KINGSTON, Jamaica — The National Housing Trust (NHT) is awash with cash, but when its management faces Parliament’s Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC) this morning at Gordon House, they are expected to be bombarded with questions concerning the expenditure of those funds.
The Trust ended the first four months of the current financial year (April-July) with a surplus of $1.2 billion in inflows, according to information obtained by OBSERVER ONLINE.
Contribution collections from workers/employers — the main source of income for the Trust — was $1 billion more than projected.
This was mainly due to the regional health authorities and the Ministry of Education finally paying over substantial NHT deductions from the salaries of their employees which had not been paid over on time.
The positive development has since encouraged the Trust to revise revenue projections, increasing that for contribution collections from the original $21.4 billion, to $22 billion for the current fiscal year
Loan repayments were in line with the budget projection of $5.6 billion. The repayments are expected to pan out at about $18.2 billion for the year, up from the $17.9 billion projected in the original budget.
However, on the other hand, outflows/expenditure was for the four-month period were $1.8 billion less than projected. In terms of housing expenditure disbursements for the period was below the budget by $1.4 billion.
Among the projects affected by the reduced expenditure are Open Market Loans and the Inner City Housing Project (ICHP). Disbursements on NHT projects fell below the budget for the four month period by $465 million.
The PAAC is chaired by Opposition MP, Edmund Bartlett, and includes Opposition spokesman on finance and planning, Audley Shaw.