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PM agrees Jamaica should pay for new parliament building

Prime Minister Andrew Holness
 
Prime Minister Andrew Holness has said he is in agreement with suggestions that the new parliament which is to be built should not be funded by foreigners.
 
Mr. Holness was speaking Wednesday at the launch of the exhibition for the new house of Parliament.
 
The Prime Minister said he was heartened when he heard Opposition Leader Dr. Peter Phillips say that Jamaica should pay for the building.
 
However, Mr. Holness said he was not against accepting gifts for the project. 
 
"We will have people sending gifts to us...we're part of the Commonwealth, we're part of CARICOM, so you'll have people who will want to out of friendship and we'll accept it in the spirit that it is given," he declared. 
 
Mr. Holness again defended the government's decision to prioritise the building of a new Parliament, arguing that it is an investment in strengthening democracy and the Jamaican state. 
 
"I'm always puzzled by those among us who would want to see the Jamaica Conference Centre remain as it is, the buildings downtown remain as it is, who... seem to be afraid of change. But things have to change...otherwise we will die," he reasoned.  
 
There has been push back in relation to the decision to build the new parliament in National Heroes Circle.
 
There have been concerns about the loss of another green space in the Corporate Area as well as disruption to residents who live in the area.
 
The Urban Development Corporation (UDC) launched the Houses of  Parliament Design Competition in May.
 
Five design teams have now been shortlisted from 24 which entered.
 
The winner is expected to be announced next February.
 


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