Jamaica Gleaner
Published: Thursday | January 3, 2013
Home : Letters
LETTER OF THE DAY - Let's unite to pay off national debt

AS JAMAICANS, we must depend on ourselves. The country is indebted to the extent of $1.7 trillion, yet we are intent on borrowing more from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Jamaica is already paying over 50 cents of every dollar collected from taxation to service the national debt. To borrow more will be foolhardy.

I suggest the following course to recovery.

1. Jamaicans, we have to rise up and rescue the land we love. Jamaica cannot afford to falter.

2. Jamaicans, we have to unite for at least once, in order to liquidate the debt, thereby giving meaning to the hackneyed phrase 'Put Jamaica First'

3. Of the 2.6 million Jamaicans, according to the recent census, I estimate 1.5 million are income and wage earners, receiving $5,000 upwards per week. I was unable to ascertain what the national average would be, but by trying possible averages, I see achievable solutions.

4. Jamaicans, let us make individual contribution of four per cent of our weekly earnings for the period that the IMF agreement would last. This sacrifice on our part would reduce the debt considerably or erase it completely.

5. Jamaicans, the suggestion in item 4 above may appear difficult, but if we do it, brighter days are ahead.

6. Jamaicans, let us not borrow from the IMF and increase our indebtedness.

7. Let us work together and make the sacrifice together so that we do not go over the cliff together.


What a grand day when we do not have to service any debt using more than 50 per cent of our tax dollar?

Let us remember what our National Hero Norman Manley said, that his generation gave us political independence and we must strive for economic independence. Let us not fail him.

Can we do it? 'YES, WE CAN'

I close by reminding you what President John F. Kennedy said in his famous speech, that it is not what your country can do for you, it is what you can do for your country.




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