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House passes NHT amendments

Published: Wednesday March 6, 2013 | 9:32 am with audio | Comments 0
Finance Minister Dr. Peter Phillips - File.
Finance Minister Dr. Peter Phillips - File.

The House of Representatives yesterday passed amendments to the National Housing Trust (NHT) Act, to allow the drawdown of $45 billion from the entity despite the insistence by opposition parliamentarians that the move is illegal.

The Government is planning to take $11.4 billion annually for the next four years from the Trust for budgetary support.

While the Government used its majority to pass the amendments to the NHT Act, the bill was staunchly opposed by members of the opposition.

Leading the charge was Opposition spokesman on finance, Audley Shaw, who said the Trust was not owned by the Government and therefore the administration had no right to those funds.

The opposition leader, Andrew Holness, likened the withdrawal to robbing a bank.

The opposition spokesman on justice, Delroy Chuck, said the planned move would violate the Charter of Rights.

However, the attorney general, Patrick Atkinson, maintained that the withdrawal breaks no laws, even without the amendment.

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Opposition spokesman on finance, Audley Shaw.
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