Tue | Oct 17, 2017

IMF steers clear of Outameni matter

Published:Friday | November 14, 2014 | 1:33 PM

The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Mission Chief to Jamaica, Jan Kees Martijn, steered clear of questions relating to the National Housing Trust’s Outameni acquisition.



Yesterday, in a post on his official Facebook page, Opposition Leader Andrew Holness said he brought the matter to the visiting IMF team.



Holness reportedly pointed out to the IMF Review team that the purchase has undermined public trust and will have implications for the Government’s quest to secure an extended wage freeze agreement with workers.



Holness said he also indicated to the IMF that he understands it to be a general requirement of the fiscal responsibility framework that the Government act prudently in spending public funds and seek to divest loss-making entities.



However, Holness said in this case the government has irresponsibly used taxpayers' money, to bail out a private loss-making entity.



According to Holness, to make matters worse, the legality of the action is in question.



Speaking at a briefing this morning at the Ministry of Finance, Martijn said he would not be commenting on the Outameni matter, as it was outside of his remit.



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