Hard working Jamaicans living overseas in the UK and USA are fuming over the comments in the media by Deputy Mayor of Montego Bay Richard Vernon.
“Only cowards run away to go to America because they are seeking out opportunity. Opportunities are there overseas, but do not run away and leave your country, especially leaving indefinitely, and you don’t want to contribute to the further development of your country,” said Richard Vernon.
“You same ones who are saying that the country is not going on with anything, what are you doing to develop your own country? They made the sacrifice in America and all the First-World countries so they can live the life that you admire, so do the same for your country and your parish”, Vernon continued.
The frustration however, is not limited to the diaspora, as people in Jamaica are also calling on the deputy mayor to retract those statements.
“The deputy mayor sound like him badmind”, one lady from Manchester wrote.
“He must ask his PM to clarify $43.5 million that was spent on commonwealth campaign. Isn’t New Forest Energy a global compay? More than 90% vouchers given away came directly or indirectly from expats?Why mention that at a back to school event which remittances play a big part in?” said a member of the diaspora from the St Elizabeth community of Pepper district. “In fact they are piggybacking off what the good Jamaican citizens, investors and the diaspora offers and keeping their money to win election”, he continued.
A pensioner living in Jamaica stated, “Him lucky. If I was 20 years younger I gone. I stay here and build pay more taxes than this man and I can hardly drive from my house to Black River. Garbage pile up like the sand on the beach, I go supermarket and I can carry $20k worth of groceries in one hand. I cant even stop by a grocery shop in the community and watch a domino game as I am fretting who going to bounce on me.”
Remittances contribute significantly to Jamaica’s economy.
For the first 4 months of 2021, remittance inflows into Jamaica exceeded the US$1-billion mark. Net remittance inflows of US$1012.7 million increased by 52.6% or US$349.1 million relative to the previous corresponding period.
This improvement resulted from an increase of 46.2% or S$345.7 million in total remittance inflows aided by a decline of 4.1% or US$3.5 million in total remittance outflows. For the month of April, the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) reports that net remittance inflows of US$270.7 million increased by 69.5% or US$110.9 million in comparison to April of 2020. Remittances from the USA accounted for 72.3% of total flows.
That was, however, down from 77.9% recorded for April 2020. For the month April, the UK accounted for 10.7%, of total remittances followed by Canada at 9.3%. (BOJ) (JO)
Extract from CARICOM BUSINESS Vol 4 No 28 See Link https://caricom.org/jamaica-remittances-exceed-us1-billion-in-4-months-caricom-business/
Leaders from both major political parties of Jamaica were recently in North America seeking support from the diaspora.