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Published:Thursday | March 13, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Simpson Miller to get keys to Kingston

Mayor of Kingston, Angela Brown Burke, says the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation will, in short order, present Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller with the keys to the city in recognition of her service to politics and becoming the first female prime minister of Jamaica.

Councillor for the Payne Land division, Audrey Smith Facey, who moved the motion at the council's monthly sitting on Tuesday, said Simpson Miller has lifted the standard for women in Jamaica and has fought for the uplifting of the poor in the society.

Jamaica Labour Party Councillor for the Chancery Hall division, Duane Smith, says the recognition was long overdue.

"I think that our prime minister is most deserving of this recognition. Mrs Simpson Miller has defied the odds and has set the stage for excellence in our society which is commendable," he declared.

JET gets green light

The clerk of the Houses of Parliament, Heather Cooke, has ruled that it is in order for the Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC) to allow the Jamaica Environment Trust (JET) to appear before it to discuss the matter of the Goat Islands development.

JET has written PAAC chairman, Edmund Bartlett, asking to be allowed to make a presentation to the committee, urgently.

JET also suggested that the committee request similar presentations from the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing; the Port Authority of Jamaica; the National Environment and Planning Agency; and the Caribbean Coastal Area Management Foundation, which manages the Portland Bight Protected Area; as well as fishing and other interests in Old Harbour Bay.

Government members of the committee had questioned whether JET should be allowed to appear before the committee in light of the fact that there has been minimal, if any, public expenditure on the project.

"There was some uncertainty as to whether this is the appropriate forum or whether they should. We sought the advice of the clerk who has indicated that this is the people's Parliament and that it would not be out of order to allow any organisation, institution or bona fide public concern to represent itself before us," Bartlett, the committee chairman, said yesterday.

Debate on GG and PM pensions closed

The House of Representatives on Tuesday closed debate on a private member's motion on pension payments to former governors general, prime ministers and retired legislators.

The motion was moved almost two years ago by South West St Catherine Member of Parliament Everald Warmington.

Warmington reminded the House that debate on the motion had opened on March 20, 2012, and despite falling off the order paper of Parliament, he was determined to have the matter addressed.

He wants the pension entitlements to former governors general and prime ministers brought in line with that which is paid to retired legislators.

TAJ to haul transport operators before court

Tax offices across the island are now preparing summonses to be served on about 250 transport operators who have failed to pay over their taxes.

Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ) says it plans to take court action against operators who own and operate multiple public-passenger vehicles and have failed to pay or make arrangements to pay their flat tax for 2012.

Director of communications at the TAJ, Meris Haughton, explains that the flat tax comprises income tax, education tax, as well as National Housing Trust and National Insurance Scheme contributions which became due on December 20, 2013.