How do you plan to fund ‘free education’ promise?

I read an article in the Jamaica Observer (today) and was quite surprised at the less than critical thinking that was brought to the matter of “free” secondary school education.

I have decided to challenge that  position and show how “free” education can be funded at NO extra cost to the tax payers of this country.

It is very clear to me that the 5% that the NHT collects ( 2% workers and 3% from companies) is way too much money for the NHT, which has a huge surplus and for which only about 25% of contributors benefit, needs to be changed.

In the 2012/2013 Financial year the NHT collected approximately $20b from contributors and paid of $3.95b as refunds to contributor.

I am making a suggestion that the rates being paid by PAYE to the NHT be reduced to 1% and that by employees be reduced to 1.5%.  The 2.5% combined total reduction should be directed to a newly created Education Fund, which goes into a special fund managed similar to how the NHT does its contribution.

This would add close to $10b per anuum to the education  sector.

The fact is the NHT is a cash rich entity, so rich that the GOJ decided to remove over $44B in suprlus that the NHT had sitting on its books to help pay down the national debt.

It is very clear to me that the NHT is collecting way more than it needs and with no where to spend the money has bought Outameni $200m and useless land from politicians running into millions of dollar.

Now let’s do some maths.

There are 163 high schools across Jamaica.

Lets assume that each high school has 1,500 students enrolled.

Total number of enrolled students = 163 x1500 = 244,500 students.

In your article you quoted JC fees of $31,000 but lets assume the fee on average is $40,000 per student and the Ministry pays $11,000 currently leaving a balance of $29,000 per student.

Additional cost were ministry to fund every student its full sum would be $29,000 x 244,500 = $7.09b

Total funds raised from above change in NHT structure and moving to education was $10b.

So in effect we could fully fund the cost of each student and still have a annual cash balance of almost $3b per annum.

All this needs is a simple stroke of the pen by the cabinet of Jamaica.

Like I said, nothing is impossible and if you really want a solution it can be found.

Now I really did not have to look too hard to find a very viable solution.


So how do we fund free education…?

I would love to hear your response to this one



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