Release Date: 
Wednesday, May 14, 2014 - 16:15

Opposition Spokesman on Finance and Planning Audley Shaw today described as "scandalous, insensitive and outrageous", the continued failure of the Government through the Ministries of Health and Finance, to pay over all funds deducted from the salaries of health workers for remittance to various entities on their behalf.

Mr Shaw was reacting to reports today that directly as a result of this failure by the Ministries of Health and Finance, some workers are in serious arrears in payments on home and car mortgages, and may face forfeiture of assets. Some of these arrears are reportedly in excess of six months.

The Spokesperson said “When I first raised the matter in the Budget Debate, some Government Ministers denied the existence of these liabilities, and even as they did so, several nurses from the South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA) were outside of Parliament waiting to complain on this issue to the Minister of Health and the Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance.

“The failure of the relevant Ministers to deal immediately with this matter shows their callous disregard and disrespect for the rights of the workers to have their deductions paid on a timely basis to protect their creditworthiness.”

Mr Shaw said that Jamaicans should recognize that it was wrong of the Minister of Finance to fail to address this issue in closing the Budget Debate, ignoring this outrageous abuse of our public sector workers while being content to simply claim that he had passed another IMF Test.

He also said that he was putting the government on notice that he will continue to relentlessly pursue this matter as well as the chronic build-up in arrears by the Government including the Ministry of Health which owes almost $7.0 billion in arrears in payments to suppliers of goods and services to that Ministry.

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