Camp funds ‘wasted’
A supplementary for children’s summer camps of just over half-million dollars engaged the House in robust debate in the post-lunch session yesterday after Opposition Leader Mia Mottley referred to such spending as “unnecessary”.
Minister of Culture, Sport and Youth Stephen Lashley introduced the $559 240 resolution to assist his ministry in outstanding payments to caterers for the final two weeks of this year’s summer camp programme, stating that while $3 million had been allocated to the programme in the Estimates in March, the expenses had gone over by $559 240.
He said, however, that overall spending had gone down in the last three years since the 2010 camp programme had cost Government $6.1 million, the 2011 one $5.3 million and last year’s $4 million; while the attendance of campers had risen from 3 386 in 2008 to over 11 000 this year.
However, Mottley, noting that no supplementary could reach the House without the Minister of Finance’s approval, reminded that the said minister had stated during the August Budget that there would be a strict policy of limited supplementaries within limited expenditure targets.
She argued that Government had been breaching, in nearly every matter before the House, the policies outlined by Minister Chris Sinckler.
“I can equally say this supplementary explains why we have no confidence in the Minister of Finance and reinforces whey there are Barbadians who have not received their salaries from Government,” she said, adding that complaints were also raging from the Transport Board and Sanitation Service Authority, and pharamaceutical companies were under stress because they had remained unpaid for basic items.