Lawyers vehemently opposed to amendment to bail act

I cannot recall any change to criminal laws in Jamaica that have been supported by Jamaican lawyers, no matter what.

Andrew Holness yesterday made mention of the fact that he has asked that amendments be made to the bail act to refuse bail to some categories of those accused of murders. The words had not hit the ground before some of our “brightest” criminal lawyers where all over the news hoping mad that the government would want to take away the “constitutional” right of Jamaicans by virtue to these changes, which they are not even yet aware of.( The amendments)

I heard one very “bright” lawyer saying ” What empirical evidence is there to prove or support the point that those accused of murder commits murder while on bail”.

This may seem like a rather smart question, but if you were to analyse that for just one minute you see how this kind of thought process, while may legally sound good, is rather suspect and actually morbid in taure

To have evidence , means someone has to be murdered by someone who has already been accused  of murder and this guy would have had to have been tried and convicted of both murders.

Follow me for a second.

Jay is accused of murder and is arrested and charged. He goes before the court and is granted bail and case scheduled for a date in the future. While on bail, Jay is accused , arrested and charged for murdering a witness in the case against him , he is now refused bail.

He goes to court for two murder charges, which are tried separately and is found guilty on the first but not the second, because he was not picked out in an identification parade and the one witness decides to migrate out of fear.

From the lawyers perspective, while Jay is guilty of murder in the first case, there is no empirical evidence to suggest that he committed a second murder while on bail, because he got off that particular case, by virtue of no guilty verdict as directed by the judge.

John Brown falls into the same category as Jay and does the same thing and gets away also. Clearly accordingly to our lawyers, there is no link between the bail of these two guys and the death of of the witnesses against both.

One can therefore reason that there is no basis in law to change the bail act as it has not been proven in a court of the law, that murderers on bail commits murders.

The only time, this evidence can arise, is when these guys actually commit a second murder and is found guilty of that second case. Now you cannot use one case to change the law, so you would need to have multiple cases of people being murdered by murderers who are out on bail and all of these folks must have been found guilty in a court of law

So out lawyers are essentially saying, people must die for us to get the “empirical evidence” to support such changes to the law.

I thought the role of government via the security forces was to preserve life ie the police would have been expected to work to prevent as much murders as possible , clearly I must have been wrong according to the reasoning of these esteemed lawyers.

The next argument is not everyone accused and arrested of murder is guilty, ok then, very true.

My question is ” Would you support an accused child molester being allowed to return to the Kindergarten school which he previously worked and be  responsible for looking after the your child”.

I would expect the answer to be a resounding yes, after all the man was merely accused of child molestation and has not been convicted in a court of law, so he should be free to go back to work. Unless he repeats the same act on another child ( maybe your kid), then his constitutional right to bail MUST be observed.

I may have been extreme here but clearly this is the path that would logically follow from the thought process of these very bright lawyers.

May the lord help us.













If the JLP delivers economic growth, its lights out for Peter, Portia and Paul

The JLP has focused on taking Jamaica from poverty to prosperity and based on the how they have begun, it appears that they are very serious about that pledge.

The former  Prime Minister, who appears to only know growth from the dictionary or from other sources, says she is confused by the number of folks the JLP has thrown at the growth agenda.

I am not very surprised by this bemusement by the former Prime Minister as it was clear that when she was in power, she understood very little about the growth agenda. Recall the Prime Minister in her 40 yrs as a MP and as a member of the PNP has seen very little growth and so does not really know how growth looks or is manifested and could not tell what is growth even if she sees it.

The same applies to Peter Phillips etal, they all have no idea how to create economic growth and would all fail to recognize it even if it slaps them in the face.

If the JLP delivers growth that people can feel, eg the $18,000 tax break, free education , free health that actually works, it will be curtains for the careers of Peter, Portia, Paul and many others.

Its a pity people like Julian Robinson and soon to be MP Mark Golding are likely to be part of an opposition for the next 15 years, due primarily to the fact that the JLP would have found a way to bring about prosperity on the land.

These guys are too good to languish in opposition and as such I hope they hop over to greener pastures and join the prosperity train.

Peter and Portia can continue to preach doom and gloom, but very few will be listening

Peter Phillips and the PNP are very disingenuous

Now opposition spokesman on Finance and former Finance Minister Dr Peter Phillips, worked with technocrats at the MOF for 4 years during which time he Dr Phillips was praised for his excellent work with the management of the country’s economy.

Dr Phillips work could not have been achieved without those folks employed to the MOF, given then he (Dr Phillips) had no formal training in either economics or Finance.

It therefore has come as a shocker to me than less than 2 months after he lost his job, Dr Phillips has the “gall” to question the capabilities of the very people who taught him the job and managed the affairs on the country on his behalf.

Are we to believe that in just two months, these once brilliant people have become idiots?

Dr Peter Phillips spent almost two hrs giving a presentation that was meaningless and offered nothing in terms of an alternative path for the economy. Dr Phillps during his time imposed in Jamaicans over $52B in new taxes in just 4 years and the country did not collapse.

To help fund the budget, the PNP took $44B from the NHT over the 4 years period, because there was simply no alternative and to now hear the man speak, cleary shows who was doing the real work at the MOF.

Without the folks of the MOF to help him Dr Phillips prepared a response to the budget without substance and provide zero ideas on moving Jamaica from poverty to prosperity. In fact it would appear that he thinks the country will fail because the PNP is now in power, oh the absolute temerity of this man.

What is clear is the PNP had no new plan for this country and so the people of Jamaica must be commended for their foresight in rejecting the PNP at the last election.

It is really hard to be a public servant in this country and its not wonder the best minds would rather go away vs working in the public sector.




Companies owe over $50b in income tax to Government

There is a growing trend here in Jamaica, where companies deduct income from workers salary but fails to pay it over on time to the government. Many companies are using these taxes as working capital to run the business, pay no interest on these monies,. which are virtually free money on which they make extra income.

With the abolition of PIT many companies will have problems with working capital to run there business as this “free” money, will not longer be available.

These companies have the next 5 years to move away from this practice, because of the JLP gets it right, PIT will be eliminated by then.

Is it ethical to use money deducted from workers salary as working capital ?


Taxing us all to benefit a few, is that really fair ?

There has been mixed views on the recent set of tax measures outlined by the JLP to fulfill an election promise of elimination of income tax for those earning $1.5m or less. While the plan was not realized exactly as promised and the timeline has been pushed back one year, the government has delivered something.

Many people however thinks the plan was a bad one given that the taxes being imposed will affect everyone, while one a small number of people stand to benefit from the income tax break.

I am mildly amused to hear people suggest, that had it not been for the $1.5m there would have been no need to impose more taxes on us.

Truth be told, I can hardly recall a budget that has been read in my adult life, which has not had a tax component ie almost every budget that I can recall has asked us to pay more taxes.

In all of these budgets, we the PAYE workers got back little or nothing . In this budget PAYE workers are actually getting back something in their pockets for the sacrifices these have made for decades, paying income taxes for the over 800,000 workers who pays NOTHING to the government coffers.

Income tax is a most unfair and unjust tax as less than half of those earning an income in this country pay for the entire working population of over 1.3M.

Now the government is giving back something to those of those who pay and we hear loud noises from those who pay diddly squat in income taxes even though they earn an income.

The fact is I have more money in my pocket and I can now decide how I spend it. I plan my trips better and conserve on gas as one should always do regardless of the price

What is ironic is that even the the $7.00 SCT, gas price is $10.00 less per liter than it was at the same period last year.

Kudos to the Government, this is a massive step in the right direction.

BTW SCT is not applied to fuel used by JPS and so there will be NO INCREASE in electricity prices as a result of the SCT increase.

Unrest after JLP hikes SCT On fuel, but is it justified

Emotions have been very high over the decision of the JLP government to increase the SCT on  fuel by a whopping $7.00 . The general view by many leading commentators and analyst as well as the public , is that this increase will be inflationary in nature , thus leading to higher cost all around.

On TVJ news, one taxi association has warned that unless the government removes the new tax, there will be a island-wide shut-down of the taxi service.

Are these comments true and are they justified, will they lead to higher levels of inflation over last year, let’s do the maths.

Last year the PNP government indicated that Jamaica had achieved the lowest level of inflation in over 40 years which was very commendable. What was ironic is that this was achieved despite the fact that the PNP imposed a $7.00 increase in the SCT on fuel. So how were we able to achieve that level of inflation, despite that inflationary increase in fuel prices.

I am not sure why that would have been the case, but this time around, the same amount of increase would lead to significantly levels of inflation, higher bus and tax prices, higher prices for goods and services and a shut-down of the transportation system if its not rolled back?

After completing  a 5 minute analysis of the gas prices between last year and now, I was not very surprised to see that gas prices this year even with the $7.00 increase in SCT is between  9 and 12% LOWER than it was at the same period of time last year, is that not SHOCKING.

So this year all hell is going to break lose given the JLP’s decision to increase the SCT even though the price of fuel, is about 10% lower than it was this time last year.

See table below. Price are Petrojam ex-refinery prices.

19-Mar-15  $ 103.94  $ 105.59  $   99.79  $    36.76  $ 111.37
Price after SCT  $ 110.94  $ 112.59  $ 106.79  $    43.76  $ 118.37
MAY 12 2016  $   93.58  $   95.23  $   86.20  $    33.85  $ 102.17
Price after SCT  $ 100.58  $ 102.23  $   93.20  $    40.85  $ 109.17
Difference in $  $   10.36  $   10.36  $   13.59  $       2.91  $      9.20
Difference in % 9.3% 9.2% 12.7% 6.6% 7.8%


I continue  to find that lack of critical analysis in Jamaica frightening, for  a country that is trying to dig itself out of economic stagnation and there appears to be very few persons who are willing to simply look at the data and form an unemotional non-political attachment to the interpretation of the data.

I have presented the data, now form your own opinion from what I have presented above in the table and the inflation data and then juxtapose this against what you have seen and heard in the print and electronic media.



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