‘I am a born Jamaican’ - Golding reminds public he’s a son of the soil
Mark Golding, the president of the People's National Party (PNP), has defiantly responded to his critics who have sought to exploit his race for political gain. He used the platform of the party's 85th annual conference to reaffirm his Jamaican identity.
"I, Mark Jefferson Golding, am a born Jamaican, a son of the soil. I come from a family that has given great service to the people of this country, giving selfless service to ordinary Jamaicans and building lasting institutions of inclusion to empower persons with disabilities. That is my family tradition," Golding declared.
"I am who I am. I offer myself to the Jamaican people for their service, equipped with the skills, knowledge, and life experience I have acquired. My intent is not to scrape by; I come with a sincere dedication to serve all Jamaicans, guided by clean hands and a pure heart."
During his wide-ranging address at the conference, held at the National Arena in St Andrew, Golding invoked Jamaica's national motto, 'Out of Many, One People,' acknowledging that his ethnicity has become a focal point in political discourse.
"Whatever depraved and divisive vulgarities my political opponents may stoop to in their desperation to hold onto power, I will not be daunted. I have no fear of them. I stand firm in leading our Party in our mission of social and economic transformation to a better Jamaica for all our people."
Meanwhile, Golding called on the Government to raise the income tax threshold from $1.5 million to a minimum of $3 million. He argued that this adjustment would account for the significant inflation levels since the last revision seven years ago and provide a reasonable cushion against ongoing economic inflation.
The Jamaica Labour Party administration had previously increased the income tax threshold from $592,800 to $1.5 million in 2016.