Sun | Aug 20, 2017

Not so fast Audley ... platform statement not supported by documents

Published:Friday | January 29, 2016 | 1:50 PMDaraine Luton, Senior Staff Reporter
Shaw said that Spencer’s constituency is being starved of resources as opposed to Arscott’s neighbouring seat which has been getting more than its fair share of state’s resources.

 Audley Shaw last night used a political platform in Lionel Town, Clarendon to misrepresent the facts about disbursements on money from the Equalization Fund to the 22 divisions in the Clarendon Parish Council.

Shaw, who had earlier raised the matter of disbursements from the Fund in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, used the platform in Lionel Town, South East Clarendon to claim that the constituency represented by Rudyard Spencer was not allocated any money from the Equalization Fund this year.

The Equalization Fund represents disbursements to the local authorities by Central Government.

In Clarendon, $100.5 million was spent across the 22 parish council divisions, $51 million of which was spent in South West Clarendon.

Shaw alleged in Parliament that a similar lopsided allocation took place last year when South West Clarendon, represented by Local Government Minister Noel Arscott, got $73.3 million.

Shaw used the Lionel Town meeting to say that Spencer’s constituency is being starved of resources as opposed to Arscott’s neighbouring seat which has been getting more than its fair share of state’s resources.

“The Equalisation Fund is supposed to equalize between all the 63 MPs across Jamaica. And in Clarendon, in the Equalization Fund last year, him tek weh $73 million fi himself and his constituency. Yuh know how much him give to Ruddy Spencer? Three million dollars... This year, him tek weh $51 million from the Equalization Fund. Yuh know how much him give to Ruddy Spencer? Zeroooo!" said Shaw.

However, Shaw’s platform statement is not supported by documents which were laid in Parliament on Tuesday.

In South East Clarendon, where the JLP's Rudyard Spencer is defending a 107 vote margin, some $16.5 million from the Equalization Fund was spent across the four divisions -- Palmers Cross; Mineral Heights; Hayes and Rocky Point.

The records show that $6 million was spent in 2015 for the rehabilitation of the Moores School Road in the Palmers Cross Division.

In that same division, Harris road was rehabilitated at a cost of $1.2 million in 2015.

Further, $3 million was spent rehabilitating Swamp Road in the Rocky Point division; $4.9 million went to repairing Jungle Road in Hayes division; $1 million went to repairing the King Street drain in Lionel Town and $480,000 was spent undertaking public education and social intervention in the same community.

The document also shows that some $2.5 million was shared among all 22 divisions for the trucking of water to drought stricken areas.

Palmers Cross and Hayes are represented by PNP councilors while Mineral Heights and Rocky Point have JLP councilors.