Gov’t on a mission of socialising wealth, says Holness

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Prime Minister Andrew Holness says the Government has embarked on a strategy to make Jamaica an ownership economy.

“Our economic strategy is economic independence. For that we mean, the ability of the country and indeed its citizens to make decisions in its own economic interest without having to consider what it owes or what it will lose if it acts or does not act in a particular way,” said Prime Minister Holness told the audience at the Wigton Wind Farm breakfast briefing today, April 9, held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in St Andrew.

The prime minister contends that the administration is on a path to secure its economic independence by pushing wealth into the hands of the people, according to a statement from the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) “Our strategy is not poverty alleviation, our strategy is not welfare, our strategy is wealth creation. I know that in the minds of many Jamaicans there is a fear that wealth creation is synonymous with exploitation,” said Holness.

“Again, we have to get that out of our psyche, out of our way of thinking. Jamaica is destined to be a rich country and we must never be afraid of wealth, we must not be afraid of making a profit. Profit is a good thing,” he added.

The breakfast briefing was held to launch the Initial Public Offer (IPO) of the Government-owned Wigton Wind Farm Limited. A historic eleven billion shares will be on offer to the public.

Meanwhile, Holness underscored that there is a list of businesses operated by the Government that will soon be packaged and placed in the hands of the Jamaican citizen via the stock market.

“This will relieve Government of some massive risks; risks of corruption for example. It also ensures that scarce resources are more efficiently used which is usually the case when these resources are in the private sector. So, I believe you can see the strategy of the Government going forward,” Holness said.

The prospectus of Wigton Wind Farm is now on the Jamaica Stock Exchange website. The IPO is scheduled to open on April 17 and will close on May 1, 2019, the OPM said.

The Government is seeking to raise more than five billion dollars from the offer.

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