Phillips opens budget debate today

PHILLIPS… to tell nation how budget
will be financed

VERY little excitement is likely to be generated in the House of Representatives today as Minister of Finance and Planning Dr Peter Phillips opens debate on what is possibly his most predictable budget since 2011/12. Dr Phillips has already identified this year’s $539-billion budget as a &ld ... Read More

(L-R) BUNTING… cost of constructing a national morgue too heavy. SMITH… we need to put it
back on the national agenda A dead issue
OPPOSITION parliamentarians have criticised the Government for not including funds for a public morg ... Read More

Councillors and other members of the St Mary Parish Council use their new tablet computers for
the first time at last Thursday’s monthly meeting. (PHOTO: RENAE DIXON) St Mary Parish Council going paperless
THE St Mary Parish Council is hoping to see significant savings from its decision to go paperless as ... Read More

SMITH ... I have been working
in Trelawny for over 30 years JLP's Smith goes after North Trelawny
FALMOUTH, Trelawny — Prominent attorney-at-law and former Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Member of ... Read More

Changes coming for budget review format

With Balford Henry | Sunday, April 13, 2014    

CRAWFORD... admitted to
Throne Speech tourism error
PAULWELL... says next year’s
budget has to be passed
before the end of the financial year

SOME fundamental changes to Parliament's current budget review format are likely to emerge from discussions at the level of the Standing Orders committee of the House of Representatives, scheduled to start soon. Leader of the House Phillip Paulwell gave warning late Wednesday night, at the end of the Standing Finance Committee's deliberations on the 2014/15 Estimates of Expenditure. Paulwell described the meeting of the SFC, which lasted two days (Tuesday-Wednesday), as "historic", considering ... Read More

Gov't looking at Hylton replacement

Balford Henry | Sunday, April 13, 2014    

Velma Hylton

THE Government has identified persons from whom one will be chosen to fill the vacancy created by the withdrawal of attorney-at-law Velma Hylton from the West Kingston enquiry, Minister of Justice, Senator Mark Golding has said. "I believe that a letter will shortly be sent to the Leader of the Opposition on those persons," Golding told Member of Parliament for West Kingston Desmond McKenzie on Wednesday. The minister was responding to questions at the sitting of the Standing Finance Committee ... Read More

Golding: Ganja policy ready for Cabinet

BY BALFORD HENRY Observer senior reporter balfordh@jamaicaobserver.com | Sunday, April 13, 2014    

GOLDING... we are ready to go

MINISTER Of Justice, Senator Mark Golding has said that his ministry has developed a policy for the legal use of ganja, which will soon be submitted to the Cabinet for approval. "The submission is ready and we have received commitments from various ministries, and we are ready to go," Golding said. "It is going to be an important reform, in terms of how we deal with what we would call the human rights aspect of the ganja question. We are also looking at the medicinal and industrial aspects of ... Read More

80% property taxes collected last fiscal year

Sunday, April 13, 2014    

ARSCOTT... to specially
recognise Portmore
Municipal Council

The Government met 80 per cent of its target for property tax collections in the 2013/14 fiscal year. Senior Director of Revenue Enhancement and Resource Mobilisation in the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development, Calvert Thomas, told the government news agency, the Jamaica Information Service that approximately $5.8 billion of the $7.26 billion revenue target was collected. Thomas said this was a satisfactory performance, given the challenges faced by many parish councils in ... Read More

Minister: Cultural, religious beliefs driving stigma and discrimination

Friday, April 11, 2014    

FERGUSON… beliefs have
led to the isolation of some
high-risk groups

MINISTER of Health Dr Fenton says cultural and religious beliefs are the biggest barriers to ending stigma and discrimination with respect to HIV and AIDS. Dr Ferguson was speaking at yesterday's first session of the two-day PANCAP Caribbean Consultation on Justice at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston. "Strong cultural and religious beliefs have led to the isolation of some high-risk groups such as men who have sex with men and sex workers. It will not be easy to tackle these deeply embed ... Read More

Gebrselassie worried about future of athletics

Thursday, April 10, 2014    

Ethiopian distance star Haile
Gebrselassie celebrates after
winning his third consecutive
Vienna half-marathon on April 14,
2013, in Vienna. (PHOTO: AFP)

LONDON, England (AP) — Surveying the state of the sport he dominated for so many years, running great Haile Gebrselassie sees a bleak future. Despite the superstar status of Usain Bolt, Gebrselassie is deeply concerned about the shortage of elite-level events with true global appeal for fans and, just as importantly, sponsors. "Athletics has to change a little bit; bring in new ideas, new concepts, otherwise it's going to be just a bit boring to watch," Gebrselassie said yesterday. "I do ... Read More

Gov't pharmacists threatening industrial action

BY BALFORD HENRY Senior staff reporter balfordh@jamaicaobserver.com | Monday, April 07, 2014    

Minister of Health Dr Fenton Ferguson (centre) answering questions in the House of Representatives. He is supported by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry Dr Jean Dixon, and Chief Financial Officer Michael
Maragh. (Observer File Photo)

THERE is a threat of industrial action at government phar-macies this morning, as the union representing the pharmacists and pharmacy technicians — the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union (BITU) -- say they are restive over the provisions of a new system to be implemented today. According to BITU spokesman, Elvis Lennon, the union has written to both Minister of Health Dr Fenton Ferguson and Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Finance and Planning Horace Dalley, appealing for thei ... Read More

St Aubyn Bartlett targets Central Manchester

BY GARFIELD MYERS Editor-at-Large South/Central Bureau myersg@jamaicaobserver.com | Monday, April 07, 2014    

St Aubyn Bartlett telling the Christiana meeting of having lived in Mandeville and
voting for the JLP in 1980. (PHOTOS: GREGORY BENNETT)

MANDEVILLE, Manchester — The "interest" being shown by former Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) parliamentarian St Aubyn Bartlett in this south central parish is focused only on Central Manchester, a seat currently held by National Security Minister Peter Bunting, an impeccable party source has confirmed. Addressing Labourites at a North East Manchester constituency conference in Christiana on March 30, Bartlett declared that "I have an interest in a constituency in Manchester". Bartlett did no ... Read More

Review of early stimulation programme to be conducted

Monday, April 07, 2014    

GOVERNMENT is expected to conduct a review of the Early Stimulation Programme (ESP) during this fiscal year, in a bid to strengthen the effectiveness of this intervention for children with disabilities. It is also anticipated that 64 social workers in the ESP as well as the Jamaica Council for Persons with Disabilities (JCPD) will be trained during this period to further enhance the programme's provisions. A sum of $30 million has been allotted in the 2014/15 Estimates of Expenditure, recently ... Read More

Charges of politics, deception on NHT board

BY BALFORD HENRY Observer senior reporter balfordh@jamaicaobserver.com | Sunday, April 06, 2014    

From left: REV DALEY, ISRAEL and MARTIN ... among those who have resigned

AN intriguing tale of politics and deception has been showing through the cracks within the board of the National Housing Trust (NHT), following the recent departure of former managing director Cecile Watson. Four members of the board resigned their positions within the space of a week late last month, and it would be no surprise if other resignations follow, as rifts between chairman Easton Douglas, a former People's National Party member of parliament and Cabinet minister, and some board memb ... Read More



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