Fri | Jan 19, 2018

No update on UK prison deal until January – government

Published:Friday | December 16, 2016 | 1:44 PM
The entrance to the Fort Augusta Adult Correctional Facility, Jamaica's only female prison.

The Government has said January is the earliest it could answer questions regarding the status of the United Kingdom's $5.5 billion offer to help build a modern prison here.

The matter was again raised in today’s sitting of the Senate.

Opposition Senator, Lambert Brown, tabled questions on the matter on July 15 and they were set to be answered on August 5.

However, the Senate has sat nine times since, with no answer forthcoming.

This morning, leader of opposition business in the senate, Mark Golding, insisted an answer should be provided given today is the last sitting of the House before the Christmas break.

But junior minister in the national security ministry, Pearnel Charles Jr, said while the answers were ready, there were certain diplomatic discussions which needed to be completed before they are provided.

 

Junior minister in the national security ministry, Pearnel Charles Jr

Golding said the response was unsatisfactory and disappointing.

 

leader of opposition business in the senate, Mark Golding

The issue is sensitive for the prime minister because while leading the Opposition last year, he told then British Prime Minister David Cameron, who announced the deal, that the money would be better spent on education.

Charles Jr asserted in a Gleaner interview that there had been no change in their stance.

The Portia Simpson Miller administration had faced sustained public backlash over the offer many felt was an insult from Great Britain.