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Thursday, May 19, 2022

Gov’t making it seem as if we’re negligent in our districts - Penn

Gov’t making it seem as if we’re negligent in our districts - Penn

Opposition Leader Marlon Penn has protested that the government has made it seem as if members of the Opposition are being negligent within their constituencies.
According to Penn, government officials have halved their district funding allocations and also have control over how funds are to be spent.

“You continue to hear persons who tend to have the opposing view to the Opposition make it seem as if we are negligent in executing many of the projects within our community,” Penn said at a recent press briefing.

But according to Penn, it is the administrative and financial responsibility of the sitting administration and their ministers to execute projects within the various constituencies throughout the territory.

“We have an obligation to advocate, particularly for the projects and concerns within our constituency which we continuously do as district representatives, as members of the opposition,” he stated.

He continued: “The only funding as it relates to capital expenditure that we might have earmarked directly to our districts are specifically under the civil mitigation vote in the Ministry of Transportation in Works. In fact, that vote has been cut this year from $200,000-$100,000.”

“In addition to the cut,“ Penn added, “if there were projects that were started in 2021 and those projects were not completed, the funding will be taken away from the $100,000 that we now have available that was usually $200,000.”

Penn further expressed that there was a limit to the funding available to Opposition members and emphasised that they had no control over its disbursement since the subject minister could dictate what he could do with the funds allocated to each district.

Penn noted, however, that the Works Minister has been cooperative thus far with district representatives.

Meanwhile, the Opposition Leader publicly acknowledged and thanked some of the persons that continue to support development within the various districts.

“Many of the business persons, despite the challenges economically, have continued to assist where they can with public schools, with some of the infrastructural needs of our community where we are absent the funding from central government to address many of those issues within the community,” Penn stated.

The reality is that there needs to be an education process with the public in terms of how public financing works and how government projects are executed, Penn said.
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