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Taking funds from NHT unconstitutional, says Wildman
2013-02-17 18:27:13 | (0 Comments)
Attorney-at-law Hugh Wildman is contending that the Governmentís move to draw down $45 billion from the National Housing Trust (NHT)over the next four years to support fiscal initiatives is unconstitutional.
Attorney-at-law Hugh Wildman
The attorney argues that the funds are the property of the depositors under the National Housing Trust (NHT) Act, and so the Government cannot pass a law, whether it be primary or subsidiary legislation, to take funds from contributors.
Speaking on radio last week, Easton Douglas, the chairman of the NHT, argued that the Public Bodies and Management Accountability Act gives the Minister of Finance authority to require the NHT to a make financial contribution in support of the Governmentís fiscal initiatives.
But Wildman, who is also a legal consultant to the lobby group Citizensí Action for Principle and Integrity, says the NHT chairman has been ill advised. He says the Public Bodies and Management Accountability Act only deals with public companies not established under a trust. He says only contributors can consent to the use of NHT funds in this regard.
He says Douglas could be held liable if the funds are not used in accordance with law.
Wildman acknowledges that although previous administrations have dipped into the NHTís coffers to support government initiatives in the past, the action is not legal.
Legal experts have suggested that the Government will have to go to parliament to have the NHT Act amended to deal with financial emergency measures in the interest of the state.
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Source: The Gleaner/Power 106 News
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