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Prime Minister Says Tef Money Is Safe

Prime Minister Says Tef Money Is Safe
Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness (left), greets Chief Executive Officer of the Excellence Group, Monserrate Amengual (right) at the ground-breaking ceremony for the Excellence Group Luxury Hotels and Resorts in Oyster Bay, Blue Waters, Trelawny on March 30. At centre is Country Manager for Jamaica, Rafael Matas.
(Media Credit: Garwin Davis)

KINGSTON (JIS) -- Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, is assuring tourism stakeholders that putting Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) money in the Consolidated Fund does not mean it will be spent in a reckless and irresponsible manner. Mr. Holness, who was speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony for the Excellence Group Luxury Hotels and Resorts in Oyster Bay, Blue Waters, Trelawny, on March 30, added that while he understands the concerns of tourism stakeholders, it really comes down to whether the Government is trusted to be fiscally responsible with the funds. “I deeply appreciate and understand the concerns that have been raised by the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) and other stakeholders in the tourism industry, but it is not the intention of the Government to plunder any reserves or funds that have been gained by sector industries or interests,” he emphasised.

The Prime Minister said good fiscal management of the country’s resources dictates that there has to be greater central direction.

“There is no way the Government could pursue a policy that would be inimical to the development of the tourism industry. I want to reassure the tourism industry that the Government will ensure that the development plans that you have are all financed and facilitated under the new model of public management of our resources,” he said.

The Prime Minister said the tourism industry is blessed with persons who have a very good understanding of how the sector operates, and he is not worried that some of the things that are happening in other parts of the world could affect Jamaica.

“We have always been a resilient group of people who are not afraid of challenges. We know that this is a changing world, where all kinds of things are happening. Things are happening in North America and in Europe, and Jamaica has to position itself to remain a successful player in the tourism industry, no matter what happens,” Mr. Holness said.

He pointed out that every year over the past decade, the tourism industry has shown signs of growth.

“I want to congratulate the leadership of the tourism industry, and the investors as well, for doing such a wonderful job in ensuring that the industry continues to grow,” the Prime Minister said