First Look

JCC President’s Statement at the Meeting of the Board of Directors

Jamaica Chamber of Commerce | 2016-04-05 00:00:00

It has become very evident that with all the best intentions, an unacceptably high number of Jamaican taxpayers will continue to be unable to realize their dream of owning a home, notwithstanding their contributions to the National Housing Trust, because their wages do not meet the minimum levels required to service an NHT home loan. One school of thought is that these low wage contributors should stop contributing as they are unable to benefit from the Trust.

Inasmuch as it is the belief of the JCC that ownership of housing equity by as broad a spectrum of citizenry as is possible is one of the fundamentals of an economically sustainable society, we believe that it is incumbent on the authorities that they urgently re-examine the eligibility formulae governing the loan programme and thus enable the widest possible participation. Even so, after any such restructuring it is recognized that some low wage contributors will still not be able to benefit from the Trust. These are the same people who do not have membership to a Pension Scheme and whose only source of income on retirement is the National Insurance Scheme (NIS).

The truth is, this is a very inadequate safety net for retirees.  No one would argue with the fact that due to the ravages of inflation over the years, NIS payments - already small to begin with - have now become almost meaningless.

We would therefore like to support the suggestion made in recent months regarding creating some synergies between the NHT and the NIS whereby rather than refunding the NHT contributions after a seven-year period, those contributions be put into their NIS accounts  which would present them with a better chance to benefit from a sustainable “pension” when they reach retirement age.

If one undertakes a study of the use of NHT refunds, I strongly suspect that it will confirm that for the most part these sums are spent on consumer goods in the short term and not saved towards a rainy day or towards a source of income after retirement.

Let us not be afraid to explore, assess, and where feasible, develop creative solutions to address our significant social concerns.

Posted By :Jamaica Commerce

Company Name : Jamaica Chamber of Commerce

Website :

Company Address : Suites 13-15, UDC Office Centre Building 12 Ocean Boulevard Kingston

More press release from Jamaica Chamber of Commerce