No politics in the distribution of Christmas benefits, McKenzie urges councillors
Carl Gilchrist, Gleaner Writer
Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Desmond McKenzie, has urged councillors not to be swayed by political affiliation when distributing Christmas benefits.
McKenzie, who was speaking at the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony in St Ann’s Bay yesterday, also appealed to citizens to be kind during the Christmas season.
“Ensure that no political consideration comes in to your distribution of scarce benefits to the people who need it. We must never, at any time and especially during the Christmas season, allow our efforts to be coloured by any partisan politics,” the minister said.
“I want to challenge you to reach out, not just to who you know, but those who really are in need. I want the local authorities, not just here in St Ann, to remember those who are living on the streets of our various communities, those who can’t afford to go to the shelter, ensure that you find them wherever they are and provide for them,” he added.
The local government minister noted that Christmas was a time for giving, “a time to go beyond the norm and extend the privilege that we have to the many who will never have.”
“And to those of you who are not elected representatives, you in your own right can also extend a hand of friendship. Remember your neighbour. Let us not be selfish during this holy season, let us spread the love, let us spread the joy,” he said.
Seeking to lead by example, McKenzie announced that he has made an additional $300,000 available to furnish the two houses constructed by his ministry for two indigents in St Ann.
“We’re going to be providing additional funding to help to furnish both houses so that the persons who are benefiting from these two units will not just have a roof over their heads, but will have a bed, a stove, a refrigerator,” he disclosed.