Sat | Jan 20, 2018

Condemn NHT deceit of Holness, Shaw

Published:Tuesday | March 14, 2017 | 12:00 AM


The decision by the Andrew Holness administration to extract $11.4 billion from the National Housing Trust for budgetary support will go down in history as a new low in political deception and manipulation. Not because the move in itself is morally or economically wrong, but because when the Jamaica Labour Party was in opposition, and the People's National Party (PNP) administration did it, the Labourites exhausted every adjective to show how irresponsible and corrupt the PNP Government was.

And to prove that it wasn't a bag o' mouth, the JLP took the matter to court. So serious were they that the move to raid the National Housing Trust must not happen. The prime minister and the finance minister must realise that the Jamaican people are anxiously waiting to hear from them what has changed since the time they condemned the PNP for 'raiding' the NHT.

Thank God me never vote!

It is because so many of us are convinced that reprehensible action, as was demonstrated by the finance minister to do the very thing he once condemned, has become normalised in our political culture why we lift our hands in praise to God for keeping us out of the voting booth.

I can imagine how nauseous and betrayed decent Jamaicans who voted for the JLP must be feeling as they watched this blatant disregard for integrity being unleashed right before their eyes.


Reckless election promise


To make matters worse, this Machiavellian coup de theatre was carried out in furtherance of another piece of political gimmickry commonly called '1.5'. Where then do politicians find the nerve to express hope of seeing more Jamaicans, especially young people, getting more involved in the political process when the only talent these young people see being displayed on the political landscape is deception and intrigue?

What Minister Shaw and the JLP have done with the massive tax packages that have been imposed on Jamaicans - something they promised they would not do - to fund a reckless election promise, and the extraction of funds from the NHT, constitute a frightening descent into a kind of politics that we cannot allow to become part of our legacy.

Indeed, any political culture that facilitates and fails to punish perpetrators of the kind of political gamesmanship which seems to have become a favourite pastime of the current administration is deserving of the strongest condemnation.