Minister Wayne Scott On 2013 Budget Allocation

February 27, 2013

[Updated with video] In the 2013/2014 fiscal year the Ministry of Community and Cultural Development has been allocated $86.4 million in current expenditure and a further $1.15 million in capital expenditure, Minister of Community and Cultural Development R. Wayne Scott said today.

This is a 1.3%  increase from last year, which Minister Scott said is primarily attributed to a 49.1% increase in the grant provided to the Bermuda Housing Corporation. The other seven Departments within the Ministry have reduced their cash limits.

The BHC’s grant of  around $8.2 million exceeds the $5.5 million they received in 2012/13, which Minister Scott said includes the funding required for the Hustle Truck and to meet the Grand Atlantic Housing Development interest payments.

The Department of Youth, Sports and Recreation received around $11. 6 million, a decrease as compared to their 2012-13 amount of around $12 million.

The Department’s key funding amounts include grants to host major sporting events such as the NatWest Island Games in July 2013 and the ICC Pepsi World Cricket League Tournament in April/May 2013.

The National Sports Centre will receive an increased grant allocation of $1.25 million to contribute towards operational expenses, with $955,000 targeted towards expenses associated with the new Aquatics Centre.

The Department of Financial Assistance 2013/14 budget allocation is around $39.47 million, a decrease of 0.9% from last year. The Minister said there are around 1750 people on Financial Assistance Programme now stands at about 1750 clients, the highest ever recorded since the programme began.

“Historically, the combined number of applicants who are seniors and persons with disabilities have accounted for at least two-thirds of all financial assistance applicants. However, able-bodied unemployed persons and persons with low earnings now account for approximately 50% of all applicants,” said Minister Scott.

“We at the Ministry of Community and Cultural Development are doing our part within the framework of the sober reality of the current state of affairs of our Islands finances.”

Minister Scott’s full statement follows below:

Good Morning,

I am pleased to share with the Bermuda public, a summary of the 2013/2014 fiscal year Budget Estimate for the Ministry of Community and Cultural Development.

The total allocation for this Ministry is eighty-six point four million dollars ($86.4) in Current Expenditure and a further one point one five million ($1.15) in Capital Expenditure.

In conjunction with our internal and external social partners, the Ministry of Community and Cultural Development plays a lead role in the social development of Bermuda, in particular, responding to the need to address serious social issues such as family dysfunction, economic hardship, and at-risk children and youth.

The Ministry has been expanded to include the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs and the Department of the Rent Commissioner, and has also assumed responsibility for the Bermuda Housing Corporation.

It is hoped that these changes will create opportunities for synergistic action and collaboration, leading to more efficient and effective delivery of social services. The Ministry is committed to fulfilling its critical mandate notwithstanding an extremely challenging economic climate.

The Ministry supports the principle of fairness and equality – we are against discrimination in any form. We will strengthen Bermuda’s commitment to human rights for all, prohibiting discrimination in employment, goods and services and housing and where possible we will continue to support programmes to protect the most vulnerable in the community.

Our budget for the upcoming year is eighty-six million, four hundred and nine thousand, three hundred and ninety-nine dollars ($86,409,399) representing a minimal increase of one point three percent (1.3%), which is primarily attributed to a forty-nine point one percent (49.1%) increase in the grant provided to the Bermuda Housing Corporation (BHC).

I will point out that the other seven (7) Departments within the Ministry have reduced their cash limits. Overall, there is a three point one nine percent (3.19%) across the board decrease in Departmental budget allocations which has been achieved through realignment of programs and by marginally decreasing the amount of grants, awards and administration costs.

I will point out that over the last 2 fiscal years, there have been changes made to the Financial Assistance legislation, which has resulted in assistance payouts that are less per person. This trend will continue for the upcoming fiscal year and that this budget represents an accurate projection of the assistance needs, based on our current data.

The BHC’s grant of eight million, one hundred ninety-nine thousand dollars ($8,199,000) is forty-nine percent (49%) more than the five million, five hundred thousand dollars ($5,500,000) they received in 2012/13.

This increase includes the funding required to continue the HUSTLE Truck Initiative and to meet the interest payments for the Grand Atlantic Housing Development.

As with most Ministries we must do “more with less”. In that regard, four (4) Departments within the Ministry decreased their budgets by three point two percent (3.2%) namely the Department of Youth, Sports and Recreation received a budget allocation of eleven million, six hundred sixty-one thousand, eight hundred and fifty-two dollars ($11,661,852) as compared to their 2012-13 amount of twelve million, fifty-two thousand, eight hundred and forty-eight dollars ($12,052,848).

The Department’s key funding amounts include grants to host major sporting events such as the NatWest Island Games in July 2013 and the International Cricket Council Pepsi World Cricket League Tournament in April/May 2013.

The National Sports Centre (NSC) will receive an increased grant allocation of one point two five million ($1.25M) to contribute towards operational expenses, challenging the NSC to derive any shortfall through enhanced fundraising and/or revenue creation schemes.

Nine hundred and fifty-five thousand dollars ($955,000) of this operating grant is targeted towards expenses associated with the new Aquatics Centre.

The Department of the Rent Commissioners’ budget for 2013/14 is five hundred and sixty-nine thousand, one hundred thirty-four dollars($569,134) as opposed to five hundred and eighty-seven, nine hundred and sixteen dollars ($587,916) in 2012/13.

The Department of Community and Cultural Affairs 2013/14 budget is three million, seven hundred and twenty-nine thousand, two hundred and thirty-eight dollars ($3,729,238) as opposed to three million, eight hundred fifty-two thousand, two hundred and fifty-three dollars ($3,852,253) for 2012/13.

The fourth Department with a three point two percent (3.2%) decrease in budget is the Department of Human Affairs. Their 2013/14 allocation is two million, two hundred and sixty-nine thousand, two hundred and ten dollars ($2,269,210) as opposed to two million, three hundred and forty-four thousand and sixty-eight dollars ($2,344,068) in 2012/13.

With regard to the Department of Financial Assistance, their 2013/14 budget allocation is thirty-nine million, four hundred seventy-six thousand, three hundred and forty-two dollars ($39,476,342) a decrease of zero point nine percent (0.9%) over their 2012/13 amount.

Actual annual expenditures for that Department from 2001 – 2012 show a general increasing trend in expenditures and the numbers of financial assistance clients.

However, as previously pointed out, this year we will be continuing the trend of making changes to the eligibility requirements to ensure that those most in need get help, to make it more difficult to defraud the system, and to help and provide a way out for those in need.

Statistics show that the number of clients within the Financial Assistance Programme now stands at about one thousand seven hundred and fifty (1750) clients, the highest ever recorded since the programme began.

Historically, the combined number of applicants who are seniors and persons with disabilities have accounted for at least two-thirds (2/3) of all financial assistance applicants. However, able-bodied unemployed persons and persons with low earnings now account for approximately fifty percent (50%) of all applicants.

As this points out, it is IMPERATIVE that we get our economy and our people, working again.

The biggest decrease in budget allocation is in the Ministry Headquarters budget for 2013/14, which is four point one percent (4.1%) decrease over its 2012/13 budget allocation.

Lastly, for 2013/14 the Department of Child and Family Services budget is eighteen million, one hundred forty-eight thousand, three hundred and sixty-six dollars ($18,148,366).

This important social services Department, charged with the responsibility of preserving and protecting the best interest and social well being of children, adolescents, adults and family achieved a budget reduction of two point eight percent (2.8%).

We at the Ministry of Community and Cultural Development are doing our part within the framework of the Sober Reality of the current state of affairs of our Islands finances.

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  1. Bobmarlin says:

    The PLP put us in a financial mess!
    3-4 thousand out of work,4 years of recession and 1.5 $billion in debt. Minister Scott good luck in cleaning up the mess,you are going to need it.All the best!

    • your the dummy says:

      how DUMB could yu really be. the PLP put us in debt? I voted OBA and I can still tell you that it was not the PLP who put us in debt. In case your stupid little small minded self didnt know, THE WHOLE FRIGGIN WORLD IS IN A RECESSION. So I guess the PLP is responsible for that to ay? You need to STFU and turn on a tv to see whats going on in the world. Typical idiot you are!!!! Bladdy wanker

      • Orbit says:

        The WHOLE WORLD ain’t in a recession anymore bra. You’re the DUMMY!! The united states been out their recession for past couple years. Wur you been? Takin dummy pills I guess…

      • Bermy Gooner says:

        Sigh. The whole world is not in recession.

        Bermuda is the only one, out of all out trading partners and similar jurisdictions, that has recorded four straight (and more than likely 5) years of negative growth.

        Look it up, it is a fact.

        So obviously Bermuda was and is doing something wrong to achieve such status. If not, then why are we the only ones to be going through these issues?

        • ABM says:

          I just did look it up, sadly you are wrong.

          • Bermy Gooner says:

            So are you going to prove me wrong, or are you able to show me where any of our trading partners and similar jurisdictions are experiencing their fourth consecutive year of negative GDP growth?

    • Black Soil says:

      Thanks to sh!t PLP economic policies, the only growth Ministry is R Wayne’s social services and financial assistance.

    • Looking back does not help you to move forward,moving forward and being able to make a difference is true success,but continually trying to point at the era of the past even as far back as the U.B.P that has now regain electorial power in this country does not take us forward.

      So while their may be new rookies on the scene,the old broom is still doing the sweeping and so th ecorners and the cob webs are still there,I wish Mr Scott all th ebest in the fact that I do believe he has the community at heart and is a community man and knows and remembers where he comes from up on the hill in warwick.

      This is a good budget but if not used correctly we would be in the same position as you claim the last administration did to us,when in reality the private sector has done worse then many are willing to agree and we continually blame the government of the past for many things that was cohersed and in some cases demonized into being so that many would suffer and the fallout would come with the middle class and the have nots,but I guess you dont really search into the real goings on in this country.

      No one in the elite circle suffered during the last 15 years and are not suffering now.the only thing we see now is their finances slowing resurfacing.

    • mpartiality says:

      I totally agree. Minister Scott is a very sharp individual who the country deserves to have as one of its leaders. He will do well because he is dedicated and committed to the cause of all Bermudians. My only wish is that he will hold the civils accountable. Minister Scott must seek consultation with former Ministers in order to minimise being bamboozled by those who seek to deceive. Good luck Minister. Keep your wits about you and do not be deceived by the wolves.

  2. smith says:

    I’d be interested to know the entire means test to see how you qualify for financial assistance.

    How long can you stay on assitance?
    Can I apply if you have a job?
    Do you have to take drug screening test?
    Can financial assistance pay my rent?
    Can I go away on vacation if on financial assitance?
    Do I have to start selling my car and bike before I can get assistance?

    • Hopefully there has been a review and that this government is willing to change some of the criteria that the previous government had,under the policies that existed in th elast government you had to have less then $500 in the bank and you can not travel unles it was medical or some form of emrgency which in most case I would agree.you can not be a home owner which I think is stupid,because homeowners pay taxes and employed people pay taxes but unemployed with a whole lot of children get the best benefits.

      I will say this publicly now that the P.L.P government is no longer in office,I presented a document to Premier Cox and the minister at the time and it simply stated that homeowners and employed persons are paying the most taxes in this country,so if a home owner becomes behind in the mortgage due to being made redundant from work or cant work due do medical reasons,financial assistance should step in to help these folk from loosing their homes.

      The point was recived and discussed and debated and agreed by the former cabinet ministers,but the outcome and criteria was changed only to help those that are seniors who own homes with mortgages and find them selves in that position,which makes little sens eat all in as much that the working class is thoses that fuel the economy and if they are hit hard and loose everything,then those same people will have to rely fully on the finacial assistance program,which means burning the tax payers greater,when they could have given partial assistance before the y lost everything and maybe help salvage what they had.

      The best way to have your question answered to what actually exist now is to go to their offices and ask them for a copy of their criteria in writing which they do have.hopefully some of it all most of it has been revised.

      • Bermy Gooner says:

        “I will say this publicly now that the P.L.P government is no longer in office”

        That is not a bad idea Mr. Santucci at all. A shame that it wasn’t furthered actioned by the previous administration.

        But I have to ask why you felt that you couldn’t state this publicly while the PLP were in power?

        • This is a reasonable question and I would say that many people like to blast the government for what they dont do,I rather put into writing what I think could be a possible solution to some of the problems we face and then send it on to the right officials.

          Once they have had time to review the recommendations and a fair amount of time to implement,then I wait to see if it comes to pass,if it does not come to pass or anything equivalent then that is when I blast them.

          No different then the drug and gun problems we have in Bermuda,we have many locals who help offer solutions behind the scenes but you never hear about them or their input,but the over all out come of their involvement is fruitless, because the powers that be know that the drug and gun problem is far larger then the low lifes on the street.

          Hopefully what i am not saying is more clearer then what i have said. to your comment above there was a long letter written with facts and solutions to how i believe we could help people in dire straights but at the same time the public purse could benefit,I for one dont have no problem in recieving financial assitance if I need it but on the other hand should be made to work in the government system to help off set the assistance I am getting.

          There is enough work around this country that we can be doing that W&E and Agriculture and fisheries do and it will cut down on having to give hands out without getting anything in return and stop peole like Ms B.I.U from complaining how disgusting our highways and roads,and railway trails look.

          There are enough government buildingd and facilities that is also in need of upkeep and clening on a daily and weekly basis,so if my family and I need help from the public purse so be it but we are willing to also do our part in giving back for waht we recieve.

          • for the record i and my family do not recieve financial assistance from government or any other agency but note if i have to go that way i am not proud to seek help but would like to think that there is a way that I can give back for the help I would recieve.

      • mpartiality says:

        Ever thought about providing a free service to Bermuda for Bermuda’s sake? No need to worry about credentials – those who have them are entirely useless anyway.

    • Islander says:

      Can I go away on vacation if on financial assitance?

      Please answer because many have done this and continue to do it and the purchase of liquor and cigarettes – isn’t this a no no out of their allotment