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McKenzie wants more help for West Kingston residents

Published:Wednesday | September 18, 2013 | 11:32 AM

Member of Parliament for West Kingston Desmond McKenzie has again lobbied to Parliament on his constituents' behalf, for those whose properties were damaged during the May 2010 incursion to be adequately compensated for their losses.

He says while the government has already provided some assistance, more needs to be done.

Mr. McKenzie also argues that since the incursion more than 3 years ago, the government has made no effort to implement a social intervention programme in West Kingston.

"What the people of West Kingston are asking for is for the Government to do all that is necessary to restore their lives, that was severely destroyed during the period of the incursion," said McKenzie. "I think the time has come Mr. Speaker when the plight of the people of West Kingston should be given full attention. We don't need to play politics with the suffering of the people of West Kingston."

He wants Parliament to take into consideration the findings of the Public Defenders Report into the incursion as it relates to the compensation of residents.

Former social security Minister Pearnel Charles acceded that the total of 100 million dollars allocated after the incursion to compensate victims was not enough.

He told Parliament yesterday that it was an emergency measure and was not intended to be a permanent solution to the challenges facing residents affected by the incursion.

Mr. Charles wants the current minister of social security to review the situation and provide additional assistance to West Kingston residents.

But Social Security Minister Derick Kellier says while he’s mindful of the difficulties facing the residents, the issue of the provision of additional money would be a matter for Cabinet discussion.

"So as soon as the Government decides which way to go in this matter then the Ministry of Labour will have to play its role, ensuring that we can carry out whatever mandate is given but we do empathize with the situation in West Kingston," said Kellier. "We know the agony that residents suffered and the ministry will be ready and willing, whenever those instructions are given by the cabinet, if it is found needed that additional support be given to these residents."

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