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PNP Outlines ‘Wealth' Plan For Jamaicans

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Source: Jamaica Gleaner


Image caption: People's National Party vice president Damion Crawford.

A pledge to build 1,300 houses, improve access to water, and provide a tax credit to single mothers are among several proposals the People’s National Party (PNP) has outlined to create wealth for Jamaicans if elected to form the next government.

The polls are to be held on September 3. 

The party unveiled aspects of its water, employment, access, land, technology, and housing (W.E.A.L.T.H.) plan during a virtual media briefing this morning.

It is a plan that it hopes will help Jamaicans to navigate the difficult road ahead as the country tries to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic.

PNP vice-president and the main contributor to the document, Damion Crawford, said that individuals from several sectors are set to benefit from the plan, which has been dubbed “The People’s Pledge”. They include nurses, teachers, police, hospitality workers, and household helpers.

Crawford said that a great deal of focus would be placed on income-generating activities such as the construction of houses and the agricultural sector.

“We also predicted some anxiety the people would be facing, and so we looked at, for example, the teachers and how they are going to have to spend on house preparations for homeschooling, in particular, the delivery of the homeschool material, and so we put in the manifesto a $100,000 one-off grant,” he said.

The party’s spokesperson on finance, Mark Golding, indicated that a PNP Government would put in place a tax credit for single mothers to help with childcare expenses in light of the current situation facing these persons.

“We are also looking to increase the NHT [National Housing Trust] mortgage availability to single mothers as well in terms of the quantum that single parents can access through the NHT,” he said.

Golding also made reference to the PNP’s rent-to-own housing initiative, saying that this would fast-track persons to home ownership.

It is being proposed that persons will be required to pay a monthly rent amount, a portion of which goes to the down payment of the house.

At the end of the period when the down payment has accumulated, it transitions to a mortgage.

Golding said that the PNP’s COVID-19 recovery and rescue operation would focus on healthcare and the economy.

“Many people have lost their jobs, our major foreign-exchange-earning industry has, basically, shut down, and there is no clear end to it in sight. We are in a crisis nationally,” he said.

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