JIS News

Finance and Planning Minister, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, has re-assured that the National Housing Trust’s (NHT) contribution of $11 billion per annum to the Government’s fiscal consolidation efforts for the next four years, will not impair the agency’s capacity to maintain its programme of housing and mortgage provisions.

He gave this re-assurance while addressing journalists during a Jamaica House media briefing on February 14, where he provided an update on Jamaica’s economic programme.

In announcing several measures aimed at raising an additional $15.9 billion in revenue for the 2013/14 fiscal year, during Tuesday’s, February 12, debate on the First Supplementary Estimates, in the House of Representatives, Dr. Phillips advised that the administration has sought the NHT’s input to assist in meeting this target.

He informed that the new revenue measures are necessary for Jamaica to secure an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), access funding from other international institutions, and ensure that the country can meet its obligations.

The Minister pointed out that the NHT’s input will not result in any change to its mandate of providing affordable housing solutions.

Meanwhile, Dr. Phillips told journalists at the media briefing that the NHT’s Board “has considered this matter, went through extensive discussions and stress testing, in looking at it, and I daresay they and (ourselves) have more confidence in the agency’s input.”

The Minister emphasized that a specific commitment given by the Government to the IMF is that the level of expenditure by the NHT that has existed over the past three years will be sustained.