Thursday, April 18, 2024

Repealing ‘disaster fund’ like robbery


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I AM commenting on the article on the Back Page of the February 28 SUNDAYSUN headlined Sinckler Wants Repeal Of Disaster Fund.

This fund – actually called the Catastrophe Fund – was set up by the Owen Arthur administration and has accumulated $35.6 million, which the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) is holding. Now the Minister of Finance wants to repeal the act. Why?

The mere fact that none of the money has been disbursed speaks loudly enough.

As the article noted, there were criteria for disbursing the funds, but it seems that the Government was seeking to add red tape. Here is a classic case of mumbo jumbo. The minister claims the fund has not served the purpose for which it was established. How can he make such a claim when none of the funds were used? How can you know if something is going to work unless it is tried? The economic policies that the Government implemented had to be tried to see if they would work.

According to the paper, Sinckler asked colleagues to “discontinue the fund and hold the money in escrow in the Treasury, until Cabinet decides what to do with the millions”. This is like robbery with violence.

– Chesterfield Walrond


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