Opposition against gov't's plans for $700m property purchase
The Opposition, People's National Party (PNP) says it does not support the Government's plan to spend $700 million to purchase property to house the corporate office for the Universal Service Fund.
The Jamaica Public Bodies document tabled in Parliament last Thursday shows that the Government plans to take the money from the Fund over the next two years.
However, Opposition Spokesman on Information and the Knowledge Economy, Julian Robinson, says the action is an unconscionable misuse of resources that is inconsistent with the mandate of the organisation.
The Fund is financed through a tax on incoming phone calls to Jamaica and has a mandate to increase Internet access for all Jamaicans.
Robinson says the government should focus on bringing Internet accessible to people in many communities across the island who still do not yet have access.
He says while he is not against purchasing an office he believes that the government should seek out a more affordable option.
According to Robinson, the purchasing of a corporate office would represent the Fund's second largest investment of all projects listed in the organisation's budget for the 2017-18 fiscal year.
He also says the $700 million could be used to build over 200 new community Internet access points or provide tablets to an additional 15,000 students.