Opposition concerned about abandonment of Noranda bauxite levy
Debbie-Ann Wright - Editor, Radio
The Parliamentary opposition is expressing concern following the government’s announcement that it will be abandoning the Bauxite Levy in favour of a profit-sharing arrangement with the new owners of the Noranda Bauxite Company in St. Ann.
Opposition spokesman on mining, Phillip Paulwell, has described the move as a massive shift in policy.
Paulwell’s declaration came after the Mining Minister Mike Henry, this afternoon outlined the arrangement of the Noranda takeover to the House of Representatives.
IN PHOTO: Phillip Paulwell
The Cabinet yesterday approved the Letter of Intent for the takeover of the Noranda Bauxite Company in St. Ann by American company New Day Holdings LLC.
The Jamaican Government has partial ownership in the company.
Henry outlined that under the new profit sharing agreement, the government stands to get a share of the profit in the company’s operations in Louisiana in the United States as well.
He said it would result in Jamaica earning more than it would under just the bauxite levy:
Henry also said a timetable had been worked out for the payment of US$12.6 million in bauxite levy owed for 2014 and 2015.
IN PHOTO: Mike Henry
But Paulwell said the government was giving up a safe source of income when the country most needs the revenues from the bauxite levy:
The mining ministry had said a signing ceremony for the Letter of Agreement for the sale of the company had been scheduled for tomorrow morning at 9 o’ clock.
However, this afternoon, it advised the signing has been postponed.
This is to allow the Mining Minister to present certain information to the House about the bona fide of the company that will be taking over Noranda.
The mining minister has said the company has assured there will be no wide-scale lay-offs.
He also said redundancy payments would be prioritised.