Tired of being shafted by Government

Tired of being shafted by Government

Monday, March 13, 2017

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Dear Editor,


I remember when Audley Shaw made a big deal of the sale of the old Oceana Hotel for some $385 million which he, at the time, said was too low.


That, like many things in this country, was like a nine-day wonder. The auditor general (AG) has found that this may well have been the case, as the property was sold using a two-year-old valuation report and proper procedures were not followed in the sale. The UDC, which sold the property, is still adamant that it was a sensible and prudent sale, taking all the other factors into consideration. Those factors are yet to add up and make sense. The Government’s decision to lease the property and renovate a section to house the Accountant General’s Department (AGD) for some $400 million is my big contention, which has left me truly angered.


Why the hell do I always get the nasty end of the stick? Why do I have to now work very hard to clear this bill? There are so many questions to be answered.


An article published in the Jamaica Observer of March 13, 2017 entitled ‘AGD to pay rent after Gov’t spends $478m’ looks at just how stupid our government is when it comes to tax payers’ dollars. After spending over $400 million to renovate, the Government will spend a further $90 million per year to rent the space. How can this ever be prudent, sensible and above board? Something about this entire deal stinks.


These are the issues I expect watchdog groups to talk about. I expect the unions to raise concerns over this frivolous type of spending, as this is money that could be channelled elsewhere or spent in a more frugal way.


I have a few questions for the previous Administration which brokered this sweetheart deal: Who are the owners of the company that bought the building? Who are the financiers of the purchase? As per the AG’s report, certain regulations were not followed in the process of selling the property. who can be held accountable for this possible loss of revenue?


I also have some questions for the current Administration: with all the talk of transparency, why hasn’t this been a talking point, considering it is going to cost taxpayers millions in additional expenditure as per an article in the
Gleaner yesterday entitled ‘Government Department spends $76m on rent without moving in’, which shows that the country will be left with a hefty sum just moving into this building. This is incredulous!


Why should I be taxed to fund something like this? I have no road to drive on, no proper hospital to go to, few good public schools, zero social welfare benefits that I can utilise, not even a proper public park to take my children, yet I pay over 30 per cent PAYE, what do I have to show? I am tired of being shafted by the Government, all in an effort to assist a friend here and there. Do you recall Outameni? Somebody needs to be held accountable for this very smelly deal. Mr Holness, you are all about transparency, can you hold somebody accountable? Please.





Javid Brown



Negril



javidbrown@gmail.com


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