Finance Minister, Audley Shaw has denied newspaper reports which suggest that he knew about the status of the Energy Stabilization Fund, ESF, before the February 25 general elections.

Minister Shaw had told a meeting of private sector leaders that no money was in the ESF, forcing the JLP to have to seek alternative means to keep its commitment to provide income tax relief for those who earn less than 1-point-5-million dollars per annum.

However a report carried in the Gleaner newspaper on April 3, contradicted those claims, saying Mr. Shaw was given a full account by then Finance Minister, Dr. Peter Phillips of how the funds earmarked for the ESF were being handled.

But Minister Shaw is dismissing that claim.

He told journalists today that he never knew about the true state of the ESF until after he was sworn into office last month.

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Minister Shaw also dismissed claims that the Holness administration will have to impose GCT on basic food items in order to support its income tax commitment.

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Audley Shaw, Finance Minister, speaking with journalists today outside Gordon House following the ceremonial opening of parliament.