Mandeville Weekly News


Posted by SR (riley) on Feb 16 2017 at 3:53 PM
Mandeville Weekly News >>

Minister of Justice, Hon. Delroy Chuck, has warned that the Government will be coming for the over $9 billion it is owed in outstanding property taxes, noting that almost one third of landowners are not paying their property tax, which is used to finance the provision of critical services at the local level.

This includes garbage collection, the maintenance of street lights, rehabilitation of parochial/farm roads, provision of community infrastructure, among others.Minister Chuck said those who pay their taxes should not have to suffer the inadequacy of resources because others are not paying.  “If the Government could collect half of what is owed we would have no problem. The roads would be fixed, the courts could be fixed, the hospitals could get the resources and let me say, the Government intends to get all the taxes,” he said.

The Minister who was addressing the launch of the 2017 training of Justices of the Peace (JPs) on  February 2nd, said that the Ministry is targeting the training of 500 JPs in mediation and restorative justice during the year.  The first training session will be on February 13 for personnel from Kingston and St. Andrew, St. Catherine and Clarendon.

The sessions will also cover matters relating to the Children’s Court; the role of JPs on the Spirit licence panel; and as well as for the Petty Sessions Court. Minister Chuck said the training falls under the Ministry’s Justice Reform Programme, which was boosted by an additional grant of J$3.3 billion (€22 million) from the European Union (EU).

The agreement formalising the provision was signed during a ceremony at the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service in Kingston on December 8.  The provision, which has been allocated under the justice component of the 11th European Development Fund (EDF), is the single largest by the EU to the programme. “We are creating a new architecture in justice where the focus will shift from a penal system to a rehabilitative system.  The multi-door approach that we are advancing will formalise and strengthen the infrastructure to assign prominence to Restorative Practices and Mediation,” Minster. Chuck said.Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, commended the training initiative being spearheaded by the Ministry.

“I know that the Custodes, under whose care and protection the Justices of the Peace fall, are being sufficiently seized with the importance of this training and will provide the required support and the monitoring of their progress,” he said.More than 1,000 JPs attended the launch, which also served as a sensitisation session.The Ministry is aiming to have 3,000 new JPs by the end of the calendar year.