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'We rejected Outameni' - JLP

Published:Sunday | November 9, 2014 | 11:00 AM

Opposition Spokesman on Housing Dr Horace Chang is moving to distance the Jamaica Labour Party administration from the controversial purchase of Outameni Tours and Entertainment Projects by the National Housing Trust (NHT).

With reports surfacing that persons on both sides of the political divide encouraged the NHT to fork out $180 million to purchase the attraction, Chang declared that the administration which lost power in 2011 had nothing to do with the move.

"We were approached to buy the property and the JLP government rejected the proposal because the entity was not a viable prospect. We are very concerned that persons would seek to involve the JLP in this mess when we did the right thing and saved the taxpayers millions of dollars in expected losses," said Chang.

"We rejected it because we were not going to risk taxpayers' money in that way. Furthermore, use of the NHT was not on the table. Under the JLP government, the NHT did, however, perform its mandate. It started work on addressing the shortage of low-income housing in Trelawny by buying hundreds of acres in Trelawny for low-income housing, especially for workers in tourism.

"It is scandalous and outrageous that the NHT did not spend some of those millions of dollars on building on those secured lands for the benefit of contributors. That would have been reasonable and responsible and proper use of contributions, unlike this action which is gross and suspicious," added Chang.