UBP’s John Barritt Addresses Ministry’s Cuts

March 12, 2011

During the budget debate yesterday [Mar.11] in the House of Assembly, UBP MP John Barritt questioned the cuts which had been made to budget of the Ministry of Youth, Families, Sports and Community Development.

Mr Barritt spoke on the economics of the situation, saying when you look at the reported $80,000 a year cost of housing an inmate at Westgate, money may be better spent at the front end.

The Ministry’s budget has been cut from $71.5 million, to $66.2 million. In the post budget press conference last month Minister Glenn Blakeney, who holds the portfolio said, “We all recognize in our Ministry that we are challenged as we’ve heard as the common theme with the Premier’s budget statement this morning, to do more with less.”

“And with that understanding we remain committed to improving the cost effective delivery of services provided by the variery of departments under our remit. In particular, we will be emphasising workfare not welfare as a common theme, while taking into consideration the need for compassion, sensitivity, a shared sense of personal sacrifice and the spirit of community partnership which is required to heal the wounds tearing at the very heart of our society,” said Minister Blakeney.

Mr Barritt said there needed to be some “more critical analysis of what was working and funds applied accordingly rather than just across the board cuts for the sake of chanting the new mantra, we have to make do by getting more from less.”

He highlighted the cuts to the Mirrors progamme, saying “which to this point the Government has held up as a kind of showpiece for what can be done to help turn around the lives of some our young people and put them on potential paths for success. If the programme,and such similar programmes of any of the helping agencies, can be shown to be achieving success with our young people, we ought to think long and hard about just cutting back.”

He lamented the lack of “critical analysis in the cutbacks in these critical areas,” and went on to suggest that “Goverment should think long and hard about under-funding the so-called helping agencies who are out there in the trenches doing a more effective job sometimes than Government does, or could ever do.”

Mr Barritt also said that from his experience sitting as a member of the Joint Select Committee on Crime and hearing the various submissions from groups and charities who are out there tackling the island’s social problems, Bermuda could benefit from greater co-ordination between these groups and that this was a useful role that Government could play so that we can eliminate duplication and maximise efficencies and thereby ensure getting optimum value for our dollars.

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Comments (8)

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  1. Cannot have it both ways! says:

    Is this not the same opposition that has screamed for so long about the ‘debt position created by the current government’, the’reckless spending’ and ‘the budget increases year after year’ etc. etc. etc… Well now that the new leader of the country has mandated that each department must ‘do more with less’ and ‘find efficiencies’, still we hear hollow complaints from the opposition! Face it folks, we cannot have it both ways. That’s just basic math!

    So, why not support the efforts of the government OR rather than complain about the budget cuts that have been made, suggest ways where monies can be better applied. Oh I’m sorry, I forgot, that would actually be useful politics we don’t want that now do we! Just HUSH so that the leadership of the country can move forward in this new and extremely challenging direction.

  2. Joe says:

    Funny how this was exactly the same sort of nonsense that the PLP was delivering in rebuttal for 30 years. BTW it is the JOB of the Opposition to point out the errors in policy according to its own agenda, not deliver counter programs- that occurs in a general election. If indeed the PLP had not allowed itself to be dragged into 5 years of sordid and abusive politics by its former leader, we would not be in the position we find ourselves today. There are many who cannot support the PLP in this (budgetary) task, largely an unenviable situation they put themselves in. In short, was it a good budget? Few seem to think so.

    • Remembers the past . says:

      @ Joe .. TRUE , TRUE and TRUE

      How quickly we forget … But not I !

  3. Terry says:

    The plasma will run short soon. Sliding glass doors will be the thing of the past.

    • Terry says:

      Having a problem with my comments Bernews?

      • mixitup says:

        Great! Two thumbs up for Bernews!

        • Terry says:

          Whats that suppose to mean. O r are you just “mixitup”.

      • Enough! says:

        Yes, they probably are having problems with your moronic comments – the rest of us sure are. Get a job Terry.