JIS News

The Government has at no time engaged in any secret deal or quiet withdrawal of funds from the National Housing Trust, NHT.

Claims of a secret NHT deal contained in an article in the Sunday Gleaner on April 7 with the headline ‘Secret Deal: NHT paid $4billion into government’s coffers last year’, are incorrect and misleading.

It is a well known fact that the NHT was called upon last year to provide $4 billion for supporting budgetary efforts and the achievement of our primary and fiscal balance.

This was announced by the Minister of Finance Dr Peter Phillips in his 2012/13 Budget Presentation on May 24, 2012, and published in the Public Bodies Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure 2012/13.

An article on this very issue titled “NHT Raided” appeared in The Gleaner of May 24, 2012. Another Gleaner article on May 25, 2012 headlined ‘Bridging the Budget Gap – Phillips outlines measures to raise $19b in new taxes’ reported: “Another $4 billion is to be taken from the National Housing Trust, $3 billion of which represents outstanding taxes owed to the Government. The remaining $1 billion is to be used to address infrastructure needs for specified housing schemes.”

We hope that this will clear-up any misunderstanding which might have been caused by this most mischievous and misleading article.

Contact: Communications Unit-OPM

Tel: 926-0244

Fax: 920-4684

Email: opm.news@opm.gov.jm

Website: www.opm.gov.jm