18 Feb JLP RAIDS NHT! CAN JAMAICA TRUST THEM?
Can Jamaica trust a Government that has already broken its major pre-election promises? Undenied reports so far indicates that the Andrew Holness administration is planning to tap the National Housing Trust (NHT) for money to support the financing of the budget for the 2017-2018 fiscal year, have underscored the duplicitous nature of this government.
While the People’s National Party is not opposed to the idea of using money held by the NHT for budgetary support, history has recorded the sharp, vitriolic comments from Holness and his team when the Portia Simpson Miller led administration accessed the coffers of the NHT to supplement same.
Leading up to the 2016 General Election, Holness argued repeatedly that the then Simpson Miller administration was taking away the property rights of Jamaicans even supporting a court case in which the legality of the decision to amend the NHT Act to give legal backing to the draw down was challenged.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Finance Minister Audley Shaw, now faced with the reality of running the country, are contemplating to use money from the NHT for budgetary support, the same action for which they chastised the PNP.
It is a fair comment and reasonable assumption that Prime Minister Holness is showing the country that what was said on the campaign trail by the JLP was nothing more than a three-card trick by a team desperate for power. The PNP repeatedly warned Holness and his team that there was no way a $1.5 million income tax threshold could be implemented without a painful tax package. However, showing their desperation for power at any cost, they told the country a bare-faced lie and hit Jamaicans with a massive tax package last year. With an even bigger tax package set to come when Shaw announces how he will finance the planned expenditure for the next fiscal year, which should include the remaining increase of the income tax threshold.
The PNP assured Jamaica that tapping into the coffers of the NHT would not adversely impact the ability of the Trust to carry out its core functions and was necessary as part of the effort to put the country on the path to long term financial prosperity and economic growth. In contrast Holness and his team misled Jamaicans on the premise that the PNP was stopping them from owning houses and vowed that a JLP government would never use the NHT to help in meeting the country’s economic targets.
Having given Jamaicans the assurance that there would be no new taxes to finance the $1.5 million tax break, and that they would not continue to use the NHT funds for budgetary support, one must ask, can Jamaica believe anything that comes from the mouths of the JLP?
The PNP’s commitment to Jamaica is to share the facts in a transparent manner, can the JLP do the same?
The truth is there for all to see, and Jamaicans should be wary of these conmen.