JM | Jan 30, 2023

JLP condemns Opposition’s attempts to ‘politicise’ SSL scandal

Tamoy Ashman

Tamoy Ashman / Our Today

Reading Time: 3 minutes
General Secretary for the JLP, Dr Horace Chang

The Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) are condemning attempts by the opposition to politicise the ongoing Stocks and Securitites Limited (SSL) fraud scandal, extending their support to finance minister Dr Nigel Clarke.

Opposition spokesman on Finance, Julian Robinson had issued a release calling the finance minister negligence after he failed to read a report sent to him in April 2020 from the Financial Services Commission (FSC). The report is said to have detailed a crisis at SSL, flagging serious deficiencies in the operations.

In rebuking the claims made by the Opposition, General Secretary for the JLP Dr Horace Chang said in a release today (January 30) that the JLP will continue to support Clarke as he manages the crisis.

“It is disappointing, but not surprising that the Peoples National Party (PNP) is seeking relevance from this treacherous theft. Their actions are short-sighted and dangerous,” said Chang.

Julian Robinson, opposition spokesman for finance. (Photo: Facebook @JamaicaPNP)

He then noted that the FSC operates independent from the Government and the law does not stipulate that Clarke should supervise matters that happen at the institution.

But according to the PNP, Clarke’s ministerial oversight function should have prompted him to question the FSC’s recommendations, given the nature of the problems identified at SSL. Therefore, they are requesting  full disclosure of all reports by the FSC on the SSL, including all examination reports, and all correspondence that were sent to the minister and Ministry of Finance.

“The PNP’s actions are undermining confidence in the financial sector, risking the loss of progress built on the sacrifice of all Jamaicans. This is not a time for political one-upmanship or point-scoring. They must recognize that their actions and that of their surrogates do nothing to move Jamaica forward,” stated Chang.

He then urged the opposition to join the Government as they seek to fix systematic gaps in the financial sector that span administration.

Dr Nigel Clarke, minister of finance and the public service.

Last week Clarke had announced that the Government would be transparent with the public, sharing details of the investigation when possible. He also announced that the Government was seeking the assistance of the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and are prepared to fund the investigation themselves, a decision that Chang states he fully supports.

“We support all actions by the government to investigate and find those responsible for this cruel act and support all the victims who have had their hard-earned investments compromised. As one country, we can continue to build a robust and fair economy for the benefit of our citizens,” said Chang.

SSL is under investigation after it was reported that multiple accounts were defrauded, most notably that of Olympic champion and retired sprint legend Usain Bolt.

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