Opposition Spokesperson on Youth, Dwayne Vaz, is calling for the Government to immediately settle all outstanding payments to the scores of young Jamaicans who participated in the HOPE Summer Work programme.
The programme ended in July.
Vaz, in a statement today, took issue with the delayed payments, labelling the failure as callous “and another clear signal of the general disregard for ordinary Jamaican citizens
“There have been numerous reports and complaints by participants that they have still not been paid even though the programme ended over three months ago,” Vaz said.
Vaz argued that participants usually use the summer employment programme to acquire work experience and to accumulate some level of funding to assist with their education and other endeavours.
Managing Director of HEART NTA, Dr Janet Dyer, confirmed in a newspaper report that the agency has been experiencing challenges in uploading payments through a bank and said she currently has a list with 80 names of participants who have not been paid.
However, according to the opposition spokesperson, it is being reported by others that this number could be well over 200 participants.
“The excuse that the monies are uploaded to several banks and the entity is not able to confirm if students are paid unless a report is made, is unacceptable in any modern society and in any banking system. There is no transfer that takes three months to register.
“It is of concern that there is no follow up by the agency to ensure that the transactions were completed. That is unacceptable. Questions must also be raised about the quality of the oversight in the management of the funds in the care of the HEART NTA,” Vaz said.