PNP polling mirage

Dr. Peter Phillips – former Minister of Finance

The PNP rise united and one PNP team are in a desert and seeing a massive mirage but tell their supporters that the prize is at hand, nothing could be further from the truth, as they can’t tell them of the Tsunami ahead.
According to the Bill Johnson polls, the PNP headed by Peter Phillips will do a better job than Bunting in the next general election. Johnson points to a factor of the majority of persons saying the country is going in the wrong direction, a sure sign the JLP should be concerned. History is not kind to Johnson’s words. In 2016, ahead of the General election, “Certainly, at this stage, it is going to be an orange sky on election night rather than a green sky,” pollster Bill Johnson commented after his recent national poll found the PNP four percentage points ahead of the Jamaica Labour Party, The Gleaner reported. “The movement definitely appears to be an orange movement and not a green movement,” said Johnson. “Everything seems to be pointing in the direction of a strong PNP victory,” he added.
No such development took place, as the election ended with a narrow defeat for the PNP. But Johnson is not alone, poll results posted on February 22 showed, “the party standings in the latest RJR Group/Don Anderson polls show the governing People’s National Party (PNP) still ahead of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) but by only three percent, as against four percent one month ago.”
Polls taken well ahead of an election is not a very accurate indicator of the outcome. Polls taken when one party is very active and the other is not will be highly biased towards the active one.
Two factors in the Johnson polls that are questionable. Jamaica has not seen a voter turnout close to 70 percent since the 1980s so any poll with that level of likely turnout has several persons lying to the pollsters as the turnout is unlikely to exceed 55 percent. In the last general election, it was under 50 percent. The other error is that the feedback that the country is going in the wrong direction is a variance with several other factors in the country. It does not accord with business and consumer confidence levels that are at record levels. It does not conform to record levels of employment and record low levels of unemployment and most importantly, it is at a huge variable with the best predictor of election a year out, the Jamaica Stock Exchange performance. The latter is calling the next general election with its robust performance.
By the way, with both the Anderson and Johnson polls showing the JLP ahead how will the PNP heal the wound created by the leadership challenge before Prime Minister Holness takes advantage of it?

Junior market legislation draft ready

A Shaw address ptlLegislation is ready to come to parliament to make the junior market tax incentive retroactive to April 1, this year to restore the incentive to its original benefits of 100 percent tax-free status for 5 years and 50 percent of the regular tax for the second 5 years, Minister of Finance, Audley Shaw recently.
Shaw made the announcement when he delivered the keynote address at the official ground breaking of the Allegheny Petroleum and Paramount Trading joint venture lubricant factory in July to be built at 39 Waltham Park Road in Kingston.
Benefits far out weight the loss in revenues given up by the government, Shaw said. He stated that while corporate taxes were foregone, government saw increased intake from other taxes as a result of the expansion of junior market companies. He indicated that GCT intake grew by 337 percent by junior market companies, with NIS, NHT rising by 100 percent.
“Shaw went on to state that the time for fooling around is long past” we must chart a course to a better future urgently and commended the thrust Prime Minister Holness was pursuing to focussing on growth in an aggressive way. He said that “with 13,000 new hotel rooms to come on stream over the next 5 years that an avenue is being provided for additional goods for the sector to be provided by local goods producers for the sector.”
Shaw commended the joint venture partners and stated that is what he expects to see with a more economically friendly environment that should encourage local production for exports or import substitution.