Former Prime minister and Opposition leader Andrew Holness says the hike in food prices is bad news for poor Jamaicans. During his contribution to the budget debate, Mr Holness sought to illustrate that prices of basic food items have increased by as much as 60 per cent.
The opposition leader compared a basket of goods a fixed weekly minimum wage earner could purchase with $3000 in 2011, against the basket of goods that could be purchased today with the same amount of money. Mr Holness asserted that every household has become poorer since the PNP’s administration came to power.
Meanwhile , the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) is proposing strategic urban planning and venture capital parks as avenues for the government to streamline growth.
Holness says that with Jamaica’s high road density which is the second highest in the world, its port and communication infrastructure, it is not properly planned and organized for achieving optimal logistic value.
Mr Holness says the development of towns and housing developments has come about more to the desire of the developers rather than strategic planning which leads to congestion when travelling through these towns.
He suggests that the government starts a process of urban renewal and logistic planning to develop a properly planned city with the necessary facilities as a strategy used to stimulate growth. He also says that the government should look to capitalize on the idle capacity in labour and factory space to set up what he calls dynamic venture capital parks similar to the Silicon Valley in the United States which sees several software development firms operating in one designated area.
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