Op­po­si­tion claims Gov­ern­ment starv­ing parish coun­cils of funds

Jamaica Gleaner - - NEWS -

THE PAR­LIA­MEN­TARY Op­po­si­tion has ac­cused the Gov­ern­ment of play­ing pol­i­tics with the Parochial Rev­enue Fund (PRF), charg­ing that the money is be­ing with­held to sab­o­tage the Peo­ple’s National Party-con­trolled parish coun­cils as lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tions draw closer.

Speak­ing on the mo­tion of ad­journ­ment in the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives on Tues­day, Op­po­si­tion Spokesman on Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Noel Arscott on Wed­nes­day called for the Gov­ern­ment to re­lease the PRF im­me­di­ately so that the parish coun­cils can pay their bills and carry out the clean­ing of drains and gul­lies.

Ac­cord­ing to Arscott, Sec­tion 14 of the Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Fi­nanc­ing and Fi­nan­cial Man­age­ment Act of 2016 states clearly that the funds from prop­erty taxes and mo­tor ve­hi­cle li­cences should be paid to the coun­cils at the end of each month.

He said the PRF at parish coun­cils had been used up in prepa­ra­tion for Hur­ri­cane Matthew.

“Is the Gov­ern­ment play­ing pol­i­tics with peo­ple’s lives? This is un­ac­cept­able. The Op­po­si­tion is de­mand­ing now that the funds be im­me­di­ately re­leased to the coun­cils across the coun­try,” he said.

In re­spond­ing to Arscott yes­ter­day, Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Min­is­ter Des­mond McKenzie said the coun­cils had failed to sub­mit the req­ui­site sub­mis­sions in or­der for the ministry to re­lease the funds.

McKenzie also said that the Ja­maica Labour Party would be seek­ing to in­crease its con­trol of parish coun­cils.


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