Video: Ministers Darrell & Furbert On Budget

February 26, 2024 | 9 Comments

Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport Owen Darrell and Minister of Youth, Social Development and Seniors Tinèe Furbert held a joint post-Budget press conference today.

Minister of Youth, Social Development and Seniors Tinee Furbert said, “Good Day Bermuda, Today I will share with you the key initiatives that will be supported by the 2024/25 Budget allocation for the Ministry of Youth, Social Development and Seniors.

“The Ministry’s 2024/25 budget increased by $1.45 million dollars, which covers the operational expenditure for the Ministry Headquarters inclusive of the Office of Youth Affairs, Ageing & Disability Services, the K. Margaret Carter Centre, the Department of Child & Family Services and the Department of Financial Assistance.

“The increase comprises eight hundred thousand dollars [$800,000] in union salary uplifts for public officers and six hundred and fifty thousand dollars [$650,000] to fund new and ongoing programmes.

“Our budget increase demonstrates our continued commitment to Bermuda’s most vulnerable and cherished population groups: our children, persons with disabilities, our seniors and those who find themselves in economic need.

“The Ministry will ensure that the services and programmes we offer will directly impact and improve the overall well-being and quality of life for these population groups.

“Now, I will provide an overview of the initiatives under the Ministry’s remit:

The Office of Youth Affairs

“This Office was transferred to the Ministry in November 2023.

“You may recall just last month I provided an update on the work of this office which is being steered by the National Youth Policy, which is a five-year plan that focuses on eight key goals associated with the empowerment of our youth, namely: safeguarding, education, tackling anti-social behaviour, employment, sports, health, civic engagement, and diversity.

“This budget will continue to support our community centre and afterschool programmes for children and seniors.

“It will allow The Office of Youth Affairs to host a major youth conference in July focusing on mitigating the anti-social behaviours of our young people.

“Additionally, it will help ensure youth organisations that receive grants for youth programmes and services have child safeguarding policies already in place.

Budget Press Conference Minister Furbert and Darrell Bermuda Feb 26 2024

Ageing and Disability Services

“This budget allows us to continue to support the Dementia Pilot Programme that will provide the Government with specific data and information on the extent and level of demand for dementia care services in Bermuda.

“One hundred and twenty thousand dollars [$120,000] in additional funding will continue the implementation of the Structured Decision-Making Tool that was purchased last year to support and protect Bermuda’s seniors and persons with disabilities who are at risk of abuse or self-neglect.

“Decision-making for adult protection is complex due to difficulties in reliably assessing the capacity of older adults for decision-making during ethical dilemmas raised when adults refuse services.

“The continuation of putting this framework in place will help officers make consistent decisions and identify immediate safety concerns specific to clients.

Department of Child and Family Services

“With the responsibility of protecting Bermuda’s children and strengthening our families, the Department of Child & Family Services has been given an operational budget of $19.7 million dollars.

“One hundred and fifty thousand dollars [$150,000] will fund the start of a new child safeguarding programme that will facilitate children participating in psychosexual assessments and counselling services as support services.

“For clarity, as per the Child Safeguarding Act 2019, children who are victims of sexual offences or who are convicted of sexual offences and serious personal injury must receive both physical and psychological services.

“An additional three hundred and fifty thousand [$350,000] has been budgeted to enhance the delivery of the Independent Living Programme for our young people who are ageing out of Government care with the engagement of younger people starting in the programme at age 17 years to prepare them for independent living.

“The Independent Living Programme was officially opened in 2023 and currently, there are seven [7] young persons living at the facility and moving through the structured programme. This includes two [2] young persons 17 years old who recently entered the programme.

“The community-based programme offers housing and steers the youth to other resources where they obtain educational, vocational, and life skills coaching that supports independent living as they transition into adulthood.

“This budget will also support the continued work that is being undertaken by the Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Committee which has established weekly meetings to collaborate in reviewing the highest-risk domestic abuse cases. This upcoming budget year the MARAC Committee will be developing a five-year Domestic Abuse Strategy.

Department of Financial Assistance

“The operational budget for the Department of Financial Assistance is $54.1 million dollars.

“The Financial Assistance reform during this current year resulted in increased benefits for persons receiving financial assistance support through increases to the table of allowable expenses.

“Including an additional $2.1 million dollars for the expansion of the Child Day Care Allowance Programme.

“$3 million dollars for low-earners, $2.6 million dollars for able-bodied unemployed persons, $25 million dollars for pensioners and $15 million dollars for disabled persons.

“Additionally, the Department will roll out for the first time a short-term relief benefit programme during 2024/25 budget year. Legislation is currently being worked on to support the delivery of this benefit programme that will afford those persons who experience financial hardship at any point the opportunity to apply for a one-off short-term relief benefit.

“These financial reform initiatives will provide social protection systems that guarantee all families, regardless of their current economic standing, access to resources to meet their basic needs.

Third Sector Grants

“We have allocated three million, six hundred and eighty five thousand dollars [$3,685,000] to continue to provide grants to Third Sector Organisations that provide needed social services and programmes.

These organisations include:

  • Age Concern
  • Women’s Resource Centre
  • Centre Against Abuse
  • Vision Bermuda
  • Nursing and Residential Homes
  • Meals on Wheels
  • Salvation Army
  • Summerhaven
  • Tomorrow’s Voices and;
  • Home


“Other key initiatives that will be steered by the Ministry of Youth, Social Development and Seniors during the 2024/25 budget year include:

  • The completion of a National Seniors Strategy;
  • The execution of priorities in the Plan to End Homelessness; and,
  • The continued strengthening of the Litigation Guardian Programme.

“Bermuda, the Ministry is diligently working to support initiatives that demonstrate the Government’s ongoing commitment to improving the social well-being of our youth, our seniors, and persons with disabilities, which all contributes to a path to a better Bermuda.”

Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport Owen Darrell said, “Good Afternoon,

“I am here today as the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport to share key initiatives that will be supported by the 2024/25 Budget allocation for the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport.

“The Ministry’s 2024/25 budget has increased by fifteen point nine million dollars [$15.9] providing a total budget allocation of twenty-nine million, six hundred and nineteen thousand dollars [$29,619,000].

“This increase is due to the transfer of the Bermuda Tourism Authority [BTA] grant, the Hotel Regulatory and Policy Unit and the Cultural grants to supplement and compliment the efforts of the BTA.

“This funding covers the operational expenditure for the Ministry inclusive of Ministry Headquarters and the Hotel Regulatory and Policy Unit, the Department of Culture, the Department of Sport and Recreation and the grant to the Bermuda Tourism Authority.

“Now, I will provide an overview of the initiatives under the

Ministry’s remit:

Ministry Headquarters

“The grant to the Bermuda Tourism Authority is sixteen million five hundred and forty thousand dollars [$16,540,000], a reduction of two million, four hundred and sixty thousand dollars [$2,460,000] and funds are being redirected to priority areas including increased grants to supplement local curators of tourism experiences, increased funding for elite athletes as 2024 is an Olympic year, increased funding for Sports Development in line with the National Sports Policy that will ultimately support many of the National Sports Governing Bodies, expansion of accessibility to affordable summer day camp programmes and assistance with the operation of Makerspaces for artists and creatives, a 2023 Throne Speech initiative.

Department of Culture

“The Department of Culture has been given an operational budget of two million, two hundred and twenty-three thousand dollars [$2,223,000] Three hundred thousand dollars

“[$300,000] is allocated for the development and establishment of Makerspaces, a place where artists can create artwork, bands can practice, actors can rehearse and creatives can collaborate with each other. Bermudian creatives including musicians, visual artists, actors, poets and dancers have long advocated for a dedicated “maker space” and this will provide an environment where creatives can work on projects together, cultural groups can meet and performing artists who currently do not have an affordable place to practice can work on honing their craft. Some expected offshoots include workshops and master classes developed by the cultural community.

Department of Sport and Recreation

“The operational budget for the Department of Sport and Recreation is eight million three hundred and thirty-five thousand dollars [$8,335,000]. Three hundred and fifty thousand dollars [$350,000] of this is budgeted for Elite Athletes. The Elite Athlete Assistance programme which currently supports prominent athletes such as Dage Minors, Daniel Augustus, Jessica Lewis, Yushae Andrade-DeSilva, and Conor White, among others, covers essential aspects like travel, per diem, accommodation, and more.

“Given that the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games are scheduled for this summer, our athletes require comprehensive support to propel them toward sporting excellence for Bermuda. The enhanced funding will play a pivotal role in aiding these athletes, covering crucial aspects such as insurance, recovery, physiotherapy, coaching expenses, and other often overlooked costs associated with representing Bermuda on the international stage.

“Two million dollars [$2,000,000] has been allocated to the Sports Investment Programme, which will allow the Department to address gaps in funding to ensure alignment with the objectives in the National Sports Policy, including increasing participation, achieving sporting excellence and enhancing coach education.

“An additional $500,000 has been budgeted for summer day camps so that the number of students on the waitlist is significantly reduced, alleviating stress for working parents. The Department of Sport and Recreation’s summer day camp programmes are extremely popular as parents seek safe and affordable summer camps for their children.

“Annually, parents eagerly await registration for Summer Day Camp. Registration closes within minutes of opening because the Camps have reached their maximum capacity. Due to popular demand, after the camps enrollment have capacity, a waitlist is created. The waitlists are usually long and extensive.

“The Department’s desire is to minimize the waitlist that occurs every year.

“The aim is to alleviate the stress of finding safe and affordable summer camps for as many children as we can allow.

“The strategy is to expand availability at public summer camps and collaborate with private camp operators to secure additional spaces. The department has reached out to private camps to obtain some spots in their camps. This will help students that would not normally be exposed to these camps an opportunity to participate.


“The following organizations will continue to have the Ministry’s support for the array of programmes and services that they provide in the community:

  • Bermuda Tourism Auhority
  • Culture and Entertainment Support
  • Parish Councils
  • Cup Match
  • National Sports Centre
  • Contribution to Sports Investment
  • Elite Athletes
  •  Bermuda Arts Council .
  • Bermuda National Gallery and.
  • Cultural Preservation [Gombey Troupes, Museums, and Heritage Activity]


“Bermuda, the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport develops and celebrates our people through the National Sports Policy, the National Cultural Heritage Policy and support to the Bermuda Tourism Authority.

“We will continue to diligently support initiatives that demonstrate the Government’s ongoing commitment to culture, sport and tourism.”

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Comments (9)

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  1. What says:

    More fluff, propaganda and BS to distract from the OBA reply to the budget.

    • watching says:

      What reply? The doom and gloom scare dem dissertation by Jarion.

      • what says:

        We as taxpayers and voters have the right to the truth, not the constant lies , smoke and mirrors from the PLP. the PLP seems set up to just spew propaganda to retain power. This in the interests of Bermuda and Bermudians, but just in the interests of the PLP politicians.

        The truth is not just the visible potholes and papering over cracks, read it Bermudians, you have a right to know despite what the PLP tell you.

        • Joe Bloggs says:

          The truth includes nearly $4 billion in current account debt, roughly the same amount again in unfunded pension liabilities and a failure to pay into the sinking fund so that money is available when principal has to be paid. Right now we are only paying interest on our current account debt.

      • LetariatPro says:

        This is the problem with the electorate today. No one wants the truth, they want to stick their heads in the sand and go on like things are fine.

        Well the potholes are a symptom. The rising homelessness is a symptom. The rising unemployment is a symptom. The increased emigration is a symptom. The rising debt, rising cost of living, are all symptoms.

        The disease must be cured, and the PLP does not have the political will to do so as evidenced by the poster above.

        You can’t cure the symptoms unless you cure the disease first. The PLP is a blight on the island.

        • Joe Bloggs says:

          Actually, the electorate do want the truth, it is just hard to come by. The PLP political strategists have overwhelmed their OBA counterparts for years. That is why the OBA is all but irrelevant. Who is going to tell the electorate the truth?

  2. Pa says:

    Hello HAHA

    That was a kick where it hurts most.

    If gloom and doom is the root of our financial problem lets hear it .

    The sooner we can identntify our principal problems and deal with them one at a time with the hard ones first, other than that it is the same as trying to fight a hive of 10,000 angry bees.

    Makes me wonder what HaHa means ?
    Other than he does not not known which of 50 cans to kick and where to kick them.

    It is very obvious what Bermuda major problem is its money, a $1.59 will no manage this country caused by loss of income from covid and a inflation or any other problem.
    this is not the first time that we have had our back against the wall and it will not be the last.
    We need to eat their lunch.

    What do our visitors do when the decide to come here ,may be ,split the cruise ship business sail here and fly home after onday room stay or more here.
    We have the planes .
    the cruise ships can’t have all the gravy !

    The solution to solve our financial issues is as it has been in the past is to restore tourism, that my friends is the responsibility of every Man Woman and young person, yes them too !

    Passing all the bucks to the backs tourist department is a cop out ,give them a well earned helping hand a little praise and bonus dollars goes a long way . not the threat of loosin a job that is no incentive.
    We have to give to get.
    That is .
    We all need to give the tourist dept every tool in our tool box.

    We also need to offer our visitors a very good reason to come here to visit in the first place.

    know this ! our visitors are the most precious jewel in our crown.

  3. Pa says:

    I unfortunately have this computer which i have some dificulty fighting with its grammer and spelling corrections by interfearing with my intended text.
    I have recently found out that this thing and many of its buddy friends have the some programing malfunctions
    As glaring error occurs was . ” Passing all the bucks to the backs tourist department” .
    Should have read .
    “Passing the buck on to the tourist department is a cop out”.

    May I add for your information, that we have some super intelligent, fantastic , and devoted people whom I would not hesitate to say brilliant working for your Government.

    Should they are unable or incapable of correcting minor errors, there is no forgiveness.

    No body is absolutely perfect !

    I have been there and done that all in the persuit of excellence .

    The secret to it all is double check your work

    What ever you do in life do not burn the toast.

  4. Hilarious! says:

    Write in a word processor like Word first. Correct your typos. Copy and paste the text into the online comment box.

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