What did PNP Government really know about Goat Island Project and when did they know it. The Grand Deception

Another commonsenseja expose`

Does anyone really know what plans the Chinese have for Goat Island?

Does the Government knows what plans the Chinese have for Goat Islands ?

This is what the government had to say yesterday

Speaking in the House of Representatives yesterday, Transport, Works and Housing Minister Dr Omar Davies said the Chinese company did a “tremendous amount of technical work”, which included analysing tidal movement and depth of the sea, and ruled out Jackson Bay and Port Esquivel as possible sites for the project.

The Gleaner reported the following :

After conducting technical studies in sections of the island, China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) rejected sites that would subsequently be suggested by concerned interests as alternatives to the Goat Islands for the establishment of logistics facilities.

But with its studies completed at least a year before the intervention of environmental interests, CHEC had instead proposed to build port facilities at the Goat Islands, located in the Portland Bight Protected Area, and to connect them to a logistics yard in Old Harbour, St Catherine, by causeway.

When did we become aware of the Chinese interest in Goat Island , does anyone remember ?

Well let me jog your memory, perennial non performer Robert Pickersgill said from China sometime in August 2013 that the government was giving “serious consideration for the use of Goat islands for the logistics hub”.

Now let’s juxtapose that with the Gleaner report, which was based on statements made by Omar Davis and which i have highlighted in bold. But with its studies completed at least a year before the intervention of environmental interests, CHEC had instead proposed to build port facilities at the Goat Island.

Now the environmental group only started making “noise ” in August 2013, right, but based on the the statement above the study by the Chinese was completed a year ago, which would have been August 2012.

This would suggest that the Portia Simpson Miller lead administration immediately having assumed power, were in discussions with the Chinese for the use of Goat Island and would have know at least a year ago( 2012) that Goat Island was the preferred choice for the logistics hub.

Now again, being on an inquiring mind unlike others and always looking for what appears to be inconsistency statements by this deceptive government, I will now point you to this statement.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013  Jamaica Observer

CHEC turns down Fort Augusta development

PRIME Minister Portia Simpson Miller said yesterday that the decision by China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) not to proceed with plans to establish a new trans-shipment port at Fort Augusta — now serving as the island’s sole female prison — is not an abandonment of the project

http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/mobile/news/CHEC-turns-down-Fort-Augusta-development_14178090

So May of this year( 2013) our Prime Minister said the Chinese were no longer interested in Fort Augusta, the big question therefore becomes, when did the Prime Minister get this information and what other information did she get ?

If the Chinese conducted extensive studies on various project sites, would that have done this without the knowledge of the present government? The report we have says all these extensive studies were completed from as far back at August 2012 and Goat Island was selected as the preferred site for the hub from back then.

Can someone tell us therefore why the Prime Minister and by extension the Government kept feeding us the notion that Fort Augusta was being considered when at least a year before that the Chinese had rejected that site ?

Are we to believe that the Portia Simpson Miller led Government were not aware of the studies and the subsequent findings  and the preferred site of the Chinese was Goat Island ?

I think the answer to both questions is no and so it’s reasonable to assume  this Government lied to the people of Jamaica about its true intentions and choose to withhold information from the people of this country

The Government knew since August 2012 of the intention of the Chinese to use Goat Islands, but choose to carry out what I can only describe as an act of grand deception for a year, before dropping a hint of its intent while on Chinese soil.

This is reason enough to not trust this PNP Government, who appears willing to go at great length to deceive the people of this country.

Nothing from this Government on the real plans for Goat Island can be accepted without serious questions being asked.

The Government of Jamaica is not credible.

Mi haffi run now will finish this post later.

Is the JLP victory in Cassia Park a sign of No Confidence in the Leadership of the PNP?

The leadership of the People’s National Party (PNP) says a win in the Cassia Park by-election today would confirm that voters believe the party is the better choice to improve their quality of lives.  ( Jamaica Gleaner, Thursday, Aug 8, 2013).

If the above statement is true then by the laws of deduction, the following must also be true.

A loss in the Cassia Park by-elections today would confirm that voters no longer believes that the party (The PNP) is the better choice to improve their quality of lives.

Now that the voters went out and spoke via their votes, which was a rejection of the PNP candidate, it  can also be viewed as a sign that the average Jamaica is fed-up with the sorry state of affairs in the country and the quality of the   leadership or lack thereof being offered by this PNP lead administration. It also can be seen as a clear rejection of the party leader Portia Simpson Miller and her policies, which have done more to hurt rather than helping the poor of Jamaica.

The PNP leadership will no doubt go back to the drawing board and try to figure out what may have gone wrong with their election machinery with the hopes of ensuring this is a one off loss.

Andrew Holness and the hierarchy of the JLP must now rise off their laurels and move with haste to reach out to the down trodden people of Jamaica. They must use this loss by the PNP to tell the people of Jamaica, that this is a clear rejection of the policies of the PNP, which since coming to office. has made life very difficult for Jamaicans and nothing short of  a living nightmare.

They must spend the next few weeks moving around and starting to present themselves as a viable alternative , while cementing the point that less than 18 months after victory, the people have suffered so much, they now want to see the back of the PNP.  They must make the point that it has gotten so bad that poor people cannot even get to buy chicken back, which means 3 more years of the PNP could spell disaster for the country, as people could literally starve.

Before all of this is done however, the JLP must get the top right, there needs to be clear leadership at the top or they will risk losing this all in a hurry.

Commonsenseja is heartened by the position taken by the voters in Cassia Park , which appears to show they are more about substance than fluff.

Where is the sense of Urgency to fix our problems ?

I may sound like a broken record here, but I cannot help but ask, where is the sense of URGENCY to get the right things done in Jamaica.

This administration prior to coming into office spoke about the “progressive agenda”, its mouth pieces with access to media lauded it as one of the best documents that has ever been created in a long time.

Less than three years later, the progressive agenda appears to have been replaced by the IMF Agenda and once again the commentators are lauding this agenda as the best of that could have been negotiated at this point in time.

This government does not appear to buy into the notion that one should lead by example and therefore expects everyone to make whatever personal sacrifices that may be necessary to “save”
Jamaica, but they should not be called upon to share in the burden.

Our leaders in Jamaica have over the years been entitled to certain benefits that comes with the office/position they hold in government and those have only increased over the years with no commensurate improvement in the performance of the country in any area .

The education sector is a mess, but the government blame the teachers and not its failed policies for that failure.

The health sector is a mess, but government takes no responsibility for that and the excuse is we have no money to fix the system.

The transportation system is a mess and half of the fleet of buses are park out near lakes-pen, because we either have no money to fix then or something else.

The fire system is a mess, we do not have fire trucks because somehow we managed to buy trucks for which we cannot now get spare parts.

Rapid response trucks have disappeared, once again because we don’t have the money to fix them and cannot seem to find spares for these trucks

We buy regular stock cars for police and then wonder why after a few years, the cars are mere shells leaving our cops immobile.

We buy spanking new SUV’s of the best class for our politicians because they must travel in style in vehicles are are largely fuel inefficient, while these vehicles remain parked on Duke Street with ac running until the minister is ready to leave. We do all this because we have no money.

We borrow billions of dollars to build highways because once you do so investment will flow along these roadways, so this is a very good investment.

We borrow and build a convention center, because once you do this, we will be able to attract large conference at this location.

We build an airport at Boscobel, because by doing so we will be able to attract ” high roller” to Jamaica. Now that the high rollers are not coming, we should spend more to extend the runway and if that is done, we will be able to attract international flight to this airport.

We build a multi-billion dollar marina in Port Antonio, because once we do so, we will be able to attract mega size yatch to Port Antonio and the local economy will take off and it will “save” Jamaica.

Now we are being  convinced if we build a mega size logistics center somewhere in Jamaica making this the 4th such center in the world, money will flow into Jamaica like never before.

We were also told that we need to build a 360MW plant and that will drop electricity rates by upwards of 30%.

Which of the items above, which have been implemented has resulted in the gains, which we were told we were going to see and why have they all seemed to fail so far?

Now we should cut out study leave for teachers to upgrade themselves and save the country $2.5b, really ?

Ok, lets assume that the Minister is right ( I know he is wrong but for the sake of this argument, let’s assume he is), what is the plan for those phantoms savings ?

No one has cared to ask, because  the public has been lead to believe, teacher entitlement are unsustainable and this is part of the reason for students poor performance.

I am sure our nurses, policemen and other public sector workers head will be on the chopping block soon.

Mark you, I believe that the public sector ( and I am excluding teachers, nurse and the police) are filled with party faithful, who are non contributors and are instead taking from the country.

Why did we not start here and cut the waste ?

Well, we don’t want to upset the apple cart and cut loyal supporters, how could we do that?

I am fast losing hope that we can get it right, we have  some many persons who we called ” leader” but are totally lacking in vision or the conviction take the actions necessary to bring about meaningful change.

It will take a massive uprising to bring about any meaningful change in Jamaica.  I was told yesterday that, no such uprising will ever take place in Jamaica, so Jay that is just wishful thinking and things will remain as they are or get worse.

It’s not hurting us enough.

I am losing hope in Jamaica

For some reason this morning, I just was overcome with this feeling of what I can only describe as a sense of hopelessness.

It seems no matter how hard you try, not matter how much planning you put into what you do, rarely does anything seems to work the way its suppose to, the way it should work, they way it work elsewhere.

I do what I have been asked to do in terms of helping to move Jamaica forward. I pay my fair share of taxes, I pay my water, electricity, cable etc by making personal sacrifices and forgoing certain niceties in life, simply to ensure I do not have to borrow to meet recurring expenses.

As I drove into Kingston however and looked up at some of the power lines and in plain view you could see the wires that were thrown up , to steal electricity. These folks were stealing electricity in plain sight and had every single light that could be on, on while music played. These folks must have the feeling that they have a right to electricity and they should not be asked to pay for it because ” we need lite too”.

The garbage that is piled up and running unto the streets, the garbage piled up along the road side, drainage with what appeared to be sewage water, the horrific driving by what I must term as insane men , the running of the red lights, the cursing and honking of horns if you do not move off milliseconds after the light has gone from red to green, was simply too much.

You try to ignore all that is going on around you, but that is a very difficult task, because as much as you try, you will confront one of these road hogs once you go on the rd.

You have a car you try to sell by taking it to what is supposed to be a reputable car dealer, the guys sells the car, gives you a cheque that bounces like a basketball. You go back and confront the guy and he gives you excuse after excuse, before months later handing over to you a good cheque.

For decades this country has borrowed an insane amount of money and has spent it all, yet today Jamaica has nothing to show for it. (I am sorry, we have some really luxurious houses and the latest cars, SUV and the latest electronic gadgets)

On Page A11 of today’s Gleaner I see the report of the President of the Senate, who is migrating to Canada with his family . He was reported to have applied to migrate to Canada 5 yrs ago and now that the process is complete,  he has resigned as President of the senate to move to Canada.

As I reflect on what may have been going on in Mr Redwood’s head, given that in his position, he could be considered to be amongst the most fortunate in Jamaica. No doubt he is an educated man, had a reasonable decent and high profile job and as a politician he would have been afforded the trappings of life that many of us could only dream off, yet he has decided that Jamaica is no longer the place to live, work and raise a family.

Mr Redwood  is amongst the many fortunate ones who have an alternative and has decided to execute that alternative plan.

Many of us have no such alternative and as such will have to simply “tuff” it out and hope that one of the marauding gunmen out there don’t take what you have and end your life in the process, while comforted by the fact that the chances of being caught, tried and found guilty is about 20%.

I reflected on that new IMF “deal” and like I have done prior to the deal asked all the questions that I have asked before, what does this new deal represents in real terms, or what is going to be the end game in real terms.

Is there is a frame work that has been clearly laid out with specific scorecards at very specific points in time, which points to success, I have yet to see that and as such I have no way to track our progress.

Last night on TV I heard the new Chairman of the UDC KD Knight saying when he got to the UDC it was in bad shape but now that entity was on the “verge” of recovery. At the end of that statement he was given a hearty applause from the audience present.

I said to myself, what did he just say and what does he mean by the UDC is on the verge of recovery.

No financial information was presented to buttress his claim that the entity was in bad shape and how bad that was and neither was any information present on the current financial situation to support his claim that the said entity was on the verge of recovery.

We however do not mind this lack of data to make any informed analyses or decision, we instead are comforted by the mere announcement that ” they left it bad and we have now fixed it” that is how we seem to measure progress and performance in Jamaica. I keep lamenting the fact that as a country we keep applauding announcements and not performance .

Personally I do not see the economic, crime, manufacturing, agriculture, discipline or any other factor that can be used to determine a progress society getting any better in Jamaica over the next 10 years or maybe even more.

The residents of Jamaica CANNOT even decide on a single policy to improve anything in this country , there is nothing that binds this country together, NOTHING !

I have long lost faith in those placed in a position to lead, I have also lost faith in the private sector as a watch senior managers grab all they can for themselves and putting very little back into the companies to make themselves more competitive.

I see senior managers making decisions that are detrimental to the long-term financial health of the company, but which allows those at the top very significant benefits as they move to ensure that the reap as much as they can before demitting office.

I see managers foregoing investments that can improve productivity while lower operational cost, because there performance bonus is tied to how much money they can save the company, while the workers are asked to make ” blood out of stone” to make it work or risk being terminated.

I see Jamaica becoming  a place which would have descended to the likes of Somalia, unless decisive action is taking by all, not tomorrow, not next week, not next year but NOW!

The biggest drawback is that no one wants to hold themselves accountable as long as  you can come up with a good excuse why you had to do what you did, or conversely failing to do what you agreed to so.

I am at a very low low point today, but I am trying to keep my chin up because in the midst of doom and gloom lies opportunities.

I am less worried about myself as I am about those who are not in a position to make decisions that I can to make life better for themselves and their families. I take very little comfort in the fact that while I do not live a lavish lifestyle , I can survive.

My continued survival is however hinged greatly on those who don’t think they are in a position  do anything but the wrong thing to survive and as such I and many other like myself could very well become the next victim in the “Jamaican Jungle”

In this jungle is not only the fittest that survive, its the most ruthless and aggressive, who are willing to stop at nothing to “eat a food” be it a “big” food as in millions or a “small food”.

Is this the Jamaica we want to continue to live in ?

 

 

JPS no longer viable, theft is crippling it’s operation.

JPS today revealed that its no longer viable and creditors are about to pull the plug on the company because of its failure to maintain stipulated earnings to debt ratio. The company’s CEO indicated today, that JPS needed to maintain a earnings to debt ration of 3:1 and for the last  financial year they were unable  meet that target for any of the four quarters. The CEO indicted that they were given waiver after waiver, but with no improvement in the financial fortunes of the company, its creditors have decided to pull the plug.

The CEO revealed that the company paid over to the OUR approx US$20M in fines and that along with the rampant theft has pushed the company over the fiscal precipice.

I would like to use this medium to offer the JPS  a low cost method, that will not totally eliminate throw up but should help them reduce this area of theft.

I would suggest that JPS start the using PVC pipe to cover the distributions lines in the areas where theft are rampant, this would render throw up useless and though cheap would go a far way in reducing theft.

Over to you JPS.

Portia ” we know how to balance the lives of Jamaicans”

Portia Simpson Miller while in opposition had boldly declared.

” We must not only balance the books, we must also balance people’s  lives”

“Fiscal target  can’t eat and people can’t sleep on balance sheet”

 

Right now the Portia Simpson Miller administration sole focus is on achieving the fiscal target surplus of 7.5% as stipulated by the IMF.

What did Portia Simpson Miller say again about fiscal targets?

What the government has sought to done, in trying to meet ( not eat) this target is to raise taxes, raid every public sector company, while reducing real wages among the Jamaica population.

What a big lie that has been “sold” to the Jamaica people, who according to Audley Shaw are now showing signs of Kwashiorkor or  ” bang belly” using the Jamaican colloquial language. Of course Shaw was referring to the economy, but I think is just as good terminology for the people, who cannot now buy food with nutritional value, as the simply cannot afford it.

Our lives are a living nightmare under this PNP administration.  Wait a minute, who had promised to be Jamaican’s worst nightmare?

 

 

balancing act

 

Portia balancing people’s the lives of Jamaicans.

 

What a great job she has done thus far

 

P= Pain

N = N

P=Poor

 

 

 

Media should boycott all government functions until the PM meets the press!

The media needs to take a stand once and for all.

Enough of the crap from the Prime Minister and the Minister of Mis-Information

interview portia

Damn reporters !!

Credits to Clovis, Jamaica Observer

pORTIA

Credits to DA :

Portia will now agree to interviews but on her own terms :)

National Security Minister says” Only God can save Jamaica” !

Peter Bunting in an emotional presentation, where he almost shed tears said ” despite the efforts of the security forces, I am  convinced that only divine intervention, can solve Jamaica’s crime problem”

Mr Bunting said ” I am going through a dark path, I see the security forces working day and night and despite those efforts we are seeing very little headway in this crime fighting efforts. Despite the lack of success, I will keep moving on in the effort, knowing that I have support”

At one point in the presentation, Peter Bunting paused, fighting hard to hold back tears before continuing with his voice cracking as he tried desperately to avoid breaking down completely.

Was Peter Bunting appeal to a higher being and his emotional breakdown a sign of failure  and/or weakness or just a truism and an admission that Jamaica has gone beyond the point of no return and the PNP does not have the solution to our crime problem despite their (the PNP)  pronouncements in the past ?

Here is the video you all have been waiting for

http://www.cvmtv.com/videos_1.php?id=1061&section=watch

Roger Clarke, Bobby Pickersgill needs to go, plus more !

Portia Simpson Miller needs to make some changes to her large whatnot right now and move towards a smaller and more functional cabinet.

Robert Pickersgill for example is a perennial non-performer/under achiever  and should be dismissed forthwith, he is baggage and contributes nothing to the Jamaica and is a drag on the country finances.

Roger Clarke has seen better days, he is incapable on managing this most critical sector and needs to be dismissed before he permanently cripples the agricultural sector in Jamaica.

Anthony Hylton seems to have gone comatose and his tenure so far has brought nothing in terms of investments to Jamaica.  15 months may be a bit short, but I still have not heard of any plans to get investment into this country being enunciated  by this minister.

Phillip Paulwell could very well play the role of Information Minister, he has been the most vocal Cabinet Minister, making some sort of announcements each week, but really nothing appears to be gaining traction.

Dr Omar Davis needs to go also, he was a failure in Finance, has blown a lot of hot air about JDIP and corruption, even though what we have so far is mismanagement and not corruption. JEEP is wasting a lot of money as is evident on Mountain View Ave, where the side walks have been dug up and many folks are out there doing masonry work and who appears to have very little skills.

In the meantime, this major rd leading from “uptown” to the Airport is riddled with pot holes in the very area where we are spending millions for JEEP ( bolo) work.

He chooses to waste money fighting with the Contractor General who appears to be simply asking for some transparency in the procurement process and Dr Run wid it appears to want to have none of that. He is one arrogant individual who appears to be of the belief that he has all the answers.

AJ Nicholson had pledge to restore Jamaicans credibility  on the international scene, but with the multiplicity of problems we are having in Jamaica  which, are making the international news, I am not sure how much success he will have, given that the lotto scam alone has scarred us in a big way.  I have not seen a single thing he has done yet to improve Jamaica’s image here of abroad.

Peter Bunting has presided over 15 months of insecurity and seems incapable of even protecting himself, given the recent run in he had with criminal elements of the country. BTW with  all the shenanigans  that is occurring with this case, the lies and obfuscation  will allow a criminal to walk free or spend very little time in jail. Many persons have been asked to ” keep quiet” in this case , while the Minister at the same time is urging Jamaicans to speak out about crime, talk what they know as without their help, crime cannot be solved . What a paradox.

Dr Peter Phillips appears to have finally convinced the IMF, World Bank and the IDB, that we can take on more debt, repay these debts and grow the economy  while reducing our debt to GDP ratio, which is something which we have had a very poor record at so far.

He has also successively managed to add a further $200B to our massive unsustainable debt, while at the same time pledging  to reduce of Debt/GDP (ratio) by presenting a contractionary budget which, by all accounts will lead to lower levels of economic activity and thus  lower levels of GDP. That must be some new type of mathematics that I have not yet studied, but which many Jamaicans are of the view will work. He has yet to present a credible plan to Jamaica outlying the specific set of actions that will be taken to generate growth, but Jamaicans remain eternally hopeful.

We are a nation of optimist even in the face of a reality , which suggest that what we are hopeful about simply won’t happen, but a nuh nuttin man.

Portia Simspon-Miller in the meantime  just works, works and works,  goes in retreats, then comes out and go back to working, working, working  while remaining silent for the most part.

She is saving money by having two houses being maintained by the people of Jamaica and refuses the many request to travel overseas as she attempts to share in the sacrifice of the country. She at the same time is ensuring the takes care of those at up-park camp by raiding the NHT ( who said don’t touch poor people money again, can someone remind me) to build a multiple billion dollar building for the those who can make a difference in the security of the country should a revolt starts and appears to have made a move to increase her personal  security by allegedly purchasing two bulletproof vehicles . To heck with the rest of us, where our one bedroom door can be kicked in and gunmen pump in bullets and walk away, never having to worry about being caught.

Over in the JLP

Andrew Holness  as opposition leader is being a kitty, seems to have lost his gonads and is being brutalized by a rampant PNP.

Mike Henry  needs to call it at day and ride off into the sunset.

Karl Samuda  can hang up his boots and go enjoy his retirement

Pernel Charles should call it quits, he has nothing more to contribute to this country.

James Roberston though much younger has just too much baggage and should step aside , his names appears where no politician name should appear and it does so way too often.

Daryl Vaz , does not know when to speak and when to shut-up his persona makes him a very “unlikable” character, plus arrogance is his middle name.

Bwoy looking back at all the above, its seems like we should just fire those on the left and those on the right in parliament and start all over again, thus giving this country a chance to finally exhale.

In this regard I must agree and commend Omar Azan for being bold and calling a spade a spade.

I think I now know what Portia Simpson Miller wants to repeal the buggery law. It appears the move is being made, to make it legal to !#$#@# Jamaicans, by bending us over a barrel. :(

JLP a responsible or a very weak opposition ?

As I listened to the news and could not help but wondered aloud , is the JLP a responsible or simply just a very weak opposition. We were told that the PNP government would have added a  $3.00  tax on each liter of fuel, which should have come into effect this week. Last week, Petrojam in preparation for this additional burden lowered the fuel prices by an average $2.00 for each liter of fuel.

I had predicted that in the coming week, Petrojam would be adding back that $2.00 to avoid any public outcry, should $5.00 be added in one shot. Well today , like clock work, Petrojam added an average of $2.60 per liter of fuel, which would have in effect nullified the reprieve we received during the course of last week.

I decided to review this new tax that the PNP has proposed and look back at what I thought was a similar proposal which was made by the then JLP government and the response of the then opposition PNP and what I found was interesting.

April 21, 2011 

Gas Tax Rollback – Government Cuts Petrol Prices, PNP Calls Off Protest

 

THE BRUCE Golding administration yesterday rolled back the rate of ad valorem tax on fuel at the eleventh hour from 15 per cent to 10 per cent, effective Thursday, in an apparent bid to ward off national protests.

Following a marathon meeting of Cabinet, the Government stated that the temporary reduction in the gas tax would lower petrol prices by between $4 and $5 per litre.

The Opposition People’s National Party (PNP) yesterday signalled that it would take to the streets if the Government did not respond to calls by various interest groups to cap the tax on fuel.

This was what Wayne Jones, the President of the  Jamaica Civil Service Association (JCSA) was reported to have said of the then government

” “The Government needs to take urgent action to relieve Jamaicans of the pressures that are brought on by the constant increase in oil prices and the attendant inflation in the prices of goods and services that affect, in particular, the poorer people of the working class,” Jones pointed out.

“It’s a direct tax on the people, even though it is not being taken directly from their salary, because they must eat and they must travel and buy other services, and so to that extent, we believe the Government needs to reduce its take from the gas tax to bring some relief to the people,” Jones added.

Where is the voice of Wayne Jones today, is he still in Jamaica and if so is he still the President of the  Jamaica Civil Service Association (JCSA)

In the mean time Audrey Lecky, president of the Bakers’ Association of Jamaica, wants the Government to immediately place a ceiling on the gas tax.

“The gas tax affects bakers in two ways. It affects us in our production, and it affects us with our delivery. Every week, I face an increase in the cost on the road when the delivery is made,” she complained.

So the PNP in opposition was able to galvanize the people in protest against the government and force the government to make changes that was more palatable to the Jamaica people, but we did not even get a whimper from the JLP now in opposition ,  who seems out of touch and unable to rally the people against a rampant and fumbling PNP in government .

http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20110412/lead/lead1.html

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon

Courtesy : Jamaica Observer

Dan Rathers ” Enemy of the State” ?

Dan and his documentary has done more to damage Jamaica’s fragile tourism sector than anything anyone has done here in Jamaica for a long time.

The select senate committee blasted the Jamaican Government for not doing enough. Is our Prime Minister listening or does she tune out the negativity from the USA  media as  she does the Jamaican media.

By virtue of  what Dan Rathers and his team as CBS and their team did, can they be considered  as ” enemies of the state”.

CBS exposes Jamaica Lotto Scam !

(CBS News) It’s one of the biggest scams targeting seniors in the U.S. right now. Federal officials say “Jamaican lottery scams” are growing at an alarming rate, bilking the most vulnerable members of our population out of hundreds of millions of dollars a year.

 

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505263_162-57573750/inside-the-jamaican-lottery-scam-how-u.s-seniors-become-targets/

Just Hang up by Dan Rather expose` – Jamaica lotto scam

AXS-TV’s Dan Rather investigates Jamaican Lottery Fraud — scams totaling hundreds of millions of dollars affecting thousands of U.S. elderly.

http://news.yahoo.com/just-hang-up-191057908.html

 

updates

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSN1HYuUGPE&feature=youtu.be

What are the challenges we face, now that we have an IMF DEAL ?

The PNP government has now secured the “best possible” deal and so I would like to ask the very questions I had asked prior to the signing off of this “new” deal.

 

  1. What austerity measures can the people of Jamaica expect?
  2. How many persons in the public sector will lose their jobs?
  3. What new areas will be taxed and will we see the taxes in the areas already subjected to further  increases?
  4. Can we expect to see further reduction in the subvention to UWI ?
  5. Can we expect to see a re-introduction of the user fee policy in hospitals?
  6. Can we expect to see less money being allocated to PATH ?
  7. Can we expect to see a free fall in the Jamaican dollar ?
  8. Should we be looking for a rise in interest rates ?
  9. Can we expect to see removal of more items for the exempt and tax free list.
  10. Can we expect to see a reduction of tax free incentive provided to the hotel sector?
  11. Should we expect to see a massive cut in subsidies /incentives to businesses ?
  12. What is the IMF saying about the informal sector, which makes up 40% of the total economy and what commitment is the government making to significantly reduce the size of the informal sector.
  13. What additional changes can we expect in terms of comprehensive tax reform and simplification of the tax system.
  14. Pension reforms, when are we going to break the news to our teachers and public sector employees that not only will they see reduction in pensions benefits, but they can also expect removal of all those “special and departmental leaves” they have enjoyed for years as compensation for their rather low salaries.

What exactly is the expectation of the people of Jamaica, who are not involved in the negotiation process, but are expected to support it, once it has been inked.

 

Now as I asked in a previous thread after all that suffering that will come from 1 -14 above, is there a light at the end of the tunnel that is not a frieght train.

  1. How are we going to use the money from the IMF and the other multilateral organization to support economic growth.
  2. Where will this growth come from?
  3. Will it be services, manufacturing , mining, tourism , ICT and what steps are being put in place now to get these areas in the position to generate growth and increase our earnings ?
  4. What are we going to do about energy cost at US $0.41 per kwh, given the fact that JPS has clearly indicated, that we will never see the 40% reduction they had promised earlier via there US$360M,  LNG fired, power supply plant.
  5. Have we explored geothermal energy from bath in St Thomas , Milk River bath in Clarendon and other areas of Jamaica, where this is possible and utilize this energy to feed into the grid to serve the communities in these areas.
  6. We have spoken a lot about development of Verman field, Caymanas and the now the development of Fort Augustus  to coincide with the expansion of the Panama Canal, yet no tangible work has been done in any of these areas. If we are to really inject some serious money into the economy these are areas we really want to focus , but yet after 20yrs we are still ” talking”.
  7. We have spend billions to build highways, which I believe could have been better spent on anyone of the mega projects above, as these would have the potential to bring in money into the country over the long haul vs extracting money out of the country via toll charges.

Until Jamaicans decide that enough is enough, until we have decided we have enough of the talking heads and demand action nothing will change. It appears as if too many of us are too contented with eating a food today and possibly tomorrow, but not about the ability to sustain a steady income and benifits for our generation and the generation to come.

We have become so caught up in our narrow political corners that we have lost sight of reality and only see things today in shades of colour. The fear of being labelled one P or another has caused many who can help to stay away, because harm could come your way at any point in time, should you choose to lend support to the wrong party at any point in time.

The PNP Government will make no sacrifices !

  1. No reduction in the cabinet.
  2. No pay cut.
  3. Nothing about the actual letter of intent
  4. No details on public sector rationalization
  5. Debt exchange #2, was this a default as Dr Omar Davis called it back then?
  6. Mega projects, highway 2000 and Fort Augusta  ( Heard this before)
  7. Increase tax collections ( This is a must)

Really I have not really heard nothing about the PNP government doing anything to show they are willing to make an sacrifices for Jamaica.

  • We must do this
  • We must do that
  • We must do xyz.

Why not

  • We will to this
  • We will do that
  • We will do XYZ

Where is the commitment by the Government?

Really disappointing speech by both.

 

Courtesy: Jamaica Gleaner

 

Phillip Paulwell is about to “shell down d place” at Trinidad Carnival

Come tomorrow  night, both the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance, will jointly give us an update on the IMF agreement and news that a new deal has been inked. They will also be telling us, the sacrifices , which we will all need to make to get this country on a sustainable, growth path.

While many of us eyes will glued to the television, the Minister of Mining and  Energy eyes will be glued elsewhere as he revels in the what is considered to be the greatest show on earth , that is Trinidad Carnival 2013.  The real gyration of beautiful bodies whining to calypso music starts tomorrow , Carnival Monday and continue into Tuesday and ends at midnight Tuesday.

So while we all be bracing ourselves for the bitter medicine to come, this senior minister of the Portia lead PNP administration will be having a ball at Trinidad Carnival 2013.

Enjoy yourself Mr Paulwell afterall you have worked very hard over the last  year to bring down energy cost by 40%, so you deserve to be in Trinidad to spend our hard earned money , even though we cannot get a cubic meter of LNG from that oil rich country.

PNP politicians certainly know how to enjoy themselves while appealing to the masses of Jamaica that they truly care about their welfare and is doing all they can to ensure we get a better life.

No need for personal sacrifices , no way, the Jamaican population will understand that our hard working politicians needs timeout to enjoy themselves, after-all they have done a lot to make life a living hell for many of us.

Bruce may have been bad , but I am sure he would not have been making a public address of this nature and one of is key ministers, would have been drinking Vat 19 and pepsi, while listing to calypso music and gyrating on those lovely Trini girls. I know the feeling Mr Paulwell, trust me. I do miss Carnival Monday’s and Tuesday’s but I recognize that I have to stay here in Jamaica and fight to keep my head above the waters.

Clovis Toon

Courtesy : Jamaica Observer

Portia & Peter will address the nation tonight, what will they say ?

What will Portia say?

Well I will pull the speech I wrote on her behalf a month ago and lets see how close to reality I am after her nationwide address.

My fellow Jamaicans, I would like to set be frank with you on the true state of the IMF agreement. There has been a lot of talk in the public forum, with regards to the new agreement and my Finance Minister recently spoke at length to the issues currently preventing us from sealing the deal.

Dr Phillips had indicated that one of the preconditions of the deal was public sector rationalization and possible job reduction as well as tax increases. I as your Prime Minister would like to make it clear that we are not in favour to putting workers out of work or add to your already heavy tax burden, but we have very little choice, unless we make some fundamental changes. With that in mind, we are working to ensure that no jobs are lost, while still meeting IMF condition as it relates to public sector wages as a percent of GDP.

I am now happy to let you all know that after months of intense  negotiations between ourselves and the IMF we have now come to an agreement, which we believe is in the best interest of Jamaica. It was by no means an easy task and I must give kudos to my finance minister Dr Peter Phillips and his team for sticking to the task and in the end was able to hammer , what we believe to be the best deal possible at this point in time.

This deal, which we have agreed upon is not the be all and end all, instead its just the beginning and I am here to tell my fellows Jamaicans tonight that this is a mere step in the way to economic development for Jamaica. ( Recently added)

I am now throwing out a challenge to public sector workers, one that if you all take seriously could see every one of you keeping your job even as we go through these tough economic times.

I am challenging all public sector workers in the following areas:

  1. Show up to work daily on time.
  2. Deliver a full 8hrs at your jobs.
  3. Improve your overall efficiency on the job.
  4. Ensure you deliver excellent customer service.
  5. Ensure that all government transaction involving cash transaction are above board. By this I mean I want you to ensure that every $ collected by virtue of your jobs make it into the government coffers.
  6. Do not compete with the government in terms of the delivery of service and the collection of payments. I am not saying  you should not have a second job, what I am saying is, those amongst the group, which are collecting money by diverting work into their personal sphere must immediately stop doing so.
  7. I make a special appeal to those at the customs department and the Tax office to  ensure that all money collected at these agencies makes it into the government coffers.
  8. Those issue with government cars and who receive gas cards, these should only be used for official government purpose only and you must end the abuse.

In return, I promise that the increases in government revenue that results from your input in this regard, will be rewarded by NO job cuts. I will ensure that as Prime Minister that not one of you will use your job, if collectively you ensure that tax revenues for the fiscal year 2013/2014 exceeds the projected targets.

In addition as Prime Minister, I will ensure that the government will share with you the any increases above 15% of projected revenue target as a special one-time bonus in lieu of a salary increase.  In addition we will ensure that during the period of wage freeze, if you all work with us to ensure that revenue targets are exceeded year over year, we will ensure that you all will receive a special one off bonus at the end of each of the fiscal year, if our revenues exceed our projected by 15 % or more.

The time has come for all Jamaicans to make a concerted effort to get Jamaica back on the path to sustained development. We cannot rely on the IMF and the other multilateral agencies to keep coming to our rescue in terms of lending us money.

We must break the debt cycle, we are a courageous people and we all have it in us to do what is right to rescue Jamaica. I am making a special appeal to the opposition, civil society and all well thinking Jamaica’s to work with us to rescue Jamaica, we are capable, we are a strong people and we have done it before and we can do it again.

I say to those Jamaicans who are always looking to “beat” the system, let’s stop this selfish act and for once put Jamaica first. To those who do not pay their fair share of taxes, I say to you, come on board with us, declare accurately your true income and pay over your fair share.

For the misguided amongst us, who believes its ok, to under invoices,  make false declaration in terms of imports etc, I say, let end these actions as they only succeed in putting us in a position, where we have no choice but to increase taxes on everyone in order to meet our expenses.

Just think how much improvement we could make to our education system, the health system, national security,  our road network, water supply system, transportation etc.How nice would it be not having to increase any taxes for the next 4 yrs that we are in government, it is possible but only if we play our part.

I want the entire nation to form an alliance with the government, because we must break the debt cycle. Just think how much of the increase revenues could be used to retire out debts, thereby reducing the percentage of the budget that goes to pay our debt. These funds could be used to provide the country with improve service, which is what many Jamaicans are crying out for.

I am therefore making a special appeal to all Jamaicans to become a part of the system, because this is the only way Jamaica is going to dig itself out of the present economic crises and put itself on the path to economic sustainability.As a government we are committed to solve our problems. To show our commitment  to you the people of this country that we are serious in sharing your pain and working with you in get the country back on track, we as a cabinet has decide on the following:

  1. The entire cabinet will on April 1, 2013 take a 10% cut in our salaries.
  2. All government vehicles will now have to be kept for 5 years before they can be sold to its owners and they will now be sold at market rates.
  3. We will create a pool of vehicles from which, government workers including incoming minsters; will have to pull from to reduce the need to purchase new vehicles every time there is a change in administration.
  4. Come, April 1, 2013, the government of Jamaica will no longer provide free housing for Cabinet Minister, instead an housing allowance will be paid in keeping with the provisions that exist in the public sector.
  5. We will cut the number cut the number of special advisors and consultant assigned to each minister by 50% as we move to keep the system lean.

I believe that these measure as well as your input, will go a far we in reducing our reliance on outside assistance to get our economy on track. Times are tough, but as I  said before we are a resilient people, we can achieve greatness once we set our minds to it. We are world beater in the world of sports, we are trend setters in music, and we have the capacity to be the greatest little nation on the planet.

I make a solemn promise to you that I will do everything I can to ensure that economic wealth trickles down to the very man in the street, because there is no point speaking about 3 – 5% growth if the average man cannot feel it in his personal life.

In closing, I hope that those watching or listening to this broadcast will decide that the time for change is now and will join us on the road to economic recovery.

May God bless you all and may God bless Jamaica.

Good night.

Who is truly the enemy of the state ?

  1. Portia lashes in the JLP – 2011

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYlJB0GapJA

 

2.  Portia says tell the country what will occur  if we have an IMF deal

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ks5HEUVzTMc

 

3.  Portia lashes JLP on the economy

http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20090202/lead/lead4.html

 

more to come…

Portia is bad for Jamaica’s image, when will she resign ?

In another instance of lack of self-control, when speaking to supporters, the Prime Minister launched into another one of her tirades during , which she equated the leader of the opposition as an “enemy of the state”. I am not even sure the PM really understands what that means or she would have never said it.

This is  a woman who refuses to speak on the economy or anything to do with the direction of the country, but will jump up and down once the leader of the opposition opens his mouth and criticizes her inept administration.

PSM should stop embarrassing herself and Jamaica and resign before she succeeds in getting us to where Haiti is today.  I received a call today from a friend overseas, asking if our PM is healthy and sane, because only an insane person, would make such a suggestion when criticized.

I simply said, Jamaicans have  a love affair with crudeness and buffoonery and this is what this PM represents.

 

 

PNP attacking the poor since returning to power.

The policies of this PNP administration have done more to hurt than helping the poor and here are a few quick examples.

  1. Largest tax package in the history of Jamaica in 2012.
  2. Tax on poor people lunch , patties
  3. Hike in fees.
  4. Massive hike in clearance cost for barrels
  5. 100% hike in market fees on poor vendors
  6. Massive hike in bill board fees
  7.  Plans to return to user fees in the health sector
  8. Cut in education for the poor.
  9. Hike in school fees  – no more free education for the poor

Coming up

Extreme pain for the poor  given the long delay in the government securing a deal and administering the bitter medicine..

PJ Patterson was our longest serving PM and he succeeded in total destruction of the middle class and working class manufacturing and agricultural sector and with  that , all those  jobs. He presided over the biggest transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich, yet he won 4 times on the trot.

Jamaicans in particular the poor surely seem to like hardship, despite what they say.

PNP policies have been mostly regressive and NOT progressive at all.

The hardest life I have lived have all been under a PNP lead Government.

As I reflected on the struggles of my life, I came to the stark realization, that the toughest time in my entire life have occurred under a PNP lead Government and that is MY EXPERIENCE !

1972 – 1980

  1. Massive food shortages.
  2. Inability to purchase basic food items.
  3. Marrying of goods due to food shortages.
  4. Flat broke and going to bed hungry on many occasions. 

 

1990’s

  1. Lost most of my savings
  2. Massive investment losses in stock market and investment firms.
  3. High level of inflation resulting in massive price increases.

 

2000’s

  1. While I did not suffer any loses, many I know  lost firstly in the Fast cash schemes in western Jamaica.
  2. Many lost millions in the alternative investment schemes.
  3. Forced to flee Jamaica ( for a period of time, as it was too rough).

 

2007-2011 – Biggest recessions in modern history, I suffered minimal losses, despite the fact that the world was in a recession. 13 qtrs of negative growth, but despite that, I came out of this period virtually unscathed .

2012 -20XX

Its started all over again, it seems “like we head hard”, we have not learned from our past experiences and seem set to do it all over again.

THIS HAS BEEN MY EXPERIENCE !!!

 

The other thing I have noted, is some of the most undesirable behaviour appears to start and/or  flourish under the PNP.

  1. Quick Cash
  2. Alternative Investment Schemes
  3. Lotto Scam
  4. Cash for Gold
  5. Scrap Metal Trade
  6. and now Charcoal exports.

 

Is it me or what ?

Are Jamaicans really serious about good governance ?

I had to ask myself this question, ” are Jamaicans really serious about good governance”?

I  compare Jamaica quite often to other Caribbean countries in particular Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago, which have a similar constitution to us given they adopted the system from Britain as in our case.

`Once again I will look at a couple fundamental issues , which I have looked at before.

  1. Barbados has a literacy rate of 99.7%
  2. Barbados per capita income is in the region of US$25,000 per annum
  3. Barbados has been classified as a developed country.
  4. Barbados has few natural resources and tourism is their main source of income.

 

Now look at the paradox as it relates to Jamaica and Barbados.

Barbados cannot afford to buy expensive SUV for its ministers and does not.

 

Jamaica can afford to buy expensive SUV for its ministers and does.
Barbados cannot afford to provide free houses for its ministers and does not.

 

Jamaica can afford and provides free housing for its ministers.
Barbados can afford to and provides free education up to University levels for its children.

 

Jamaica cannot afford free education for its kids and neither can we properly compensate its teachers at any level.
Barbados can afford to and provides free healthcare for its people. Jamaica cannot afford free healthcare for its people and so the overtaxed and over burden taxpayers must pay for the service.

 

Barbados can afford to and has fixed its exchange rate to the US$.  US$1.00 = BDS$2.0 for over 20 yrs

 

Jamaica cannot afford to fix its exchange rate and its moved from US$1.00 = JA$0.78 , to US$1.00 to JA$93.50 in  35yrs
Barbados can pay its bills and does.

 

Jamaica cannot pay its bills and keeps borrowing to pay it bills.
Barbadians are educated

 

Jamaicans are smart .

 

What is wrong with the above picture ?

Hmm is something wrong with the above picture, because it certainly appears to me that its time to change the “game”.

 

Jamaica longing for a real leader and a competent Prime Minister.

I did not present my review of the Prime Minister’s speech because I knew what to expect unlike many commentators, analyst and bloggers, who are very disappointed in the Prime Minister’s address to the nation.

I have come to the realization a very long time ago that the current Prime Minister was not capable and would have failed miserably in the current position, so no surprises here for me. What I hope for Jamaica’s sake is, she will resign in a hurry and hand over the reigns to someone in her party who is more capable than she is, because we cannot wait for another four years of what transpired ( more like did not transpire) during the last year.

Come 2016, the PNP would have lead Jamaica for 23 yrs out of the last 27 years and a for such a good winning record, Jamaica should have been the most economically advance country in the Caribbean given the stability of “leadership”, but sadly the reverse is true.

Many comrades are very disappointed, because the “tightness” ( as they call it) that was implemented in some areas, where people used to run with it, have been maintained much to the dismay of many, who had expected by now, that they would have been able to purchase ” oxtail and pork”.

The PNP election win could not have occurred at a worst time, because the script was to have the JLP administer the bitter medicine in 2012, prior to an election, but the inexperienced Andrew Holness called the elections and lost leaving the PNP in a quandary, having now to face the music and administer what is now not bitter medicine, but surgery !

The people are calling for the PM to tell them what is going on, which clearly shows, that those making this call is out of touch with the Jamaican reality. They either are in denial or are too mischievousness in asking someone who has no clue of what is going on in the world, to tell us(them) the truth.

The current PM did not mince words, she replied and told us ” I does not even listen to or watch the news, I leave that to my husband, who will them advise me” ( or words to that effect)

Maybe the current Prime Minster should step aside now and hand over the reigns of leadership of the  country to Mr Miller, who clearly  is more aware  and was by all accounts a very good manager and Cable and Wireless back in the days.

I can tell you this, Jamaica has become the laughing stock of the entire Caribbean and its people are constantly being ridicule at the ports of entry all over the world, where people are questioning “if yard so nice”, why are they running to the Eastern Caribbean in search of a better life and a chance that they will actually live to enjoy their earnings.

I hope we end this love affair with Portia Simpson Miller very soon and ask her and the other relics in the PNP to demit office and give the country a fighting chance of growing itself out of the economic malaise they have put us in over the last 19.5 yrs.

I am very surprised that after 12 months of waiting, Jamaicans have finally woken up and began to speak, it late ,but as my grand folks used to say, ” its never too late for a shower of rain”

It simply embarrassing to say the least !

 

Thought For Today.

Most people fail in life not because they aim too high and miss, but because they aim too low and hit.

Les Brown

 

 

 

IMF nudging Jamaica for JDX #2 !

We have information, which is suggesting that the IMF is nudging the GOJ to go for JDX#2. We also have learnt that the GOJ have approached the local financial institutions who are vehemently opposed to another debt exchange.

We have learnt that the IMF has suggested a 10% hair cut on the principal of the debt owing, but the Management of the local financial institutions have indicated they will have none of it, which is really creating a headache for the government as it tries to secure a new deal.

More info to come….

The PNP while in opposition was vehemently opposed to any debt exchange. Below is a statement from then opposition spokesman on Finance  Dr Omar Davis .

MAY 4, 2011

THE Opposition People’s National Party yesterday warned the Government against trying to ‘pull off’ a second Jamaica Debt Exchange such as the one carried out last year. 

“I say very, very calmly and with all good intentions to the minister, let us not even contemplate taking any such step, I am referring to the possibility of a JDX 2,” Dr Davies said.

https://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Opposition-says-no-to-second-JDX_8750607

Chicago Tribune on Jamaica Debt Hurricane !

Americans concerned about the impact of public debt on the global recovery have focused — with good reason — on Greece. Closer to home, however, the tourism mecca of Jamaica illustrates the catastrophic effects of borrowing way too much, and the painful choices that follow. This saga, less familiar than Greece’s, is a lesson for lawmakers in the U.S. and elsewhere.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/ct-edit-jamaica-0108-jm-20130108,0,6500520.story

 

Why is the PNP having such a hard time getting an IMF agreement ?

I will try once again to take the usual discussion to a new level to Test the water and bring a entirely new perspective to what is now a major crises for business in Jamaica.

The PNP in 2011 had indicated that the JLP had failed to carry out certain structural adjustments required by the IMF , which were critical to the country’s economic health and as such the existing deal which had being negotiated in  7 months was all but dead.

Portia and her people instead indicating that should they win, they would have a brand new agreement signed and would put the Jamaican economy on sound footing. Well a year has passed and no agreement has been signed and the private sector as well as outside investors are sitting on their hands waiting for something to happen.

The present Finance  Minister has lost a lot of credibility on this issue , having indicated their were no sticking points, then to indicate their were in fact two major sticking points while at the same time failing (lying ) to tell the none demanding public about the third and most explosive sticking point, which would have been the public sector issue.

What the Government appears to have not yet  come to terms with is we live in a Global environment and news in Jamaica is accessible to anyone anywhere in the world, including the very people he is negotiating with and his words must be credible and he is not just talking to us anymore.

Now anyone who goes into a bank to secure a loan for anything MUST ABSOLUTELY present verifiable documentation , as well as the ability to pay either by your rate of pay aka show me your payslips, or sales projections and income statements if you are borrowing for a business. If you satisfy those criteria you get the loan, if you cannot meet the conditions, you will not get the desired agreement.

The government as part of the precondition would have no doubt be asked to prepare a credible plan to justify the loan its seeking and also would have been asked to demonstrate its commitment in some way shape or form. The fact is that 12 months have passed and we appear to have been unable to create a credible plan for just a few guys, which would have allowed them to sign off on our loan.

If our Finance Minister as an extension of the government CANNOT or appears incapable of creating a economic /financial plan to satisfy a hand full of persons , tell me seriously, how can they realistically prepare a  credible plan that will help the population of 2.7m to attain economic prosperity.

Our economist and commentator suggested to us a year ago that the Progressive Agenda done by the PNP was the best thing for the country and one of the best development plans ever written, so can someone tell me why the government would not have been able to use this plan or subsets of this plan and present it to the IMF ?

If they did in fact do so, can one therefore assume that it was not credible and/or many aspects were not achievable and hence it was rejected by the IMF team, which has forced the GOJ to create a new plan that meets the dictates of the IMF?

I don’t have the answers and I doubt the PM in her address on Sunday will speak to the real issues holding up the deal, but for me the writing is already on the wall.  The IMF believes we have a serious CREDIBILITY problem and GOJ  have made that worst by the Finance Minister constant feeding of misinformation to the gullible Jamaican public, who for the most part will not question anything.

If you are in discussion with someone and then that “someone” passes off misinformation to the public coming out of that those discussions,  how could you possibly trust that persons when it comes unto the next round of discussions, all you see is a person who is not credible.

The government of Jamaica lead by Portia Simpson Miller has a serious credibility problem and we can no longer bury our heads under the sand and think it will go away. The OCG says it, transparency international keeps saying it, the IMF has seen it and do not think those multilateral organizations are taking note. The only persons who think ” yah so nice and a nuh nuttin” are the those blinded by loyal support for their party, who have collectively lost sight of right and wrong or good and bad or excellent performance and mediocrity.

The IMF is holding the feet of these guys to the fire and holding them accountable and pushing them to demonstrate their commitments to honouring the agreements by doing some things up front.  Why is it so difficult for Jamaicans to do the same thing as it relates to the performance of our leaders and extension the GOJ?

We need  a Horace Burrell as leader, where performance targets are set and action is taken where such performance is not forthcoming.

Lessons from Traffic Ticket Amensty

The GOJ indicated that just over $2b was owed by motorist and collected just over $340m during the 6 months long amnesty  which just ended. The reports indicated that close to 60% of that amount was collected in the last two weeks of December as many persons rushed to pay, due to fear of being locked up.

What is interesting is that many persons who had already paid their fines and who saw their name on the website paid a second time because they could not find their receipts to indicate they had made good on their payments.

What I have learnt are the following ( not that I did not know before)

  1. NEVER discard any paperwork in relation to ANY thing to do with the GOJ , be it payment, correspondence written ( as in hard copy)  or electronic.
  2. NEVER trust the GOJ or any public sector organization.

The biggest lesson for me however the the gross levels of disorganization that appears to exist in the public sector ESPECIALLY in the accounting for TAX PAYERS MONEY.

Did you all notice that while the GOJ via the tax office or traffic dept,  appears to have all information on tickets issued and amounts owed, the record on the receipts or payments made was extremely disorganized. The fact that the former appears to have been ok and later was not , suggest that while we are capable of doing the right thing, we simple choose not to.

There is  a very good reason for this , as in chaos and confusion its easy to steal and for corruption to flourish  unabated. The traffic ticket situation on the receipts side , points either to theft , corruption or some gross misconduct on the part of those involved at the tax collecterate across the length and breath of the country as well as those at the traffic courts.

I am off the firm belief that possibly over $1.5b of the $2b was actually paid over the period and remains unaccounted for due to possible theft or extremely poor record keeping, but somehow I think its the former and not the later by virtue of what I mentioned above. ( We had record of the tickets and amounts owed)

Now how many more cases do we have in Jamaican of billions of dollars that were paid by tax payers for property taxes and any other taxes, which if reconciled today for the last 10 – 15 years could be properly accounted for. It would appear to me that the GOJ could be  losing billions of dollars in the public sector due to rampant theft and persons are getting away with it left right and center.

While I have no empirical evidence to support the other areas, the tax amnesty issues has sent up a red flag for me and may I suggest that we conduct some in-depth audits, to really see how much is being paid over for various taxes by the people of Jamaica and how much money is actually being recorded as receipts by the GOJ.

Folks hold unto to your land tax receipts, that is another area that is showing a problem as we speak, where taxes have been paid but on the website of the Inland Revenue Dept ( Tax Administration Jamaica), they are showing up as unpaid.

Be on the look out and once again don’t trust these agencies.

Will anyone be held accountable here, I doubt it, just business as usual ” cuz a nuh nuttin”

Bless

 

Portia Simpson and the PNP were always going to be a failure !

I think more and more Jamaicans have now finally come to the realization of how poor a leadership is being provided by the PNP under the leadership of the Portia Simpson Miller.

I always knew the PNP and in particular PSM were NEVER up to the task and it would only be a short time in leadership before their abject failure would have become apparent. This time around it took just 100 days before the signs of failure was seen and less than a yr before the entire economy started to unravel.

Just about every key indicator  required for  economic stabilization and growth has been headed in the wrong direction under the leaderless PNP and heading worse as the days go by.

Many persons who I have spoken to this part year are less hopeful about the future of this country and are seriously considering leaving this wretched place. I spoke to two families who left the shores of Jamaica two weeks ago and they have expressed how “stress free” they have been in the two weeks since leaving Jamaica.

No frustration with the lawless taxi drivers who drive on the wrong side of the road, no bus-men who makes a third lane where none exist in their efforts to beat the  traffic jam, no need to worry about those drivers in Jamaica, who does not believe in obeying traffic signals and instead chooses to speed up once the light goes from green to amber. The biggest thing these folks spoke about was how disciplined the people were in the communities in which they lived and how clean the cities were.

One family expressed the view that Jamaica is appears to be beyond the point of no return, but things could be turned around not by education by but by a tough and no nonsense leader whose focus is on Jamaica and not on themselves of their party. The man said ” Jay, I really am sad on what Jamaica represents today and honestly at this stage I want nothing to do with those indisciplined folks where I used to call home. I may sound bitter and I am because its obvious that most Jamaicans appears to be  comfortable what I can only best term as a “hog pen” , where everyone has their snout in the trough, taking what they can before the “food run out”. Jay just drive around Kingston and look how filthy the place is, do persons look uncomfortable or do they appear to be at ease with the conditions. I have had it with that place and wish for you and others that by some miracle, you all get a leader who has vision and will lead. I am not very hopeful however as this decadence that exist cannot be turned around in 5yrs and that is all the time he will get before be kicked out of office”.

Jamaica in Crises …….

Jamaica closer to the brink than we can all imagine.

After today’s conversation, with some persons in the “know” I am worried beyond belief as to what is coming our way in the new year. I heard stuff that I simply cannot write to avoid being accused of stirring up things in what is left of the country that Jamaica used to be.

Its downright scary and that is all I will say for now and I hope that what I heard is not true (wishful thinking).

When a minister is willing to “free up” a destructive trade to satisfy his boss /party as well as stave of threat from certain quarter, you know things have gone from bad to worse.

I hate to say this, but its NOT looking  good folks, even for a harsh critic as myself I am a point now where I may have to hold back some information to avoid certain panic in  some circles .

Jamaica in Crises was the title of the thread I was working on, but not sure I should publish it at this stage, so will play it by ear for now.

It will take a non-career politician to rescue Jamaica

The PNP and JLP are filled with persons, who have considered politics to be a career and  will do what is required to keep that career alive.

This is certainly not what Jamaica needs at this stage, as it tries to extract itself from the precarious position it finds itself in today. Jamaica needs someone who is willing to turn the system on its head and shake the system to core, to bring about  changes required to turn the system around in Jamaica .

Jamaica is not only stink and dirty in terms of its physical appearance , particularly in the cites, but this is sadly a reflection of the political system in the country.  Today Jamaica is one corrupt country, where the rule of law and order  is virtually non-existent and those who strive to do the right, appears to be the odd folks in the “party” of corruption.

Jamaica appears more to be a land mass than a country with an effective government, laws that are  enforced , a justice system that delivers justice, an education system that educates the masses and a economic system that generates wealth for its inhabitants. Without the above I am not sure we can call this place a country anymore, but sadly too many of us see no problems at all as long as we can eat a food.

It will take someone who has no long term political ambitions , supported by persons on the land whom have no political interest to really bring fundamental changes truly required to rescue this country. This individual must paint a picture of what a well run country should look like and all the benefits the people can gained from a radically shake up of this current system or lack there of.

This individual must be willing to be frank , honest and forthright with the people of Jamaica, while being respectful. We must be told what  the short term pain that will be suffered, while these changes are being implement, while showing the road map and stages along the way that, we must stop, access and continue the trek forward to get to the stage where we can truly call Jamaica a country, where one can live and work and where you no longer seem the odd one out when you follow the rules.

The sad thing with all I have mentioned above is that Jamaicans appears for the most part to be satisfied with the ineffective leadership being offered by both the JLP/PNP and are unwilling to give any other political party a chance at governance in Jamaica . It beats me, that a land mass, where the people have suffered so much abuse at the hands of both the JLP/PNP are only too willing to switch back and forth between these two sets of parties for no other practical reasons except (a) either one allows it members to “eat a food” if its in power  (b) I am born JLP/PNP or (c) I don’t like folks from the other party.

The end result of the above is that NO ONE from either of the two parties are willing to step forward and turn the system on its head for JAMAICA, once and for all. There is simply no incentive to do so if you are a career politician [as] all you have to do is, sit and wait for either the party to fail( which means failure of the country) or for the people to become fed-up with the ruling party and BINGO you are in power , without even presenting a credible and sustainable plan for governance.

Who stands willing today to OVERTURN the existing system and show Jamaicans, what Jamaica can become, given its potential ?

Are Jamaicans ready for this REVOLUTION ???

Middle and Upper Class are largely responsible for Jamaica’s dilemma

The Jamaican electorate is largely believed to vote straight across party lines and not on those fundamental issues affecting the country.

During periods of elections it’s largely the diehard, semi-illiterate, under/uneducated and unemployed that follow these guys around and jumping up and down to music and listen to blah blah blah form the politicians.

These folks are interested in but a few things

  •  How the money will flow.
  • Whether or not they will get to “ eat a food” off dem MP.

Fundamental issues such as the long term health of the economy, financial stability are some of the furthest things from their minds as it’s really about survival from today to tomorrow and can one really blame them?

The educated amongst us with our degrees have done a GREAT disservice to this country, buy OUR collective failure (and I am including myself here) to become more involved in the process.We have become disengaged from the process, refusing to vote and therefore has allowed those least educated and knowledgeable amongst us to collectively decide who governs this country.

The PNP has the most garrisons in Jamaica, which means that party has the largest collection of diehard voters , who once they turn out in their numbers, will almost always guarantee the PNP a victory at the polls.Now don’t get me wrong I am not suggesting the PNP does not contain highly educated persons, no that is not case.

Those amongst us with our many degrees have largely become focused on earning as much as we can for ourselves and have paid very little attention to and refuse to share knowledge with the many that are unable to read and understand the serious issues affecting the country.

Should we while we earning our millions (nothing wrong with that) if we spend some more time in an non-partisan manner offering information based on our areas of studies as well as knowledge we have picked up along the way, this could make a huge difference to our nation.

An educated and knowledge based population will always be in a better position to look at the issues and make better decisions as it relates to the affairs of the country and therefore it behooves us to get more involved.

I started the blog with a view of providing a contrarian approach to many issues and take on the establish media house in terms of the dissemination of information.  In addition I decided that I would take on whatever government is in power and present to readers, not only my views on various government policies, but also exposure scandals and or corrupt acts wherever they exist. My disappointment however has been many of educated persons who happens to be readers and or commentators has sought to take many of the views presented personally and/or an attack on their party of choice thus missing in many cases the message that was being carried.

If the educated amongst us have a difficulty looking at the issues and make rational decisions and or comments based solely on the data presented, then how can we truly expect those with lower levels of intellects to act?

Nightmare in opposition and worse nightmare in government !

The president of the PNP, while in opposition promised the then government and people of Jamaica, that following her loss, she would be ” your (meaning our) worst nightmare”.

Portia and the PNP were true to word and opposed virtually everything the JLP did including their refusal to take a salary cut, when government members make a symbolic gesture in taking a 10% reduction in their salaries.

As it approaches a yr since the PNP trounced the JLP at the polls, the situation in Jamaica is as bad as it could get. The NIR continues its free fall and the dollars has literally ran away and now is trading at its  highest level ever.

The finance minister is not sure of his next move, while the PM continues to attend only opening ceremonies and cut ribbons .Yesterday she signed an agreement to build more barracks at up park camp, while her Minister of National Security says we have no money to effect repairs to derelict buildings used to house our hard working cops.

Why would the PM make such a move at this time, is it because there is a strong under current flowing and so this was being done to keep members of the JDF happy and so not become a part of what could occur if changes are not made quickly ?

The private sector has warned Jamaicans to brace for massive price increases as the dollar continues to slide, with persons buy the greenback for upwards of $95.

I did warn from as far back as May that this would occur but as usual our economist and financial analyst continues to “fool-up” the under-educated or refuse to speak on national issues without politicizing the issues.

The PNP showed me how good they were with the economy during their 18.5 yrs of unbroken leadership or lack thereof. During this time, while  every country was growing by leaps and  bounds , Jamaica registered meager or no growth at all.

It would therefore be foolish for any well thinking persons, to believe that a party which could hardly devise policies to grow the economy when worldwide growth was exploding, could possibly come up with any sensible growth plan in a worldwide recession.

I am therefore seeing exactly what I not only expected, but predicted would have happen should the PNP be given the opportunity to once again lead Jamaica after such  a dismal performance at the “crease”, but amazingly, Jamaicans did just that.

I can only lay blame for our predicament at the feet of the middle and upper income folks, who largely stayed away from the polls and allowed the EAF mentality  people to hijack the process and has allowed the PNP to take us  once again down the path to economic decline.

For the way forward we need national consensus on number of fundamental issues. These should be able to withstand not only the test of time, but should remain as items that MUST be achieved regardless of whom is in power and any changes being proposed must be brought to the people of this country for our stamp of approval.

Enough of this BULLS##T , where we sit and wait for one party to fail so another can come in and wait for the other to fail , so it now can  be elected to power. This destructive type of politics , which we have practiced for the last 50yrs has now brought us to the edge of a revolt and must be changed , not by the politicians but by the NATIONALS of Jamaica !

The time for change is now, ENOUGH of  the talk, its now time for serious ACTION.

 

Jamaica at a standstill, waiting on an IMF deal?

After a period of 50 yrs of independence, Jamaica has found itself in a position, in which it cannot fend for itself.

We boast on our Caribbean nations about the size of our mansions, our expensive rides, fancy clothes and expensive gadgets, while being unable to feed ourselves or pay our bills.

Caribbean nations such as Barbados, with not very many natural resources has managed to attain developed country status and boast a very literate population, with almost 100% literacy rate.

Trinidad and Tobago has managed to make the most of its natural resources, with most of its being owned by the people of Trinidad and Tobago and is very close to attaining developed nation status and would thus become the second country in the Caribbean to attain such a feat.

Now look at the stark difference between these two countries and Jamaica. We have very huge house and the latest rides as mentioned above, but earn on average less 1/3 of what the persons in Barbados or even Trinidad earns.

These two countries have managed over the years to build industries than not only provide employment for its people, but has allowed those countries to earn significant amounts of foreign exchange and educate its people.

Barbados has employed a fix exchange rate of $2.00 Bds to US$1.00 for many years, but our smart guys (economist and financial analysts) in Jamaica are insisting that pegging the dollars to the US$ will bring no benefit to the people of Jamaica, really? So tell me what Barbados and the 9 strong Eastern Caribbean Union knows that we don’t.

Now if I were to look at the realities of Jamaica and Barbados and look at the literacy rates which are 87.9% and 99.7% respectively, as well as the per capita income US$25,000 vs US$8,900 it does not take much to figure out who is obviously better/smarter than whom.

So while Jamaica remains in a rut, with very little or no growth, countries in the Eastern Caribbean (9) have maintained a fix exchange rate of 1US$ = $2.7EC for over 25 yrs and the benefits have been obvious, yes I lived the experience. Trinidad has a floating exchange rate, but due to its oil exploits it has not seen the heavy levels of devaluations that Jamaica has seen.

Jamaica stands out like a lone wolf, hell bent on charting a course that will ultimately lead to the people revolting, because we simply cannot continue on this no growth and heavy borrowing path.  The IMF only opens the way to increase borrowing and this certainly will not take us to the land of Milk and Honey.

Jamaicans are no longer prepared “ band we belly” and make sacrifices so our leaders can live a life of opulence and drive around in expensive SUV’s, those days are fast coming to and end.

So my question for my readers out there is “ what are we really waiting on the IMF for, what benefits are to be derived from this much anticipated agreement and how will that improve the lives of the average Jamaican”.

The Barbados finance minister was right, we are a bunch of idiots, who keep on doing the same thing and expect a different result.

We can snub our noses at the Bajans in their small board houses and boast of our “living large” ways, but the reality is, it will all come crashing down very soon unless we make radical changes to move this country forward once and for all and on a sustainable growth path, that will bring benefits to the average Jamaican.

Life and Debt, Jamaica and the IMF( Video)

This is worth watching as we seek to sign another agreement with the IMF, which will lead us NOWHERE , or should I say in a worst position than we are today.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPyzNH-JcEc&feature=related

Where is the growth plan Dr Phillips

I swear that Jamaicans as much as we pretend to be very smart( more like outsmarting others) we are not very knowledgeable in the area of Finance and Economics and as such rely on those who we believe posses more knowledge to help guide us along the way.

I say this against the background of how the alternative investment schemes, many of which were promising astronomical figure of 10% per mth, (which  translated to over 200% per annum ) could have taken off and flourished right here in Jamaica and was very well supported.

Many persons could not see that their was no investment scheme on the planet that could have given such return and thus the AIS would have collapsed all on its own. In the face of mounting criticism of these schemes by noted persons in the banking sector as well as the FSC, Jamaicans were convinced that these persons and or entities just wanted to prevent them from ” eating a food”.

Fast track to today, where in today’s observer Dr Peter Phillips is quoted as saying ”  I am confident IMF agreement will facilitate growth”.

Now on what basis can Dr Phillips make such a statement and can he really be taken seriously.
Where is the “growth plan” that has been formulated by the government, that will “kick in” once the IMF agreement has been signed.

  1. What areas have been targeted in this plan
  2. What are the various strategies that will be employed in each focal area
  3. What levels of growth are we expecting
  4. Do we have deals that only need to be inked once the IMF gives us the green light.
  5. How much FDI do we expect to flow in to support this plan.

These are just a  the few questions that comes to mind and these are the types of questions we Jamaican need to ask and demand answers to, if we are going to ever hold these guys accountable.

I will not be a mushroom like some persons, who are satisfied with mere pronouncements of economic recovery on the horizon, I want to see the plan, I want to the see road-map, I want to know if we are getting there and what we need to do if we are going off track.

I will tell you this, many amongst us, don’t really care because as long as the PNP say so and “dem inna power dat good enough fu me”.

( Need to get ready for work so will continue later)

Portia Simpson-Miller speaks in Canada

Excerpts of what our PM had to say in Canada on her current trip.

http://tindeck.com/listen/iczi

 

Sunday Gleaner asks” Where is the government ?

I say , which government?

The PM is off on another trip this time to Canada, oh what a wonderful time she is having as the country sinks further into a cesspool. I knew the PNP with PSM as leader would have been a collosal failure, I have been saying this now for over a year, well it seems the Gleaner is finally catching up with this blog.

http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20121021/cleisure/cleisure1.html

 

One blogger wrote:

What a sumpthing! My grandmother always said, you mek u bed so you will have to lie in it.” Jamaican people were warned about this Government but because most of whom vote for them are lazy and wanted to get by too easily opted to return them to power.
They were fooled because they never had any plans from the beginning and the people could not wait to get back to the golden days of “man haffi eat a food” mentality but they were in for a rude awakening because the kitty empty!

 

Why did I think I am the only one who had the EAF mentality thought, tsk tsk.

Test , Acar and the crew is going to have a fit, soon the Gleaner will be called pro-JLP . :)

 

The raw data on economics and crime in Jamaica, a comparative analysis !

Historical Data Chart

Foreign Direct Investment 1980 – 2010 ( Net US$)

Historical Data Chart

Foreign Direct Invest Net Inflows ( US$)

Historical Data Chart

Exports (US$)

Historical Data Chart

Imports (US$)

Historical Data Chart

Changes in NIR (US$)

Historical Data Chart

Manufacturing : Valued added ( Growth rate)

Historical Data Chart

Intentional Homicide (Murder Rate) per 100,000 of the population.

Historical Data Chart

Inflation rates.

Historical Data Chart

% of firms making “informal” payments to public officials to get things done ” eat a food”. :)

Historical Data Chart

Losses due to theft, vandalism, robbery as a % of sales

Folks the graphs above are INDISPUTABLE FACTS !!

Everything “Tun Up”, while Civil Society voices “Tun Dung”

The JLP and its leadership must be having restless night given the crises the country is facing just 10 months after being run (ruined) by the PNP. They must also be wondering, how come things are so bad and yet the voice of “civil society” remains muted.

I guess the only one who is speaking out and criticizing the Government’s ineptitude is this blog.

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon

Courtesy : Jamaica Observer

Present PNP Government Incompetent, Incoherent and a complete failure , Part 2

As if we did not have enough incompetence in 18.5 yrs, just over 50% of the disillusioned electorate decided that things were not headed in the direction that they were expecting. High on the agenda of the electorate, were  no jobs that were promised by the then JLP when they were in opposition. In addition certain MP’s like Daryl Vaz, Mike Henry among others were described as too arrogant and not willing to listen to the people and they would have none of it.

Christopher Tufton who was widely considered a star performer in the JLP administration was given the boot, for his audacity to shut down the scrap metal industry as well as changing the size of the nets and fish pots, thus reducing the fisher folks catch.

What Tufton failed to do in relation to the fish pots, was to go on a educational campaign to let these folks know, that if we are to have a viable and sustainable fish industry, we must allow breeding to take place and if we over fish (as was being done) sooner or later we would have to go further and further out of sea to make good catches, which increases the safety risk of the fisher folks.

The point I am making is, changes were being made but the people were not being included in the process as they should and as far as they are concerned the JLP is brown man party and “ mek dem can’t eat nuh food”.

Many persons would want us to believe that the Dudus issue played a large role in the JLP loss, not so. The many rational person who were able to determine that the link between the JLP and Dudus (Shower Posse)  was bad for the country in terms of the link between politics and criminality spoke a lot but did not actually vote. The vote was larger against the background of hardship and less food. Jamaicans for the most part DO NOT vote on issues, they typically vote straight across party lines and for who makes the promise of “ more food”.

So in January 2012, they PNP took over the leadership of the country once again and my word, they have done an even better job of destroying, what little hope Jamaica had in terms of a turn around in the fortunes of the country.

The JLP failed to be trustworthy in its deliberation with the IMF and was ably supported by the then opposition PNP. For example the JLP had agreed to keep public sector wages at a certain level in relation to GDP, but as soon as they got the IMF money, they decided to give public sector workers a big (retroactive) salary hike.

The then PNP was supportive of the workers claim for the money that was promised to then and thus inadvertently supported the JLP in breaching the terms of the IMF agreement. Today the PNP is attempting to strike a new deal with the fund, but they will not budge on certain conditionality because they simply do NOT trust our politicians given what the JLP did and the support the PNP inadvertently gave, when they sided with the public sector workers.

In addition the present government has stated that their will be no massive lay off in the public sector, which runs counter to what the IMF wants and has failed to offer another method of achieving a lower public sector wage bill as a % GDP. In addition the government has failed to address two other key points, those are tax reforms and pension reforms.

The PNP is so afraid of losing an election, that they are willing to string Jamaicans along wanting us to believe that somehow they can take the tough decisions without delivering the bitter medicine to the sick patient (Jamaica).

The PNP actually is the best party to take such drastic measures, because it appears to have a knack for having the public support in whatever it does. The party leader is seen as a caring person and if she is able to convince Jamaicans and show tangible evidence that these tough measures will make life better for us [say] in another 5 to 10 yrs, who knows what card can play.

The problem is the party does not have a credible rescue plan for the country and is merely drifting along and hoping that by some miracle things will begin to turn around. The party leader has turned out to be a disappointing coward, who runs away from making the tough decisions and instead pushes her team forward to take the blows, while she continues to lead from behind.

This is the exact opposite of what we would expect from a leader who really wants to make a big mark on the Jamaican landscape and achieve the enviable mark of moving 500,000 persons of the 1.3m currently below the poverty line.

The present PNP government reminds me off a person trying stop a leaking pipe by applying duct tape over the leak vs locking off the water for a few hours, repair the damn leak and then turning back on the water once the repairs has been completed.

JEEP is the duct tape being applied to the employment problem facing Jamaica and while it will hold for a while, the duct tape will come loose in a short time and the leak resumes.  The PNP however is not willing to take the risk of pissing off people in order to get the job done properly and will  keep applying more and more tape to mask the real problem vs fixing it.

If we took 10% of the JEEP funds and used it to purchase farming equipment, provide training for these farmers in terms of crop rotation, cash crops to plant and provide the government land to be used for farming, while providing help with marketing outlet for these crops, what difference do you think this would make.

For one these persons (if managed properly) would be engaged in a venture that would be sustainable and provide a continuous source of employment and income, but that is just not how the present PNP thinks. Give people “ a food” now and hope they will eat and go away.

Consider this over $200m was spent on the old Goodyear tyre manufacturing plant over there in St Thomas, which is currently sitting idle.What if the government decided to engage the Chinese to setup a solar panel manufacturing plant here in Jamaica? This plant would be not only make the panels, but would also make the solar cells. Solar cells are made from Silica and St Thomas in particular has one of the largest supplies of Silica (Sand) in Jamaica.

The solar panels could then be exported to the wider Caribbean thus earning much need foreign exchange, while simultaneously being used to make complete solar systems, which could go a far way in reducing Jamaica high energy cost.

We have been using Chinese funds to expand our road network, which while desirable, is not the best use of borrowed funds at this time, given the fact these projects really do not generate enough revenue to help offset the overall cost of these loans. Its time to stop doing these darn show piece project and instead use more of these funds to create real and sustainable jobs. Once we start earning, sure we can go dig down the hillside to make more highways.

Part of the JEEP fund could be used to train potential workers at the heart academy, thus preparing these folks for a permanent job in a relatively high tech industry. Here we would see actual return on the JEEP funds given the fact that we could employ locals’ vs hiring a whole bunch of expatriate workers, thus keeping the money here in Jamaica.

These would be real and sustainable jobs, which means more payroll tax income as well as more GCT collections since there will be more money in an expanding economy, which would augur well from government revenues.

We can longer continue this stupid policy of trying to extract more money out on a contracting economy, what is required is an expansion of the economy, which will ultimately lead to more money without taxing the already burden tax payers.

The present government came into power without a coherent plan in any area, be it the economy, crime, education, health and the results of this is plain for everyone to see.  The latest initiative to gain FDI is a change in the tax regime, which the minister of Finance “ Hopes will encourage more companies to setup their Head quarters here in Jamaica”

What I would have expected is the following. The Minister of Investment and Commerce during this worldwide tours in trying to secure more FDI, would have engaged some relatively larger companies and these CEO would have said something along this line “ we certainly would move our HQ to Jamaica if you make some adjustment to your tax regime”.

 The Minister of Investment and Commerce would have then approached the Minister of Finance and said we have potentially x number of companies, which could bring in potentially X millions of dollars by making these changes.

This in my mind would be more definitive and shows that some thought and projections really went into this even though no actual contracts were signed, but at least we would know what we are likely to see in terms in income into the Jamaican economy.

Mr. Minister while I think the concept is a good one, there are so many things that are lacking, which shows not much thought went into this.

  • What sectors are we going after?
  • Do we have the skills set to take up position in these (potential) companies?
  • If the answer to the above is, no then what plans are we drafting to ensure that local are prepared for jobs in these companies?
  • Part of the condition that was reported, was 30% of the jobs must be locals, but in what capacity. Does this 30% include managerial and technical /engineering positions. If this condition is not specific, what we could end up with is the high income jobs are not held by Jamaicans and instead held by outsiders

The problem with the last bullet above is that the revenue from these companies would very low in terms of payroll taxes, if only menial low paying jobs are held by Jamaicans. So we would end up with the companies here, but very little in terms of revenue to the country. (Recall they would pay virtually no tax outside of those paid by locals).

This present set of PNP representative have a knack for signing agreements, with much fanfare then fails to deliver value to the country and we have a country where the citizens refuses to ask for proof that the stated initiatives are achieving its stated intent.

Take for example highway 2000 network of roads, how many knows some of the terms and conditions given to NROCC. When I read the document some years ago, what I found was that Robert Pickergill had virtually killed the resumption of rail service in Jamaica.

The item really stuck with me, was where it said [to the effect] that should the government expand, develop or otherwise provide an alternative route that reduces income at the toll booth, would see the government being billed and the people of Jamaica would have to pay the toll operators the difference between projected earnings based on traffic profile that was used to set toll rates and actual earnings.

This essentially means where the toll rd exist, the government cannot improve alternative road network in terms of expansion, that would take people off the toll rd, so no PNP government would ever seek to have a viable rail service. That is the unvarnished truth as it relates to the re-introduction of rail service here in Jamaica.

Enough for one day, need to go chill out yah now.

Maybe more in the new few days as I do what I call a brain dump.

See below the NROCC document referred to above.

NROCC

Go straight to  page 55, the section I want you to read is highlighted.

Ok, I am done for the day. :)

Present PNP Government Incompetent, Incoherent and a complete failure !

It took the PNP just over 19yrs to completely destroy the Jamaican economy and turn this country into a massive wasteland where rapist, criminals, “anancyism?, corruption and “bandolism” abounds.

As much as persons would seek to blame the Michael Manley between 1972 and 1980 as the persons who started the precipitous slide in the fortunes of Jamaica, I would tend to disagree.

I admired Michael Manley, he was a visionary and was at least 10-15 yrs ahead of this time. Mr. Manley had some great ideas with are as relevant today as they where back in the 1970’s. He pioneered many game changers, like NHT, Maternity leave for women, the “bastard” act etc etc.

Michael Manley ruled at the time of the Opec oil embargo, which was utterly devastating not only for the Jamaican economy, but the world at large. As this was occurring, Mike was trying to create a more “equal” society via ” democratic socialism” and a time, when the USA was vehemently opposed to any such moves in the Caribbean, given the “cold war”, which existed at that time.

During the 1970’s at the end of the summer term, we were asked to take to school bags (who remember those brown paper bags) to collect, rice, flour, sugar, cornmeal, bulgur cereal (used to make porridge), Soya and plastic bags for milk powder. In addition students would be issued with books and pencils.

Its my belief that the JLP in opposition at the time and led by Edward Seaga colluded with the USA to undermine the Manley regime and destabilized the country by the introduction of small arms into Jamaica.

Leading up to what was termed the bloodiest election in Jamaica’s history, there was massive food shortage, with almost every basic commodity in short supply. At one stage we had a situation where the uncommon products were “married”. By that I mean, in order to get [say] flour, you had to buy kerosene oil or some other strange commodity.

It is widely believed that the capitalist in Jamaica at the time in collusion with the opposition JLP at the time deliberately hoarded these items, thus creating an artificial shortage of corn beef, flour, sugar and other basic commodity.

Its not only anecdotal information [as] I recall a supermarket, which caught fire in 1980 and in the storeroom, these was enormous quantities of tin products, which were never on the shelves and said to be in short supply. The warehouse at the back of the supermarket was raided during the fire and truck loads (yes truck loads) of stuff were loaded unto the truck and delivered to all the communities in close proximity to the supermarket.

When the JLP won in 1980, the supermarket shelves were stocked once again by items that were previously not in existence. Edward Seaga took on the task of rebuilding what he helped destroy in the 1970’s and to his credit, he made some good positive moves ably supported by the USA, which had helped him win the election.

Mr. Seaga introduced the freezone garment industry, which employed thousands of Jamaican women, even though the pay was really low. Many of these women where from the inner city and would not have been given any opportunity otherwise.

When the JLP was kicked out of power in 1989, that was the beginning of the end for the Jamaican economy as the PNP tried to transform itself from being a “socialist” party to one, which was “capitalist” in nature.

The problem is the leader then including Michael Manley fumbled [as] they had very little experience with a market driven economy. When Michael Manley passed the reigns over the PJ Patterson, the transformation was complete and Jamaica has never looked back since then.

During the 1990’s we saw the virtual destruction of the manufacturing sector, the agricultural sector and who could forget the total destruction of the financial sector, which ended with finsac.

Goodyear fled, Colgate fled, West Indies Glass, Allen Bradley assembly plant out at Bull Bay shuttered its doors, Eastern Banana, Jamaica Packaging, West Indies Pulp and Paper, Thermoplastic, Caribbean Steel, Jamaica Transformer Company and many many more, including the complete shutdown of the 807 Garment industry.

In the Financial sector (which was too crowded), we have the Eagle Group, Citizens Bank, Universal Bank, Century National Bank,  Workers Bank aka Corporate Financial Group, Caldon Finance, Blaise Financial Group.

The financial meltdown drained over $120B out of the Jamaican economy, just from the financial cost and does not include losses in terms of payroll taxes, corporate taxes, loss of income and GCT along other potential economic benefit.

The collapse of the manufacturing sector and the agricultural would no doubt run into billions (I need some help here from the economics folks) again in terms of payroll taxes, gct etc etc.

The PNP reign therefore in the 1990’s would no doubt have been the costliest in the history of Jamaica in terms of its impact on growth and development of the country.   That government was responsible for the largest transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich that this country has ever seen.

This present PNP government for the most part, has had the longest period of unbroken stewardship and running (ruining) this country and what do we have to show for it today.

We are more indebted more thane ever before, our NIR is at an all time low and criminals have declared war on the citizens of Jamaica. Mob rules [as] they have lost faith in the [in] justice system, where only the privilege appears to get justice.

Desperations is at an all time high, confidence is at a all time low and persons are left to scavenge bacteria laden meat from the murky waters of the wag water river in the vicinity of the flat bridge.

Women, young girls and young men are now afraid to walk the streets of Jamaica after dark, criminals are taking every scrap of metal that is visible resulting in collapse of the utility infrastructure.

Water mains are being stolen, support for sewage pipes are stolen, manhole cover, signpost, bridge guard and we can go on and on.

Got to run…

More to come …

IS JAMAICA A FAILED STATE ?

Bill Clarke the former president of the Jamaica Bankers Association and the head of Bank of Nova Scotia Jamaica a few years ago, described Jamaica as a failed state.

Bill Clarke may have been a wee bit premature, or was he able to see what was coming years before it actually did ?

When the Minister of National Security as well as other members of the government joins a NATIONAL PROTEST against crime in this country, its admission that we have or very close to becoming a failed state.

It’s the job of the Minister as well as his other legislators to  enact laws that protect us against these MONSTERS. Instead he and all those sitting at Gordon House ( and I am including the opposition members) have wasted years, by failing to bringing into law, measures required to protect ordinary Jamaicans from criminal elements of the Jamaican society, while enacting laws to ensure they, the parliamentarians are insulated from the barbarism  that take place in the country.

What are some of  the attributes of a failed state.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Failed_States_Index#Failed_States_Index

Jamaica today given a WARNING status on the failed state index, which is suggesting we are just on the brink of becoming a failed state and as the index shows.

Rank of failed states

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_Failed_States_Index

Is Jamaica a failed state?

The signs are there and unless we collectively decide to take a stand regardless of the “side” we support, we surely will move from WARNING to declaration of a failed state.

DNA LAW AND REGISTRY MUST BE IN PLACE BY NOVEMBER 2012

I am still angry, upset and in a militant move after that horrific story broke on the rape of 5 females in Irwin Point, St Evil ( St James). Just when you think Jamaica has sunk to its lowest, here we have cockroaches to sink the image of the country further. To the cops I say, please interview the man of the house quickly, I am almost 100% sure his information can lead to the quick capture of these vermins. I am too angry to write more on what occurred as I am sick to the stomach.

To the minister of National Security, sir I know you and the police CANNOT prevent every crime , because you all cannot be everywhere at the same time, but here is what this blog and Jamaica wants.

Rape is up close and personal and in that process a lot of DNA evidence is always left behind.

We need DNA legislation and a DNA profile kept of everyone ever arrested of rape and or molestation , whether or not they have been convicted in the courts. This piece of legislation must be passed by the house (if its not there already) by the end of November. We need green paper and white paper and final legislation rushed even if it means our legislators must work 20 hrs per day including weekend to get it do.

There has been far too much talk and Bullshit in the country, its time to take Jamaica back from these animals posing as humans, raping,  maiming and killing our kids and adults,  ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

To the JUDGES :  Lets not have a repeat of the MADNESS that occurred recently, where a man( hmm, man ?) who was convicted of the rape, abduction, attempted MURDER and taking steps to conceal a body was given a slap on the wrist in terms of his sentencing. That case in my mind was one of the worst sentencing I have ever seen in this country.

I don’t care who suggest that I am not a lawyer or a judge, Iknow that, but when we let a animal off the hook after such a henious crime, what message do you think that sends to the public?

To the human rights group I say, I hear you, I support your views, no to mob killing, no to extrajudicial killings, but do NOT Dare ATTEMPT to stop this DNA legislation in the name of “protecting” animals rights, sorry human rights.

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH WE MUST ACT NOW !

The big question for me today, will Jamaicans hold our elected representative accountable and ensure that, what we want, we get in a HURRY. How many Jamaicans will be out there pushing these guys to ensure that something like this happens, what do you think. I think if we apply the pressure it will happen.

Lets begin the campaign today.

We MUST save our WOMEN  !!

What’s up the LNG Project ?

The Sunday Gleaner yesterday reported that the government would soon be releasing a statement indicating the much talked about LNG project would have been abandoned. I actually celebrated this move, because I felt the government had NO business in this project in the first place and it should have been solely a private sector initiave.

Today,NNN reported that Jamaica will have an LNG project and that the Minister would be making such an announcement next Monday in this regard.  The “well placed source” indicated that the plan is be different from the original plan but , Jamaica will indeed have a LNG project.

Now it appears the government will be allowing the JPS to setup their own LNG project, which will supply the needs of their US$360M and also sell LNG to the bauxite sector.

This is my opinion will be a good move, this project should have always been a private sector initiave from the very beginning. The sad thing is this project was touted as the solution to our energy problem and after ten years and close to $1b of expenditure, which included two tenders, engagement of two sets of consultants and numbers meeting, we are about to do the correct thing.

How as a country can we prevent this kind of waste in the future, when it can be clearly seen that projects like these should never involve the expenditure of tax payers money.

Here is the NNN report.

http://tindeck.com/listen/ufiz

Councillors defend all inclusive weekend ” Getaway” !

Moronic comment of the month.

” I don’t know how much it cost, but I believe we got value for money”.

Jamaican Politician.

“When I first heard the brouhaha, I wondered if the gentleman was living in oblivion. His argument is porous and pointless,” said Phillips.

“It is indeed value for money. I believe this experience is invaluable and the municipality will be better for it,” she added.

http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20120923/lead/lead42.html

This really sums up the lack of direction, clarity and focus that exist  in Jamaica today. Given all the “bitter” medicine we all have to take, these Councillors spent based on my calculations over $2m so they can ” enhance revenue collections”.

Portia Simpson Miller – No work less talk speech

No the headline is correct  she said ” More work, less talk”, but I say “No work , less talk” because that is exactly what we have seen in the last  9 months.

The IMF deal

We are working on it, the JLP made a mess of the last deal and so we had to negotiate a new one. The IMF agreement was due to run out anyway and so a new one had to be negotiated nonetheless. PSM and the PNP knew fully well that the JLP refused to take the tough decisions as dictated by the IMF and therefore they would have had to do it.  The PNP won because the JLP screwed up and so its up to her government to fix it and they have been found lacking so far.

PSM said she could not give a timeline when the negotiations would be completed and a new agreement signed. Seems as if she did not speak with Peter Phillips, who just last week indicated that a new agreement would be signed by the end of the year. So who is telling the truth Portia or Peter. Job not done in two weeks, less speech no tangible achievments.

 

Public Sector and Pension Reforms

The JLP refused to complete this process under the last IMF agreement and now we will have to take the tough decisions in order to satisfy this new agreement. The JLP made a mess of this and its now up for us the PNP to fix it. Well the PNP was given a huge mandate by the people of Jamaica to fix the “broken” system that was left by the JLP. Was PSM trying to imply that she was not aware of how bad it was , when she kept saying how bad it was? Having been given that huge mandate to deal with Public Sector and Pension Reform, what has been done?. No work, less talk.

 

The Economy

The JLP destroyed it and we will have to fix it. I will tell you the plain truth, its bad very bad but not unredeemable. Now did anyone here any specifics on how this was going to be fixed?  The biggest issue affecting the country today ie anemic or zero growth and in a hour long speech nothing that has been or will be done to address the problem. No work, less talk.

 

FDI

The Prime Minister indicated that she and her administration have secured over US$800M in Foreign Direct Investment and those projects will be rolled out short. She listed the following projects:

  1. West Kingston 66 MW power plant
  2. Dolphin Cove expansion.

Now the West Kingston Power Plant is not a “new” project to come on stream, its an existing project by Jamaica Energy Partners, which is almost completed and ready to start putting power on the grid, how can she therefore include this among “new FDI projects.

Dolphon Cove expansion, was announcements months ago and was part of the reason they went public in a share offering back in 2010, when it went to the market for $240m. In April 2011 in announced plans to upgrade the Negril facility to the tune of US$1M and has spent $46m on its new development here in Jamaica. All these were previously announced and not “newly” minted projects.

Nothing more was said of the really “new” FDI’s except to say they are coming. Now this coming from a leader who speaks rarely and does not often speaks the truth, really means nothing to me, I want specifics, name the projects and the amount of money it is slated to bring in and when it will commence.  No work, less talk

 

Crime.

Unless I fell asleep, I heard nothing on that. I guess the Portfolio Minister will speak to that issue. No work less talk

 

Job Creation

Jamaica Employ will create over 40,000 jobs , rarely ? How does one create a job?

In the Jamaican context its appealing to the altruistic side of the private sector in having them create something from nothing and then call that job creation. True job creation comes from expansion of the economy and that is supported by increased output as result of increased demand for our product and services.

The economy is declining, there is no growth, our production cost are sky high due to a combination of low productivity from the Jamaican work force as well as high energy cost. In this context the idea of employing one qualified Jamaican though altruistic in nature , will only serve  to increase the cost of operation of those businesses and make them less competitive, which is the exact opposite of what we want today.

It therefore means that Jamaica employ is unsustainable and cannot be supported in the long term, unless  the economy expands, which is not scheduled to do until 2017. ( No she did not say that part, you wanted a riot)

 

Summary

The speech was just what I had expected, pour blame on the last administration  for all the ills that Jamaica is suffering today and surely we got a lot of that. I cannot not blame her for doing so, its all about politics , if you make them out to be bad and you can then fix all the bad stuff they left, then you will be assured of another victory.

The speech was lacking however in the very specific steps the government will be taking to address Jamaican’s multitude of problems, the worst of which is the economic situation. There were no timelines given for anything that could come across as a plan to achieve anything. The Prime Minister made sure to tell the comrades that the manifesto was a five year plan and she had only been in office for 8.5 months. which I found interesting given that manifesto seems  to have been abandoned completely.

The Prime Minister appears to be schooled by PJ Patterson who once said ” Silence can only be misinterpreted it cannot be  misquoted”

PJ Patterson spoke last evening and during his presentation, he sounded like he was the Prime Minister, warning comrades to get back in to touch with the people, he said ” When we were seeking their votes, we went looking for them, don’t let them come looking for us”.

 

 

The Prime Minister should speak to Jamaicans in a televised Nationwide address.

I am surprised as I read both daily newspapers today, at the range of issues that many in the society expects or hopes the Prime Minister will address today, the public day of the PNP’s 74th annual conference.

Something must be wrong with me, why I continue to see things so differently from the great majority of Jamaicans and I will continue to refuse to be drawn into the “herd ” mentality. Yes, I would like to hear the voice of the Prime Minister as she speaks to the public on the wide range of issues facing the country, given her long periods of silence on these most important issues.

My issue is , the political platform , which is where she will be making some sort of address today,  is simply not the right forum to address the country. I firmly believe that the Prime Minister needs to make a televised Prime Time public address to the nation on her government’s plans to address the issues affecting the country.

The PNP leader will be addressing party faithful and party supporters as PNP Leader and NOT as Prime Minister and that for me is simply not what is required at this time. I get it, we want to nail down the PM now, given the fact that we cannot seem to get her to speak to the people of Jamaica, but this is not the right forum to address the NATION’S BUSINESS !

Portia is at her best when speaking to a houseful of orange clad comrades and her message will be largely lost as she tries to appease party supporters and thus the real hard decisions will not be made and the tough questions can never be answered in a party like atmosphere.

We should therefore push for the Prime Minister to make a nationwide address to the people of Jamaica within a week, we cannot accept her speaking to comrades as an address to the nation, that is simply unacceptable !

Dat mi seh ! ( Jamaican colloquial language)

PNP leaderless and in complete disarray, while comrades are very “bitter” !

The party which won the last elections by a landslide and which and promised to ” tun up d ting” appears to have ” tun down d ting” so much,  that you cannot even seem to hear what they are working on for the people of Jamaica.

One persons to whom I spoke reminded me of the dog chasing the car and barking, but once it catches up to the car, it appears not to have a clue as to why it was chasing the car in the first place. He likened that metaphorical dog to the PNP, who was so hungry for power and now having been handed it, appears completely lost at sea.

Content extracted from today’s gleaner , see below:

Many party faithful are in agreement with political analyst Richard ‘Dickie’ Crawford that the PNP seems to be going through the motions of much of the old politics and not seeming to be grappling with the governance problems and issues in the society.

“The PNP seems to have lost its soul over the last eight months,” said one clearly dispirited Comrade. “I am planning to ask the leadership of my party what they plan to do about it. Have we ceased to care?”

Another well-known delegate told The Gleaner that this is the first in many years that she would not be attending the conference. “There is just no vibes,” the PNP loyalist said.

http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20120915/lead/lead2.html

Now many persons to whom I have spoken have expressed surprise in how fast things have gone from bad to worse under the leaderless PNP.  How could they have “let down” the Jamaican people so quickly after being handed  such a huge mandate in 2011.

I am not surprised one bit and the reason is, I have carefully analysed the performance of the party from 1989 to 2007  and while most countries in the world were recording astonishing growth, Jamaica was never able to register any significant growth during what I term the boom years.

In fact in the 1990’s the so called ” meltdown” of the financial markets here in Jamaica, highlighted the very poor leadership the PNP was offering the public, but continued to win elections by ensuring people ” eat a food”.  If these guys could not grow the economy in the boom years, how on earth where they going to do it, when much of the world was in a recession, it was just not going to happen.

Comrades today are very unhappy, because the “food” they thought ( more like fooled into believing) they were going to  get is simply not present and the party leader is NOT speaking to them, about the many challenges  facing the country.

It is very clear that apart from a few Minister like Phillip Paulwell , Ronnie Thwaites and to a lesser extend Dr Peter Phillips, the other minister as well as the party leader are found lacking and without a sense of purpose and or direction.

I expect NOTHING from the party leader this weekend expect rhetoric and noise, but no substance as she obviously is out of her depths in this role. She may be a good opposition leader, but so far appears to be the worst Prime Minister that Jamaica has ever had.

I do hope she surprises me by saying something meaningful, when she speaks at the public session  come Sunday.

PS. Peter Phillips had said ” Should the PNP win( under the leadership of PSM), Jamaica would become the next Haiti of  the Caribbean”. 

So was Peter Phillip being very prophetic back then and why did we not listen ?

Oh, a little birde told me why ” JLP cut off all d food and diss up nuff people, so we did haffi get rid a dem, but r##s man we never expect d pnp would a treat we so bad too“.

PNP trapped in politics of poverty

This was taken directly from the Jamaica Gleaner.

This is how the leader of the opposition describes the PNP Leader.

“As I have always maintained, the PNP is not for Jamaica. The PNP is for the PNP as a political party, not for the people. It is about power,” he declared. “So they have this massive political capital and they refuse to use it, particularly Portia Simpson Miler.”

http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20120913/lead/lead4.html

 

Now one strong PNP blogger reported something, that I did not hear in her speech yesterday, but I really did not hear the entire speech myself.

Wanda Woeman as the blogger calls herself reported the following statement, which was attributed to the Prime Minister.

wanda woeman said :

Did anyone saw and heard Portia’s response to criticism about her lack of public communication on national issues. She said “I am not going to talk my way out of power.” isn’t this the most idiotic statement from a head of government? Even for PSM’s communication skill, I would have expected better. Call me gullible, naive.

I have said to my friends and associates and even to family members ” I cannot be always right in what I say and do. I am therefore relying on you all to support me by telling me, whenever I have made a mistake or is on the path that will most likely produce bad results.
I am not looking for “yes” folks, instead I am looking for people who will look me in the eye and tell me, Jay I am one of your strongest supporter/friend, but that path you have chosen to go down, is dead wrong.
That’s how I know who my true supporters or friends are, that is those who don’t have any hang ups about telling me the Truth and Test  the strength of my character. (Pun intended , bold for emphasis).

Some bloggers here refuse to tell the “Truth” and instead jumps to defend the indefensible as it relates to the now leaderless country called Jamaica.  I am supporting the blogger, who is asking that the Portia turn over the reigns of leadership to Peter Phillips, because its now clear for even Stevie Wonder to see, that Portia is not fit to lead this country and has failed the leadership “Test”

I made this bold pronouncement 9 months ago, when I said PSM was not fit to be the Prime Minister of Jamaica. I can now  safely say , that I have been vindicated.
Peter Phillips is not without his own faults because he has failed so far to keep the country abreast of what is going on with the IMF deal, but at least he is willing to respond when challenged. This is in stark contrast to the current party leader who is more focused on breaking her silence to criticize those of us, who are asking her to ” break her silence”.

Portia , please ” PACK YOUR BAGS AND GO “!

 

 

Is there an economic plan, what’s after the IMF deal?

After 9 months of pain and suffering, the head of the Government, Dr Peter Phillips  has announced that a new IMF is about to be delivered. During the 9 months  period from January to September, the government’s saving account has been rapidly depleting and the new IMF deal cannot come ” soon enough”.

The question for me is, what is likely to occur after we have a deal, yes cash flow will increase via borrowed funds and so will the debt , which already is at an uncontrollable level.

We continue to borrow at an alarming rate, while allowing goods from cash and energy rich Trinidad duty free access to the Jamaican market. We continue to dole out billions of dollars in duty waivers , which we cannot afford, while wasting billions of dollars on non productive projects.

We have a public sector which is largely inefficient and stuffed with party loyalist , while accepting mediocrity as the performance standards. We employ hundreds of top flight and expensive ” advisers and consultants ” and paying top dollars, which we cannot afford.

I firmly believe that we should pay for expertise, I have no problems with that since I often does consultation work and expect to be paid handsomely once I have delivered the goods. ( My emphasis on delivered). When I get a job there are very specific deliverables, which I must meet to satisfy the client needs otherwise the big bucks won’t be coming.

The state of the economy cannot be any worse, yet the Ministry of Finance has the most and highest paid consultants. Now to give the guys the benefit of the doubt, can the Ministry of Finance publish what are the terms and conditions of their employment and what are the expected deliverables for each of these persons.

I would like to know, what should I be expecting from these high income earners because I would not want to malign the character of anyone, not knowing what agreements were made.

Can we expect to hear from the ceremonial Prime Minister this weekend, on where  she and her “able” set of ministers  plan to take this country in the coming months.

I know where many are planning to go, yes tickets have been bought and arrangements have been made, but for the rest of us who do not have green card or dual citizenship, we will have to stay put and fight on.

Bless.

 

What is this fever detection machine

Many Jamaicans were so caught up in the theatric on TV recently with the news that the country has just received two machine that can be used to screen patients for the presence of fever. So what are these machines and are they new to Jamaica.

The machine are not new to Jamaica and have been around for many years and are typically used by air conditioner guys in their daily routine. Many of these
machines have been lying around and we could easily have had one of these companies sell these to the goj to conduct testing at the airport.

The device is really a infrared thermometer and is widely used to day measure radiated heat from a body, which falls into the infrared spectrum.

I have included a picture one such machines that I have owned for over 10 yrs and so was taken aback by the excitement I saw as we displayed these new “fever detection” machines.

image

Thermal Image of a refrigerator compressor and door.

FLIR0009

FLIR0007

As you can see you get an actual image and temperature scale as well as temperature at specific points on the image.

Abu Bakr – I felt like the Prime Minister, after return flight to Trinidad

This is proof that we are the laughing stock of the Caribbean and also proof we lack leadership

Bakr praised all those who dealt with him during his confinement at the airport in Jamaica—the inspector of police, a female superintendent and Trinidad and Tobago’s high commissioner in Jamaica Dr Iva Gloudon—whom he described as his answered prayer.

He said Gloudon sprang into action and ensured he was able to make a phone call, had food and health care and was comfortable.

Bakr said the high commissioner also gave him sugar cane and chocolates.

He said further that he felt “like a Prime Minister” on his return to Trinidad on the US$36,000 private jet flight.

http://www.trinidadexpress.com/news/Bakr-to-contact-Caricom-on-regional-travel-policy-279632532.html

AJ Nicholson must now feel like a real idiot !

Government charters flight to take home Trinidadian terrorist !

The PNP government and its operatives are ow the laughing stock of the Caribbean today, after it was revealed that these idiots chartered a private jet to send home a terrorist being deported from Jamaica.

Now Abu Bakr had arrived in the country the previous day and was refused landing rights, due to his radical nature. He was placed on the return flight back to Trinidad , but refused to be seated in economy class. He was then removed from the plane and taken into custody

In most other country that was being well managed, this man would have been arrested and charged under some kind of act and booked for a court appearance after which he would have been forcibly removed..

No such thing in Jamaica as one way ticket, which cost about US$300 for Abu Bakr ended up costing the people of Jamaica US$36,000 as our idiots choose to send the man home in style via a chartered jet.

The person at the Minister of National Security who made the decision as well as the Minister of National Security should be fired for stupidity.

When Jamaicans land in Trinidad and are  refused entry to Trinidad, they are forced to sleep on floors, no food or water and are they bundled on a flight and shipped back to Jamaica, Should they dare to become boisterous, the law would take its course.

The PNP government by its action once again, shows a clear disregard for the people of this country in the handling of the country;s affairs and money, but doing this rather stupid acr.

The PNP by its actions once again has reinforced by belief that they are the best party to ruin Jamaica.

What a bunch of idiots !

Liberian traveler shows up at Jamaica’s airport and staff unsure of approach, he is currently in Jamaica

Nationwide news network just reported that earlier this week that a Traveler whose trip originated from Liberia, showed up at one of our international airports and the front life staff were left confused, having no protocol on which to operate and had no idea of what they were supposed to do.

It was reported that having no protocol in place, the traveler (male) was sent to the nurses station located at the airport, where he was seen (not sure what was done) before he was allowed to leave the halls of the airport to his hotel .We understand that the gentlemen would only be staying in Jamaica for a short period of time a

This raises some very serious questions and ones that I have been raising now for a couple of days and that is what specific set of actions are being taken to protect our borders and Jamaicans.

The Prime Minister gave a wonderful presentation on Monday, but that is all worth zero, if nothing exist on the ground to address the problem of potential problems

Is the MOH aware of the whereabouts of this gentleman ?

Is the Ministry of National Security aware of this incident and the whereabouts of this man?

I know the answer to the above is all no. so for all we know this man could have been infected , no monitoring is taking place of him in Jamaica and those who he would have come in contact with.

What about the nurse who saw this man, what method did she use to check his temperature if it was taken and how did she protect herself in the process. Yes we all know that its not infectious until certain visible signs exist, but that is not the point, the point is what protection did she employ given she would not have known, what she now knows before she “examined” the man.

This is cause for alarm and while the traveler may very well be ok, the lack of clear guidelines at the airport for the front line people who are supposed to protect our borders is a clear and present danger.

There is NO case of Ebola in Jamaica and the only way it will show up here is importation.

The PNP government is very good at plans and talk, but when it comes down to where the rubber hits the road and proper implementation is required, they have always been found wanting.

The government of Jamaica needs to find this traveler this morning and ensure that additional checks are done to give him a clean bill of health.

In addition, the task force on Ebola needs to convene this morning and conduct a through investigation, the results of which must be made public as to what went wrong.

In addition the task force MUST by the end of today, Thursday, October 16, 2014, have implemented proper protocols at our airports to ensure that no one gets in this country, without all the possible checks that we can do, to ensure he is not a carrier and where there are no visible indicators, then a process must be in place so we can track the person throughout the incubation period of the virus.

It is incomprehensible that the Government could have been so irresponsible , not to ensure that by now the proper protocols were in place and known by all concerned so they would be aware of the necessary actions they should take

I am shocked and flabbergasted, but once again is not surprised at the gross ineptness that characterizes the Portia Simpson Miller lead government

My questions therefore raised yesterday and before reflected my distrust of this government and certainly now I can see that I had not overreacted as a few persons would have said to me via personal emails.

The government must today issue a public statement on this matter !

Abu Bakr disrupted Caribbean Airlines flight, hence his detention

The Trinidad express is reporting that after Abu Bakr and his family were denied entry he was placed on the return flight to Trinidad and was to be seated in economy class.

He however refused to sit in is assigned seat in economy class and became boisterous, resulting the cops boarding the plane and forcibly removing him from the aircraft and take him into custody.

http://www.trinidadexpress.com/news/Bakr-refused-entry-into-Jamaica-detained-at-airport-279381862.html

Bakr should really have been charged with a crime and placed in a lockup and booked for court appearance.

I hope the Jamaican government does not incur any cost to send home this terrorist !

Trinidadain Terrorist fighting with ISIS

Is the government of Jamaica aware that a number of Trinidadians are currently in Syria  fighting for the terrorist organization called ISIS.

What plans are we going to put in place to ensure that these folks are not allowed into Jamaica.

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYEO3U25zYU

We are getting serious about Ebola : Jamaica Prime Minister

Yesterday the Prime Minister made a bold move and called all MP’s (both sides) and Mayor’s to a meeting to update the country on the government response to the deadly ebola threat.

In the post meeting interviews, members on both side of the house praise the initiative by the Prime Minister and they even suggested ( yes even the opposition) that meeting was timely and a very good response by the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister finally has decided to act like a leader and stop relegating  the position of leadership to her ministers and that is encouraging.

I am however not as excited as members of the JLP and those of the ruling party, given our most recent pepration for Chikv , which took two years and failed miserably in the end. I heard a good speech by the Prime Minister, which touched the right areas , but the problem with this speech is that many of  the actions are at least 4 -5 months late already. Let’s examine what she said in according to the Gleaner.

“This (Ebola) team will work within the framework of the country’s emergency response and management mechanism now being activated for the Ebola prevention and planning involving all emergency responders,” Simpson Miller said in an update to parliamentarians and mayors across the island.

“We will draw on our national emergency management mechanism – including resources from the Jamaica Defence Force, Jamaica Constabulary Force, Jamaica Fire Brigade, and other key stakeholders – to prepare and respond to this threat,” she added.

Clearing this is an activity that is to be done, but has not yet been done. We would not have expected to here full details one meeting an so my question would be, when the activities mentioned above will commence what is the timeline to have all that in place. Will the PM be giving the public further update via JIS, the Minister etc .

“The Government is on high alert and is closely monitoring developments to learn lessons from the emergency management of cases,” she said.

What does this really mean, where are we monitoring developments is it in Nigeria, USA, Germany or all the above. We are seeing confusion in the USA’s response and in the UK the screening process is being questioned.

Following several weeks of planning, extensive consultations, preparation, and detailed discussions with the senior team at the Ministry of Health, we are putting in place an integrated national coordinating team headed by the Ministry of Health and the Jamaica Defence Force, to lead the country’s heightened preparations.

I would have thought that after weeks of planning, extensive consultations preparations etc, we would have come to the table yesterday with a draft outline of the plan so the public can have a chance to peruse that document.  We are being told that we are only now putting in an integrated approach, ok, so how long will that process take and when will it be completed  or at least at a point where we can say we are in a good position.

A detailed action plan is being developed with a clear command structure. The action plan will have details for various scenarios, what is to be done, by whom, by when, and with what resources.

We will continue to train and sensitise key stakeholders in the coming weeks including our:

Political representatives;

All health workers and their associations in the public and private sectors;

Trade unions;

Immigration and Customs; other airport and seaport management and staff;

Management and staff of all hospitals and health centres – private and public;

Churches and other community-based organisations;

The private sector;

The media;

The JDF; police; ODPEM; the Jamaica Fire Brigade;

Operators of funeral homes;

A robust national communication strategy and programme is being developed and implemented through private- and public-sector collaboration.

That is a good speech and has some of what needs to be in an integrated plan, but my question is how long will it take to produce this plan?

The national plans are being activated and the best possible arrangements are being put in place. The necessary resources are being mobilised.

How many plans are we working on. Are the national plans a part of the integrated plans and how are they interlinked. This appears to be a bit confusing as above it says a integrated plan is being created with clear command structure etc etc, so how does these national plans dove tail in the integrated plan . Maybe outlying these national plans would help clear up any misunderstanding.

The training of health-care professionals has started and is to be increased. We must practise, practise, practise. Immigration, Customs and other airport and seaport staff are being trained.

Training of health professionals commenced in August and is still well under way. Yesterday, senior medical officers and heads of departments at our major health facilities islandwide were trained as part of our preparedness exercise. Immigration personnel at Norman Manley International Airport received training last week Monday and their counterparts at Sangster International Airport were trained on Wednesday last week.

These training exercises will continue. There is more to be done. Training will be provided to all key stakeholder groups to ensure full understanding of the protocols and instructions for implementation.

All required emergency protocols and procedures will be rehearsed several times, over and over again, to reinforce skills and reduce the risk of breaches. Simulation exercises are also being planned. Importantly, follow-up will be done to confirm understanding and ensure achievement of training objectives.

This is very good. These are very specific actions that have been taken and are continuing and will surely go a far way in helping our prepardness. This is what I expect, very specific actions, dates and general outline of what is being done.

 I have instructed the team planning, preparing and monitoring the Ebola threat led by the JDF and the Ministry of Health to be thorough and efficient in their operations. They are to be accessible, upfront, honest, open and clear with the people of Jamaica in all their communication.

Let all of us, as leaders, be guided by the agreed scientific facts and not speculate or express casual opinions which can cause panic and demoralise our front-line workers.

Jamaicans are being encouraged to take action as part of our personal responsibility in this situation. Avoid travelling to Ebola-affected countries and regions, and truthfully declare your travel history when arriving and departing the island.

This is our country. We all have a stake and a vested interest in protecting it and in keeping our people safe and healthy.

Very good once again in terms of the communication strategies and openness being demanded by the PMbut I have one small concern here. The public needs to be very clear in the role of the military and the government must be sure that there will be no militarization of the ebola situation. Governments in Jamaica tend to often use the military to suppress the people and I am hoping that this is not where we are headed. Is the role of the military here to provide stuff like transporting people via helicopter from say the port of entry to an isolation unit?

This is a good first move by the Prime Minister and though 4-5 months late in coming, we must do everything in our power to ensure we do our part of being responsible in out actions, while at the same time hold our elected members accountable.

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