democratic Movement is again thankful to Nationwide News Network for presenting the Point of View on national issues to provide the public with useful information important to further the education of the Jamaican people.

Today the NDM will focus on three National Issues, using the theme:
Is it Good For Jamaica?

  1. The important Commission of Enquiry into the West Kingston incursion to find Jamaica’s #1 don Mr. Christopher Coke.
  2. The lack of Investments and Job creation by the government.
  3. The recent debate on Tax Reform to investigate individuals without disclosure to the individual.

[1] The NDM has will say up front we fully support a Commission of Inquiry if it is structured to:

  1. Advance the wellbeing of the Jamaican people by outlining specific guidelines for the Security Forces to interact, engage and protect the People of Jamaica.
  2. Establish the truth of what caused the death and disappearance of nearly 100 Jamaican citizens.
  3. Determine the compensation and assistance that will be given to the victims killed, disappeared, injured and belongings destroyed.

The present terms of reference proposed by the government does very little to advance any of the above! What they do is to present a self-serving approach which is designed to further promote and advance tribalism and divide the people deeper in tribes & gangs instead of uniting everyone as Jamaicans.
The NDM also condemns the recent position of the JLP to opt out of participation in the enquiry without making an effort to get the Enquiry to serve Jamaica’s interest instead of their political party. We say SHAME ON THE JLP LEADERSHIP!!

[2] The present government has being paying mere lip service and cheap politics with the Jamaican people with their approach to Job Creation and Job Facilitation. All Jamaicans, except the PNP diehards, know that the “JEEP programme” is a farce. No real jobs are being created. Nearly 20 thousand YOUNG Jamaicans leave University annually and there are no government facilitated programs in place to guide, place or direct these YOUNG Jamaicans. If Information Technology has the kind of earning potential it is said to possess, why not start at the easiest place and facilitate call centres island wide to employ all levels of Jamaicans to earn a decent wage.  India is in the process of preparing their country to employ 4 million of their citizens in call centres. We in Jamaica are competing with countries like Costa Rica, Guatemala, Trinidad and St Lucia for call centre business. Even C&W and BNS use call centres outside of Jamaica. The PNP government is relying on HighWay 2000, the Free Zone and Trans Shipment Hub as their answer to the demands for Jobs but those are all “pie in the sky” as the Ministers responsible don’t even know where to start to get the projects from dream stage to implementation.

[3] The recently passed Tax Amendment is another draconian law to give even more powers to the Finance Ministry and the Tax Department to further pick the pockets of all Jamaicans. This law would not be needed if the present government implements the long proposal to create a National Identity Number for all Jamaicans which would be used to access all government services, pay taxes, go to school, hospital or get medical services, drive a car, buy property or even to vote. This unique number would follow the individual from birth to death. Not much more is required since most persons should likely have a birth certificate. It just means amalgamating the present birth certificate number to a nine digit number. All Jamaicans would simply be required to complete a tax return form from the age of 18 years.

The present government has no direction, no leadership, no plans, no programs and worst no new ideas except those that come from outside Jamaica either from the USA, The IMF or any other entity that they believe and give them a loan.
This has caused the people of Jamaica more misery, hopelessness and frustration.

  • The Hope the NDM offers is grounded in the concept that the Jamaican people are sovereign and not the 63 members of Parliament. That means we must have a say in the future and direction of our country.
  • It also means that there should be immediate public declaration of all assets by the Leadership of all parties and candidates contesting elections and each of the present MP and Senator so we can know all about their financial affairs.
  • All Public Servants must also declare their assets and it will be a major breach if assets are not declared, resulting in loss of job and seizure of all undeclared assets.
  • The corruption in the society can be stemmed by separating the Prime Minister from the MP with separate ballots. The MP must remain in Parliament to make laws in the interest of Jamaica and not their party and represent their constituency who elected them. Best minds and capable Jamaicans must be appointed to manage Ministries.
  • Remove the Public Service Commission, boards and Executive Agencies from the direct influence of the Cabinet and instead allow public parliamentary hearings on each individual recommended for appointment. This should include the Commissioner of Police and the head of the Army.

By Michael Williams
General Secretary
National Democratic Movement
27 June 2013