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Holness to release financial records by March

Published:Monday | January 11, 2016 | 1:00 AMLivern Barrett
An aerial view of Holness' house taken July 30 last year.

LEADER OF the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Andrew Holness has revealed that he will make his financial records public by the end of March.

Holness has come under scrutiny for a mansion he and his wife, Juliet, are constructing in the upper St Andrew community of Beverly Hills.

Speaking to reporters yesterday after a meeting of JLP candidates at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston, Holness revealed that he was now in the process of preparing his annual integrity report for 2015, which has to be submitted to Parliament by March 31.

"When I make my integrity report [to Parliament], I will release my financials," he declared.

"I made my commitment and I am going to do it," the JLP leader insisted, while challenging others to follow his example.

Holness first promised to release his financial records in December last year after campaign director for the governing People's National Party (PNP) Dr Peter Phillips used a political platform to raise questions about his mansion.

Phillips, who is also the country's finance minister, used a political meeting in Race Course, Clarendon, to question Holness' priorities and pointed to the Beverly Hills mansion as an indication that "he is not putting service in public life above self".

"If him want the whole country to know all the facts, then what him must do, like Prime Minister [P.J.] Patterson did one time, is publish all the facts so all the people of Jamaica can form the judgement for themselves," Phillips dared the JLP leader then.

But without calling names, Holness said he wanted to see "others" make their financial records public.

"Those who are asking for it should also be prepared to do it," he insisted.

Holness has defended the mansion, calling it the product of hard work and said it should be the ambition of every poor person to build a big house.