Talkback Thursday | That was insensitive, Mr PM
We asked our social media users their thoughts on Prime Minister Andrew Holness’ comments that the NHT is not a charity. Below are their responses.
“Mr PM, I respect what NHT started and what it has done for a lot of hard-working Jamaicans over the year. But I think I need another option now. If I don’t see myself owning a home through NHT, I want the option of not contributing. That’s just me.”
“It’s a financial institution. How else will the houses be built? The collection and mortgages alone can’t do it. He is right!”
“The PM lacks full understanding of what the NHT was established to undertake. The most important thing for the PM to remember is that it’s not a private building society.”
“This reminds of 10 shillings-a-month house back then, now it’s call ‘rent to own.’
“Yep, but what a business model. Collect statutorily deducted amounts from salaried employees, use that money to build houses that are out of reach of most salaried employees. Wash, rinse, repeat.”
“No LIES were told. The PM is speaking the truth.”
“It is a business, isn’t it? If they just build poor people housing and sell at discounted prices, how will they make money?”
“I agree, it is not a charity, but that did not need to be said. It was insensitive and dismissive to the hard-working contributors mandated to part with a piece of their salary EVERY month, only to NOT be able to afford any of the houses OR go into debt for DECADES for a house so small, a few steps would take you entirely across it. Why we are forced to make contributions to a business that does not business about us is borderline criminal.”
“The audacity, though. So why are we contributing involuntarily to this financial institution called National Housing Trust, when it’s not beneficial to us?”
“I believe the prime minister needs lessons on appropriate, empathic communication. In the strictest sense, NHT is indeed a financial institution funded by the people. However, it was designed with a heavy social welfare component in mind. As such, NHT focus should be about affordable housing for ALL WORKING-CLASS JAMAICANS.”
“No one [is] going to NHT to beg. They are contributors to the trust, not beggars.”
“I truly don’t think PM Holness meant any harm in his utterance. I would love to understand what are his thoughts, so I can have a better appreciation of the NHT and its role. We will not always say things that people want to hear; sometimes, with [the] best of intentions, it is taken in poor taste.” - @call_a_spade_a_spade_o
“What exactly is it, then? Mandatory deductions from the salary of workers to pay into a scheme that they cannot then qualify to benefit from?
Sounds like a Ponzi scheme to me.” - Jo C. Coole