Republic Bank removes caution on Jolly Beach Resort, and PM Browne says completion of purchase by the Gov’t is close

Sources tell REAL News that Republic Bank of Trinidad & Tobago has removed the caution on the Jolly Beach Resort property, clearing the way for its sale.

According to Prime Minister Gaston Browne, his Administration believes it is close to completing the purchase of the defunct hotel, and the deal should come to fruition by this weekend.

Therefore, it is expected that the former Jolly Beach workers will be able to receive their long-outstanding severance payments.

Following the sale, the Government intends to sell part of the property – no less than one third – to another developer, who will be building a Nikki Beach with residences, Browne claims.

He says the investor will expend a considerable amount of money on the portion of the property he will receive.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the United Progressive Party (UPP), D.Gisele Isaac, is asking about alleged moves by the Browne Administration to offer a 50 percent corporate tax reduction to the entity tapped to renovate the Jolly Beach Resort.  

The deal reportedly includes “free” trucking services for six months, as well as a sizeable pay-out as a penalty for varying the contract.

When the Government gives away so much revenue to big businesses, Isaac says, she is concerned that ordinary taxpayers will then have to make up for the Treasury’s financial shortfall.

Meanwhile, the UPP Chair says the Browne Administration has been a failure.  It has borrowed money for which it refuses to give account, she says, while the country’s roads and other infrastructure remain in a poor state, and severance and back pay to various workers remain unpaid.