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Hustle Truck saved?

The Ministry of Public Works will spend more than $300,000 on the Hustle Truck in 2011-12 prompting Shadow Minister Patricia Gordon-Pamplin to ask if the initiative has been saved from the axe.

She told the House of Assembly on Wednesday night it was good news the Ministry was to “foot the bill”.

But she added: “We just want to make sure that the Minister has the opportunity to explain with more time that the programme has not been cut and would still be operational.”

Deputy Premier and Public Works Minister Derrick Burgess earlier told MPs, during a debate on his Ministry's budget for the coming financial year, that the cash was allocated under the Department of Works & Engineering.

“The budget includes $1,398,000 for the quarry administration cost centre...which includes a $303,000 allowance for the Hustle Truck initiative,” he said.

The three-hour debate ended before he was able to answer questions from the Opposition.

Earlier this month, it was reported that the Hustle Truck, which offers daily casual manual work for jobseekers, could be cancelled as its funding had been cut to zero in the latest Budget.

Minister without Portfolio Michael Weeks said during the Budget debate on National Security that it had been a success but would have no funds in 2011-12.

He told the House: “No Bermudian should be disadvantaged by the end of the programme in this form.”

Health Minister Zane DeSilva called for private companies to step forward to ensure the project could keep going.

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Published March 10, 2011 at 1:00 am (Updated March 10, 2011 at 10:03 am)

Hustle Truck saved?

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