News from the OPM

Government Economic Policy Results in Social Interventions and Sustainable Benefits for Jamaicans
Government Implements Compassionate Measures to Address Severe Drought Affecting the Island
NHT to Increase Efforts in Affordable Housing Development
Prime Minister Holness Commits to Creating Wealth and Wellbeing for All Jamaicans
Government Accelerates Digital Transformation with Focus on NIDS Efficiency in Building a Caring Society
Minimum Wage Increase as Government Builds a Caring Economy for All Jamaicans
Government Economic Policy Results in Social Interventions and Sustainable Benefits for Jamaicans

Government Economic Policy Results in Social Interventions and Sustainable Benefits for Jamaicans

April, 15 2024
“There is no other way to address poverty, to get your children into school, to get you the housing, to improve your security and your healthcare, unless we fix our economy.” - Prime Minister Holness -------------------------------------------------------------------------------   Prime Minister Andrew Holness says the government's steadfast commitment to sound economic management has ushered in a new era of sustainable social interventions, bringing tangible benefits to the people of Jamaica. Prime Minister Holness said, for past almost nine years, the administration has diligently worked to foster economic stability, laying the foundation for transformative change. Speaking on  April 12, 2024 at the New Social Housing Ribbon Cutting Ceremony in St. Andrew, Prime Minister Holness emphasized the pivotal role of economic stability in addressing poverty, improving access to education, healthcare, and housing, and enhancing overall security. The Prime Minister said: “There is no other way to address poverty, to get your children into school, to get you the housing, to improve your security and your healthcare, unless we fix our economy. Those who want to devalue the performance of the government on getting the economy right are doing you no favours. Because their intention is to get into power without having the wherewithal, because…
Government Implements Compassionate Measures to Address Severe Drought Affecting the Island

Government Implements Compassionate Measures to Address Severe Drought Affecting the Island

April, 15 2024
"Our response must be grounded in empathy and compassion for those enduring the hardships of drought. To the farmers and rural communities on the frontline of this crisis, I offer my unwavering commitment to stand by your side and provide the assistance you need to survive and thrive." - Prime Minister Holness  --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------   Prime Minister Andrew Holness has announced a series of measures, including the allocation of one hundred and fifty million dollars (J$150M), aimed at alleviating the effects of the ongoing drought impacting the island. As part of a comprehensive strategy to support farmers and citizens affected, the government is providing emergency funding, distributing water storage tanks, and ensure compassionate responses to those in need. Speaking in Parliament on Tuesday (April 9, 2014), Prime Minister Holness expressed unwavering commitment to stand by the people of Jamaica and provide the assistance necessary for survival and growth during these challenging times. The Prime Minister Holness said: “The Government is implementing a range of measures to support our farmers during these challenging times. This includes the emergency funding in the amount of One Hundred and Fifty Million Dollars (J$150M), from the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, to facilitate the…
NHT to Increase Efforts in Affordable Housing Development

NHT to Increase Efforts in Affordable Housing Development

April, 10 2024
"The Government of Jamaica three years ago gave a directive to the board of the NHT that all their policy efforts must be focused on the delivery of affordable housing solutions.” - Prime Minister Holness --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------   Prime Minister Andrew Holness says the Government remains committed to providing affordable housing solutions tailored to different income brackets. In a significant move aimed at addressing Jamaica's housing challenges, the government has directed all National Housing Trust’s (NHT) resources towards the delivery of affordable housing solutions. This strategic focus will ensure that every Jamaican has access to quality and affordable housing. Speaking on Wednesday (March 27) at the Jamaica Mortgage Bank Ribbon Cutting Ceremony of The Vineyards at Deanery apartment complex, Prime Minister Holness stated: "The Government of Jamaica three years ago gave a directive to the board of the NHT that all their policy efforts must be focused on the delivery of affordable housing solutions.” Prime Minister Holness outlined the NHT's strategies, including the Developers Programme and Guaranteed Purchase Programme, aimed at mitigating market risks for developers and ensuring the availability of affordable homes for Jamaican citizens and NHT contributors to purchase. "The objective is that the NHT will bring to market…
Prime Minister Holness Commits to Creating Wealth and Wellbeing for All Jamaicans

Prime Minister Holness Commits to Creating Wealth and Wellbeing for All Jamaicans

April, 02 2024
"We have a government that creates the cash that it uses to care. We have a government that truly puts people first!" -Prime Minister Holness ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Prime Minister Andrew Holness has declared his administration's dedication to creating a caring economy that prioritizes the well-being of Jamaican citizens through responsible governance and genuine concern for the people. In his address of the 2024/2025 Budget presentation on Thursday (March 21), Prime Minister Holness outlined key initiatives and policies aimed at improving lives across the nation. "We have a government that creates the cash that it uses to care. We have a government that truly puts people first," said Prime Minister Holness. This commitment is reflected in a series of impactful measures that include the following: 1.  Tuition-Free Education: The government introduced tuition-free education, leading to near-universal secondary education and empowering Jamaican youth with greater opportunities for learning and growth. 2.  Free Healthcare Access: The implementation of free access to healthcare has significantly improved health-seeking behaviour among Jamaicans, ensuring that essential medical services are accessible to all. The government has also made significant improvements and impacts in other areas, including: - Making technical and vocational training free at the HEART/NSTA Trust, benefiting over 120,000 young people. -…
Government Accelerates Digital Transformation with Focus on NIDS Efficiency in Building a Caring Society

Government Accelerates Digital Transformation with Focus on NIDS Efficiency in Building a Caring Society

April, 02 2024
“This administration is pursuing productivity gains through the digital transformation of government services.” – Prime Minister Holness  —————————————————————————————---------- The Government of Jamaica remains committed to digital transformation to improve efficiencies and greater service delivery within the society. As part of this thrust, Prime Minister Andrew Holness has highlighted the economic benefits of enhanced digital innovation and the benefits of the National Identification System (NIDS). Speaking in the 2024/2025 Budget Debate in Parliament last Thursday (March 21), Prime Minister Holness emphasized the strategic importance of using technology to drive productivity gains across government services. "This administration is pursuing productivity gains through the digital transformation of government services. The National Identification System (NIDS) Project has been very integral to building out the underlying Public Key Infrastructure to support secure online services." The NIDS project has facilitated significant advancements, including the successful implementation of e-passports and Electronic Immigration Gates (e-gates) at Sangster International Airport, resulting in streamlined passenger flow. Notably, e-gates are being tested for implementation at the Norman Manley International Airport to further advance digital service delivery. Prime Minister Holness said NIDS is ready to be operational. “The regulations pursuant to the National Identification and Registration Act are ready and will be…
Minimum Wage Increase as Government Builds a Caring Economy for All Jamaicans

Minimum Wage Increase as Government Builds a Caring Economy for All Jamaicans

April, 02 2024
“This Government recognises that the contribution of minimum wage earners such as household workers, artisans, labourers, store clerks, and security personnel is vital in meeting our national productivity targets.” -Prime Minister Holness  --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------   The Andrew Holness administration has announced another increase in the national minimum wage, which will take effect on June 1, 2024. This latest increase follows a 44-percent rate hike last year, moving the national minimum wage to the highest ever level for minimum wage earners in Jamaica. Prime Minister Andrew Holness made the announcement, which sets the minimum wage at a historic level for low-income workers ever made by a Government in Jamaica, during his contribution to the 2024/2025 Budget Debate in Parliament on Thursday (March 21). The new minimum wage for a 40-hour work week will now move to fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000) per week, up from thirteen thousand dollars ($13,000). “This Government recognizes that the contribution of minimum wage earners, such as household workers, artisans, labourers, store clerks, and security personnel, is vital to the success of our manufacturers, hotels, professionals, lawyers, doctors, and teachers in meeting our national productivity and service targets,” said Prime Minister Holness. The minimum wage for industrial security guards will also be increased…
Prime Minister Holness Announces Revised First Step Housing Programme and Contribution Amnesty for MSMEs and Charities

Prime Minister Holness Announces Revised First Step Housing Programme and Contribution Amnesty for MSMEs and Charities

April, 02 2024
“Effective July 1, 2024, the NHT will revise its Home Improvement Loan policy to allow all contributors to access home improvement loans of up to $3.5 million after 10 years.” -Prime Minister Holness  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Prime Minister Andrew Holness has announced policy improvement measures for the National Housing Trust (NHT) contributors to access home loans and improve household energy efficiency. The move is part of the Holness administration’s comprehensive approach to satisfy demand for home improvement financing from the NHT by revising the Home Improvement Loan Policy and introducing additional funding with the Smart Energy Home Improvement Loan and the Solar Panel Home Improvement Grant. The NHT will now be lending more money for home improvement. “As more Jamaicans become homeowners, there has been an increased demand for home-improvement financing.  As a result, effective July 1, 2024, the NHT will revise its Home Improvement Loan policy to allow all contributors to access home improvement loans of up to $3.5 million after 10 years.” Prime Minister Holness was speaking last Thursday, March 21, 2024, during his 2024/205 budget presentation. Currently, public sector workers can access home improvement loans from the NHT 10 years after the initial mortgage loan, while non-public sector workers who…
Prime Minister Holness Announces Revised First Step Housing Programme and Contribution Amnesty for MSMEs and Charities

Prime Minister Holness Announces Revised First Step Housing Programme and Contribution Amnesty for MSMEs and Charities

April, 02 2024
“The buy-back clause will give mortgagors the option to sell the property back to the NHT after a determined time. The Trust may re-purchase the unit for sale to its contributors.  The mortgagors who sell their unit to the NHT under this arrangement will be allowed to access a new benefit from the NHT, in full, towards the acquisition of a new home.” -Prime Minister Holness  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Prime Minister Andrew Holness has announced significantly improved policy changes under the National Housing Trust (NHT) aimed at addressing affordable housing and supporting the recovery of Micro, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) and charitable organizations. Delivering his 2024/2025 Budget Presentation on Thursday (March 21, 2024) in Parliament, Prime Minister Holness announced the introduction of the Revised First Step Housing Programme. This new policy comes with a novel buy-back clause to help significantly address the pressing need for affordable housing. Under this programme, the NHT will develop one-bedroom apartment complexes, particularly within or near urban centers, as starter homes. These apartments will be made available to contributors via sale agreements with an optional buy-back clause. “The buy-back clause will give mortgagors the option to sell the property back to the NHT after a determined…
Government to Upgrade Beaches Across Jamaica for Public Access in Building a Caring Society

Government to Upgrade Beaches Across Jamaica for Public Access in Building a Caring Society

April, 02 2024
“We believe everybody must have access, but we go a step further, I am happy to announce that the government will be upgrading a number of beaches across the island for public access.” - Prime Minster Holness  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jamaicans will have greater access to improved facilities at public beaches across the island. Prime Minister Andrew Holness has unveiled plans to upgrade several beaches across Jamaica, ensuring public access. This comes after many years of limited beach access to locals under previous administrations. At least nine (9) beaches will be upgraded and another major beach park development is coming to ensure Jamaicans have access to areas to spend leisure and family time. The Government has completed the ground breaking Beach Management Policy which is focussed on preserving and sustainably managing Jamaica’s beach assets for current and future generations. “One thing must be certain and we must be unequivocal, Jamaicans are entitled to access their beaches.  But one thing we know; there is one thing to speak about access, there is another thing to actually enable access. We believe everybody must have access but we go a step further, I am happy to announce that the government will be upgrading a number…