Jamaica Gleaner / Chairman of the St Catherine Municipal Corporation, Norman Scott, has defended the handling of the corporation’s finances under his leadership.
Speaking at Thursday’s monthly meeting of the municipal corporation, Scott attributed a build-up in payments to persons and entities who undertake work for the state body to a new policy introduced by the finance ministry.
“While I am open to questions about prudence, I want to make it absolutely clear that the build-up of outstanding payments are due specifically to the new policy regarding GCT (general consumption tax) recently put in place by the finance ministry and the amount of work that was done at the Thetford Cemetery in the parish,” Scott said.
“Whilst the ministry has given us a substantial amount of money, we have paid out more money from the municipality than what we received,” he continued.
According to Scott, the corporation now has to pay GCT on goods, a cost he disclosed was once borne by the ministry but is now transferred to the municipality.
“This has greatly affected us in that we have to find more money to make payments,” said Scott.
He said under his leadership, the municipality has not been tardy in making payments to persons. Scott noted that he inherited financial problems when he became mayor.
“Now bills are paid on time, offices renovated, so workers can now perform in an atmosphere of comfort,” he said.
Taking credit for the recent upgrading of the Spanish Town infirmary, Scott told the councillors that most of the projects that the corporation undertook were paid for by revenue generated by the municipality.
He said the new Thetford Cemetery that has now been gazetted would bring additional revenue to the corporation, helping it to defray its financial obligations.