Financial assistance to fall by $1.5m

Make text smaller Make text larger

  • Cautious welcome: Kelly Hunt of the Coalition for the Protection of Children praised parts of the Budget (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

    Cautious welcome: Kelly Hunt of the Coalition for the Protection of Children praised parts of the Budget (Photograph by Akil Simmons)


The cost of financial assistance is expected to drop by about $1.5 million in the next fiscal year.

The update came as the 2018-19 Budget earmarked $51.68 million for the programme, down from $53.55 million in 2017-18.

Financial assistance has been under review by a cost-saving working group since November 2017.

Delivering the Budget on Friday, David Burt, the Premier, said the effort would “reduce abuse, discourage dependency, and ensure that work pays”.

The Budget garnered high marks from Kelly Hunt, executive director of the Coalition for the Protection of Children, who said the charity “keenly” awaited the strategic plan to cut spending in financial assistance.

Ms Hunt said the need to support struggling families and vulnerable persons remained “paramount”.

She added: “As mentioned in the Budget, poverty is a reality. Many able-bodied people are finding it difficult to make ends meet. How we move from dependency to the effective support of self-sufficiency will be fundamental to Bermuda’s overall development as a country.”

The charity praised the Budget’s commitment to “economic empowerment, relief for vulnerable persons and a strengthened social safety net”.

Ms Hunt said the speech for the coming fiscal year echoed the Coalition’s belief that “root-cause issues must be addressed as a primary concern and long-term investment”.

She added: “We await details surrounding preventive education programmes, early intervention and empowerment initiatives as they will be key to addressing many of our social ills.

“Unequal access to opportunity is a clear underlying theme recognised by the Government in this Budget, and we look forward to learning the specifics of how this will be addressed in order to strengthen the social fabric of Bermuda.”

Mr Burt told MPs last Friday that inequality was “systemic” in Bermuda and it was “the regrettable result of a system designed to preserve the economic power of the few”.

Ms Hunt said the Budget’s commitment to maintenance of the island’s schools, as well as boosts in funding for the Ministry of Social Development, Youth, Sport and Recreation, Child and Family Services and National Drug Control, were welcomed.

She said: “These are encouraging investments in the community and we look forward to supporting plans that help families heal, grow and thrive as a mandate for success.”

You must be registered or signed-in to post comment or to vote.

Published Feb 19, 2018 at 8:00 am (Updated Feb 18, 2018 at 9:45 pm)

Financial assistance to fall by $1.5m

What you
Need to
Know
1. For a smooth experience with our commenting system we recommend that you use Internet Explorer 10 or higher, Firefox or Chrome Browsers. Additionally please clear both your browser's cache and cookies - How do I clear my cache and cookies?
2. Please respect the use of this community forum and its users.
3. Any poster that insults, threatens or verbally abuses another member, uses defamatory language, or deliberately disrupts discussions will be banned.
4. Users who violate the Terms of Service or any commenting rules will be banned.
5. Please stay on topic. "Trolling" to incite emotional responses and disrupt conversations will be deleted.
6. To understand further what is and isn't allowed and the actions we may take, please read our Terms of Service
7. To report breaches of the Terms of Service use the flag icon

  • Take Our Poll

    Today's Obituaries