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Govt looking to HELP with land


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GOVERNMENT will seek permission to acquire two parcels of land at Brighton, St George when the House of Assembly meets today at 10 a.m., to pursue its Housing Every Last Person Programme (HELP).Minister of Housing and Lands Michael Lashley is down to move the resolution to compulsorily acquire the two parcels of land, totalling 15 302 square metres, owned by Brighton Plantation Limited.On March 6, 2008, Cabinet had agreed to acquire the land for the provision of 500 lots under HELP.And on February 26, last year, it agreed to:(i) the acquisition of additional areas from landowners where acquisitions were approved previously to provide the required lots as well as to accommodate the recommended buffer zone under HELP in accordance with instructions from the Chief Town Planner; and(ii) the acquisition of other parcels of land to provide the required 500 lots as well as to accommodate the buffer zone under HELP.Two other items are likely to be debated: an amendment to the Income Tax Act to give effect to a proposal in the 2009 Budget to make different provision for settlements to charities and to provide for a foreign currency allowance to individuals in certain circumstances; and an amendment to the Charities Act to provide for the categorisation of certain institutions as “exempt charities”.These charities are defined as “any body established by statute which is permitted to receive gifts and donations of money or property for the performing of any function or discharging of any obligation under that statute”.Seven new bodies will be admitted to this category: the AIDS Foundation of Barbados, the Barbados National Trust, the Barbados Small Business Association, the Challenor Creative Arts and Training Centre, the Kiwanis Club of Barbados, the Lions Club of Barbados and the Barbados Cancer Society and Cancer Support Services.There is also provision for “any facility established for the treatment and rehabilitation of people affected by substance abuse”. (AB)

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