Wed | Jan 17, 2018

SECTORAL DEBATE: Councillors to get $515 million for funerals, disaster relief in divisions

Published:Wednesday | April 19, 2017 | 4:23 PM
McKenzie ... For the first time, funding will be dedicated to elected representatives to carry out meaningful change at the divisional level.

Jovan Johnson, Parliamentary Reporter

Approximately $515 million has been set aside for municipal councillors to help with issues such as disaster relief and funerals, Local Minister Desmond McKenzie has announced.

He said $400 million will go towards providing housing for the poor as well as social assistance, education and funeral needs.

The remaining $115 million will be devoted to a special fund to assist councillors to help fire victims in their divisions.

Some of that will also go towards establishing an official office for councillors in each of the more 200 electoral divisions across Jamaica.

"For the first time, funding will be dedicated to elected representatives to carry out meaningful change at the divisional level," McKenzie said in his contribution to the Sectoral Debate.

He said most of the money to fund the projects is coming from the Equalisation Fund, which is supported by property tax collections.

"What were you doing with it?" He asked opposition members who were heckling him.

Applications for the benefits will be managed by the Poor Relief Departments of the municipal corporations.

How the money will be allocated
*Each councillor will access $500,000 per year to help constituents with housing assistance
*$90 million to care for people living in indigent housing
*$1.7 million to each municipal corporation for educational grants
*$1.5 million to each municipal corporation for funeral grants