Sun | Jun 26, 2022

Talkback Thursday | That was insensitive, Mr PM

Published:Thursday | May 26, 2022 | 12:09 AM

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.”

– @DavisStephaniet

“It’s a financial institution. How else will the houses be built? The collection and mortgages alone can’t do it. He is right!”

– @st_western

“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.”

– @Anthony66372214

“This reminds of 10 shillings-a-month house back then, now it’s call ‘rent to own.’

– @oniel_campbell

“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.”

– @ErrolJohnson18

“No LIES were told. The PM is speaking the truth.”

– @swankycamille

“It is a business, isn’t it? If they just build poor people housing and sell at discounted prices, how will they make money?”

– @FenderKemar

“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.”

– @jjohnjbell

“The audacity, though. So why are we contributing involuntarily to this financial institution called National Housing Trust, when it’s not beneficial to us?”

– @lorian_humble

“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.”

– @dr.sherridenelee

“No one [is] going to NHT to beg. They are contributors to the trust, not beggars.”

– @pmt.trotter02

“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