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ELECTION WATCH: JLP manifesto to be released on Monday

The ruling Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) has indicated that it will release its manifesto on Monday, August 24, nine days before the September 3 General Elections.

In a tweet from the party late on Saturday, the JLP, which has dubbed itself 'the Stronger Team', said it will "release our 2016-2020 List of Achievements" on Sunday.

The party said "This will be followed by our 2020 General Election manifesto on Monday," adding that "A #StrongerJamaica will emerge from the party that plans and delivers".

Since their contenders, the Opposition People's National Party (PNP), released their manifesto to the public online last Thursday, citizens have been asking about when the JLP will release its manifesto.

However, the JLP said the document was being fine-tuned, and would be ready for release within days.

To date, the PNP's manifesto is located only on its website at

In the online version, individuals are directed to snapshots of the document based on questions answered at the beginning of a tour of the website.

In the manifesto, the PNP has outlined some interesting plans it has in the pipelines if it forms the next Government. The plans have already been the topic of much discussion, including on various social media platforms.

Among the plans is the promise to provide Jamaicans with an opportunity to acquire a home in a Rent-To-Own programme.

According to the manifesto, the Rent-To-Own programme is to be part of the construction of 130,000 housing units across the island by the National Housing Trust (NHT).

In the Rent-To-Own programme, individuals will rent the units with a percentage of the rental amounts going towards set down payments on the purchasing of the units. When the down payment target is achieved, the rental amount will become a mortgage.

The manifesto said the plan is geared towards expanding homeownership across the country, as well as to grow the construction industry.

Another initiative that the PNP is touting in the manifesto is to make it possible for potential first-time homeowners to be able to apply for 50 per cent of a year’s income tax to go towards the purchase of a home.

The PNP is also proposing a specially designed mortgage to be facilitated by the NHT, which will make it easier for single-income individuals to own homes.

According to the manifesto, the PNP will increase access to NHT benefits by reducing the threshold requirements to access NHT loans.

Meanwhile, the manifesto said the PNP has already identified $5 billion to be used to upgrade the infrastructure of established housing schemes over the next five years. This is to include road development and repairs, water projects, drainage implementation, sewerage and maintenance, along with street lighting and community centres.

Under the renamed version of the SLB, the Opposition said the programme "will not require guarantors for applicants to access loans", and "students will have the option of incorporating fees into the loan(s)."

Additionally, nurses, teachers and security force members "will enjoy a moratorium on payment (of the loans) while employed to the public sector", the PNP promised.

The Opposition party has promised to release a printed version of the manifesto within days.

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