JUTC owes nearly $2b in taxes
Erica Virtue, Senior Gleaner Writer
Employees at the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) are not being denied benefits despite more than $700 million in unpaid statutory deductions to the National Insurance Scheme fund, the National Housing Trust and for education taxes.
Tax and penalties have sent the unpaid bill skyrocketing to $1.889 billion.
The company, which provides highly subsidised public transportation service, is buckling under the chronic cash crunch and when combined with other outstanding sums there is an accumulated $10.68-billion debt burden, more than half of which is as a result of penalties.
Auditor General Pamela Monroe Ellis, in her report tabled December 2011, showed accumulated deficit for the financial year 2009-2010, as at March 31, 2010, of $8.3 billion. The updated deficit, including losses and outstanding deductions for the period up to 2011, pushed it to $10.68 billion.
Audrey Sewell, permanent secretary in the transport ministry, told Parliament's Public Accounts Committee yesterday that the employees of the company were not at a disadvantage as a result of the non-payment of their deductions.
She said the company has been ordered to resume the payments.