JMA President Hails Prime Minister’s Budget Presentation

Photo: Michael Sloley President of the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association (JMA), Metry Seaga, offers his views on the Prime Minister’s 2016/17 budget presentation, during a post budget debate reception at Vale Royal in St. Andrew, on May 24.

Story Highlights

  • President of the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association (JMA), Metry Seaga, has hailed the Prime Minister’s 2016 budget presentation for addressing the needs of low income earners.
  • Citing the Prime Minister’s announcement in the House on May 24 that some National Housing Trust (NHT) contributors will benefit from interest free loans Mr. Seaga said this is a “step in the right direction.”
  • The adjustments will take effect for mortgages written after July 1 this year.

President of the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association (JMA), Metry Seaga, has hailed the Prime Minister’s 2016 budget presentation for addressing the needs of low income earners.

            Citing the Prime Minister’s announcement in the House on May 24 that some National Housing Trust (NHT) contributors will benefit from interest free loans Mr. Seaga said this is a “step in the right direction.”

            “We at the JMA believe that there should be significant changes to the NHT. Persons at the lower band of the working group (now) have something to look forward to,” he said.

            Mr. Seaga was speaking to JIS News at the Prime Minister’s post budget reception, held at Vale Royale in St. Andrew.

            In his 2016/17 budget debate presentation, Prime Minister the Most Hon. Andrew Holness,  said the Government will increase the income band for persons accessing zero per cent loans from the National Housing Trust (NHT) from $7,500 to $12,000 per week.

            Additionally, contributors earning between $12,001 and $20,000 per week will now be eligible for a two per cent mortgage interest rate, down from four per cent; and persons earning between $20,001 and $30,000 weekly, will be eligible for loans at four per cent, down from six per cent.

            Contributors who earn above $30,000 weekly will continue to pay at the rate of six per cent. The adjustments will take effect for mortgages written after July 1 this year.

            Mr. Seaga also commended the Prime Minister for taking steps to address tax reform, which he noted had not gone far enough in the past, and for the Government’s decision to privatise certain State entities.

            Mr. Seaga also believes that the decision to have a fixed election date is “critical,” noting that this would help to reduce uncertainty in the country.

              Meanwhile, Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, who has responsibility for Housing, said the announcement by the Prime Minister will make major differences in home ownership in Jamaica.

            “This will stimulate employment, construction and build stronger communities as people will ultimately own their homes,” he said.

            Former Director of Elections, Danville Walker, also hailed the Prime Minister’s budget presentation, particularly having a fixed election date.

            “I am sure the electoral system will benefit from knowing the date, so that they can have everything ready. It is a good evolutionary step that we should have the courage to take,” he noted.

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