My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: JUTC’s Quiet JA$6.47 billion Scandal – Why Outamani and Tivoli Gardens Enquiry are Sideshow Distractions

Thursday, December 11, 2014

JUTC’s Quiet JA$6.47 billion Scandal – Why Outamani and Tivoli Gardens Enquiry are Sideshow Distractions

It’s December and the year 2014 is ending. This is a rather sad Christmas in Jamaica as scandal after scandal rocks the nation.

And a silent scandal is developing within the JUTC (Jamaica Urban Transit Company) as it relates to taxpayers funding the JUTC to the tune of JA$2.9 billion dollars as reported in the article “JUTC Bailout”, published Wednesday November 26, 2014 Daraine Luton, Senior Staff Reporter, The Jamaica Gleaner.

The GOJ National Budget had already loaned the JUTC some JA$450 million in April 2014. Now apparently taxpayers are being asked to pay for the following:

1.      JA$48 million to help clear third-party deductions from employee salaries
2.      JA$70.9 million to help clear salary arrears of 7% and public-sector workers payments
3.      JA$177.1 million to cover Tax Administration Jamaica for PAYE and education tax for the period April 2014 to March 2015
4.      JA$231 million for import duties
5.      JA$1.1 billion for special compliance fees
6.      JA$1.3 billion for general consumption tax payable to Jamaica Customs for the period January 2014 to March 2015

This list of expenditures adds up to a total of JA$2.97 Billion dollars.

Combined with the JA$450 million in April 2014 from the GOJ Budget, that comes to a total of JA$3.37 billion dollars. Add that total of JA$3.37 billion dollars to the JA$3.1 billion for the purchase of new JUTC Buses and the grand total comes to JA$6.47 billion for the Fiscal year 2014-2015.

JUTC’s quiet JA$6.47 billion Scandal – Outamani and Tivoli Gardens Enquiry are Sideshow Distractions

This sad yet quiet scandal, as the JUTC has already received a fare increase in August 2014 as reported in my blog article entitled “JUTC SmarterCard Rollout and Fare Hike Postponed – Why I'll be boycotting JUTC Buses anyway as they're not trying to Save Money”.

This after they’d raised the fares when on Sunday November 10th 2013 the JUTC suspended Bus Transfers as stated inBus Fare to Double for Many When JUTC Ends Transfers Sunday”, Published Thursday November 7, 2013 by Arthur Hall, Senior News Editor, The Jamaica Gleaner.

A Quiet Scandal indeed!

Apparently we the Taxpayer are to bear the brunt of supporting this State Run Bus system for the KMTR (Kingston Metropolitan Transport Area) whose debts and lawsuits are accumulating at a phenomenal rate as noted in my blog article entitled “JUTC and Rubis Energy Fuel Lawsuit Silver Lining - Why AVL Commuter Tracking of JUTC Buses and SmarterCard Heralds Cashless Society in Jamaica”.

I’m still walking, wearing my little Green Hat from my home in Swallowfield to New Kingston and then on to Half-Way-Tree in my one-man protest against the JUTC. I’m still not taking the JUTC as I’ve still not purchased a JUTC SmarterCard. Especially as they’d recently uncovered a SmarterCard fraud after doing an Internal Audit as noted in the article JUTC Sees $3m Revenue Increase Since SmarterCard Fraud Uncovered”, Published Monday November 3, 2014 11:11 am, The Jamaica Gleaner.

The Tivoli Gardens Enquiry is a “Scandal” as clearly there will be no justice for the people of Tivoli, merely point scoring for the PNP (People’s National Party) against the JLP (Jamaica Labour Party) before General Elections in 2016.

Lloyd D'Aguilar, Tivoli Committee convener, was kicked out of his OWN Enquiry which would have never begun in the first place had he not agitated for it as reported in the article “Tivoli Enquiry: Simmons Finds D'Aguilar's Reentry Request Strange After 'Kangaroo Court' Comment”, published Monday December 8, 2014  by Livern Barrett, Gleaner Writer, The Jamaica Gleaner.

Truly, the Tivoli Gardens Enquiry is indeed a Kangaroo Court if the very person who started lobbying for the Tivoli Gardens Enquiry isn’t a part of the proceedings, his “Kangaroo Court” commentary notwithstanding.

An even bigger scandal is the NHT purchase of the Outameni , which is now turning out to be an embarrassment for the PNP , as it now appears that the DBJ (Development Bank of Jamaica) was the one that had suggested that the NHT (National Housing Trust) bail out Outameni Property as reported in the article “Development Bank Suggested That NHT Buy Outameni”, Published Wednesday December 3, 2014, The Jamaica Gleaner.

Perhaps it because only the Lower Classes of society take the Bus. Thus it’s convenient to ignore, as JA$100 is trifling to the wealthy meanwhile the millions involved and the Soap Opera –esque political intrigue of these scandals is more to our liking.

So while the PNP distracts us with the Outameni Scandal and the Tivoli Gardens Enquiry Scandal, the JUTC’s quiet JA$6.47 billion Scandal is a silently growing monster that will come back to bite the PNP come General Elections in 2016.

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