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PNP calls press conference over Labour Day allocations

Published:Tuesday | May 24, 2016 | 11:34 AM
In a letter to Prime Minister Andrew Holness on the weekend, PNP General Secretary Paul Burke sought to get an explanation for allocations which he described as "blatant discrimination and victimisation".

The Opposition People's National Party (PNP) has called a press conference for this afternoon to outline its concerns in relation to the inequitable distribution of Labour Day funds to members of parliament.  

The press conference is scheduled to begin at 12:30.

In a letter to Prime Minister Andrew Holness on the weekend, PNP General Secretary Paul Burke sought to get an explanation for allocations which he described as "blatant discrimination and victimisation".

READ: PNP writes PM over 'inequitable distribution' of Labour Day funds

According to documents received by The Gleaner, the PNP was allocated only $19 million of $54.65 million taken from the Tourism Product Development Company for Labour Day initiatives.   

However, according to Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett this does not tell the full story. 

He says each constituency had access of up to $4 million in support of development projects.

PHOTO: Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett

However, he notes that funds that were already drawn down will be deducted from the $4 million cap.‎

Bartlett also pointed to allocations made under the last PNP administration which showed what he says is an incredible bias towards the PNP members just before the last election.

He says several JLP MPs had asked for additional resources for projects in their constituencies but those requests went unanswered while PNP constituencies were given additional funds.

The tourism minister says many of the JLP MPs whose requests were not granted then asked for additional support and it was decided to upfront a portion of their allocation to restore equity.

READ: Bartlett responds to accusations of 'inequitable distribution' of Labour Day funds