Daraine Luton, Senior Staff Reporter
THE BRUCE Golding-led government has written to the chairman of the National Housing Trust indicating that it would be calling on the housing agency to provide surplus funds for budgetary consolidation.
In closing the debate on a bill to amend the NHT Act in the Senate yesterday, Justice Minister Mark Golding said, "It was the policy of the previous government to contemplate distribution from the NHT."
Senator Golding read from a letter dated December 6, 2010, signed by Ann Marie Rhoden on behalf of Financial Secretary Wesley Hughes, which was addressed to then chairman of the NHT Howard Mitchell.
The letter pointed to the amendment of the Public Bodies Management and Accountability Act in March 2010, and highlighted that public bodies could now be called upon to provide surplus to help the Government's fiscal programme.
"Public bodies are asked to apprise themselves of the changes and to take account of the implications for the corporate plan and budgets," the letter said.
The letter also noted that while regulations for the act, including a Financial Distribution Policy, are still incomplete, "public bodies are being directed to provide for a minimum distribution of five to 10 per cent of surplus to the accountant general from surpluses over the three-year planning period".