Yesterday I told you the truth about (JEEP) the crash programme acronym the Government of Jamaica rode to power on December 29th of 2011.
Today we learn there is a problem with the design of JEEP, in that the Labor Party now say the blue print for the programme was theirs.
According to Samuda, the Ministry of Finance had initiated a loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), following upon which a memorandum of understanding was signed on December 5 last year by the Ministry of Transport and Works, National Works Agency (NWA) and the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) to implement a comprehensive road maintenance programme on the northern coastal highway from Negril to Port Antonio.“Participating in the signing were the then minister of transport and works, Shahine Robinson; the acting head of NSWMA, Colonel Allan Douglas; and Earl Patterson, [acting] CEO of the NWA,” Samuda said..jamaicaobserver.com.
It this story is true and from all indications it is, then the Jamaican people just got duped. I am not sure what the impact this programme will have on the country’s unemployment, what I do know is that the longer this programme lasts the worse off the country will be. There are indications the Government wants this handout programme to run for two years , it is imperative that the government lay out with specificity what the cost will be before one gully is bushed or one drain cleaned. It is important that the people are aware of how much in the hole they will be for this with nothing tangible to show for it.
The cleaning of drains,or the removal of growth from gullies should be either addressed with resources in the solid waste budget, or should be done with a set-asides, which deals specifically with those functions. Those functions are important for security reasons, as well as protection of the environment. However as important as they are those functions cannot be paid for with borrowed money.
How will this Government square what is a transparent act of pork barrel give-away with lending institutions which will stridently demand cuts in the public sector in order that the country may qualify for loans? I warned that this party was not a changed party, I warned they had no new ideas, what they were obsessed with was attaining power. If this is the best this party has to offer the country then Jamaica is in for a serious time going forward. The tragedy in all of this many as can be seen from the blog posts feel that this is a net positive for the country, of course most of our people are inherently incapable of making informed decisions without the distortion of political taint.
Countries that want to be solvent must operate like well run businesses and homes, most businesses and families are not allowed to carry deficits. If the electricity,water cable, or phone is not paid for it gets turned off. The same rules should apply to government, I am not advocating turning out the lights , but governments should live within their means. If one continue to throw money into projects which yield no returns on those investments it’s just a matter of time before he runs out of money. This is as simplistic as it gets, do not throw borrowed money away doing what ought to have been done with normal resources from regular taxation.
The PNP clearly had no plan to run on with the exception of the Emergency Employment Programme. The question is ,if as the Labor party stated it was their plan all along and that the funding for it would have come from the (IDB) borrowed money , but not money siphoned from Infrastructural developement, why did the former Government not activate the plan? Whether this fiasco was dreamed up by the JLP,or the PNP is immaterial it does not matter. Whether it was dreamed up to get votes,ease the unemployment problem, or as we have seen thus far, payment to be doled out by politicians to party hacks, it will be one more nail in the coffin of our country that will sell us down the destructive path of servitude to the resurgent Chinese.