Wed | Dec 13, 2017

NHT plunder unconscionable

Published:Monday | July 10, 2017 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

I note that the Government is again taking more than $11 billion from the National Housing Trust fund. At the end of the day, both governments would have taken close to $100 billion.

The Trust was set up in 1976 to address a housing shortage. My understanding was that it was sacred. Obviously, the funds should only be used to build houses. And, by the way, it was set up primarily to help poor people to own a house.

Both governments have been dishonest. They have broken the trust, and, if left unchecked, who knows what will be next?

The minister of finance talks about surplus funds. There should not be surplus funds in an organisation like the Housing Trust, when there are so many thousands of contributors without a house.

Those funds belongs to the people of Jamaica, and the main reason for governments' rape of the fund is simply their incompetence in managing the financial affairs of the country. Even if there was this so-called surplus, a caring government would think of ways to benefit the people. Maybe the bar for qualification could be lowered, or a down payment would not be necessary for people earning below a certain salary. Maybe the interest rate could be lowered.

They could also think of building self-contained communities for retirees without a pension, where the units would be sold at low cost.

Michael Manley must be turning in his grave.

CARL BELL

carl_bell@hotmail.com