While acknowledging that the administration is only at midterm, Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) firebrand politician Audley Shaw said it is ripe for a second term.
“I know we are at midterm, but I already feel that victory is in the air for the Jamaica Labour Party. It’s time for a second term,” Shaw declared as he delivered his address to hundreds of supporters packed inside the National Arena at the party’s 75th annual conference yesterday.
Shaw touted that the administration has delivered on the economy and the promise of job creation.
He said workers now have a better deal with the implementation of the $1.5-million tax threshold benefit.
The former finance minister boasted that the administration was responsible for the creation of more than 80,000 new jobs in the Jamaican economy.
The result, he said, was a 4.4 percentage point decline in the unemployment rate since the administration took office.
“People are getting work all over the place. Jamaicans are happy … dem a get up early, put on dem clothes with pride and a go work,” Shaw stated, to applause from bell-ringing Labourites.
Shaw, who is minister of industry, commerce, agriculture and fisheries, told the party faithful that he was just getting “warmed up” in his ministry as he pledged to deliver on the Government’s promises.
He mentioned plans for the sugar cane industry, in what appeared to be a rebuttal to the People’s National Party’s claim that the Government did not have a clear plan for the sector.
“We nuh fi get bout sugar cane. We going to rationalise the production of sugar cane more efficiently on smaller acreages of land,” Shaw said.
At the same time, the agriculture minister said lands freed up from the rationalisation exercise would be used for other farming purposes.
He said there were “hundreds” of applications coming into his office from persons who had an interest in leasing government lands to grow a variety of crops.
“We going to give them the land so they can grow and grow on it to prosperity,” the self-styled ‘Man-a-Yard’ said.