Toll Increase Will Hurt Jamaicans - Chang

Release Date: 
Wednesday, June 25, 2014 - 14:00

Opposition Spokesman on Transport, Dr. Horace Chang, has labelled the planned increase of toll rates as anti-people and anti-business.  He said that a higher toll would be yet another burden on the backs of Jamaicans, especially residents of the Portmore community who are already suffering because of the policies of the government. He continued to state that this was another example of how the government's policy of devaluation increases pressure on working people. 
   
Dr. Chang called on the government to immediately review the cost structure with the owners of the road.  He stated that the cost is prohibiting many persons from using the road, and is a heavy burden on those who do.  He said that if the cost structure is not changed, the road’s viability will one day be in peril.

According to Dr. Chang: “What is clear is that almost every week consumers are faced with new increases at the wholesale stores, in the supermarkets, at the gas pumps and in everyday living. The manufacturing sector is also facing increases due to the devaluation of the Jamaican dollar and its impact on electricity rates.

He continued: “This increase in toll rates will continue the trend of increases, so that in addition to everything else, consumers and business people alike will have to deal with higher transportation costs.”

Dr. Chang added that while there is a wage freeze, the government continues to make it harder for Jamaicans to survive.  He said: “When you think about the number of persons employed in Kingston and living in Portmore, you really have to think that the government does not care about them!  Furthermore, which householder can afford a round trip in a class one car from May Pen to Kingston at a cost of $820 per day for 1 week? and that does not even include gas!” 

He said that he understood that the road was built with the intention of driving businesses and boosting the economy, so it was truly sad that the price for its use was actually driving working Jamaicans and businesses into the ground”.

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