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Scott: Govt is working to mend ‘broken society’

Community Minister Wayne Scott says Government is tackling the Island's social ills with initiatives that “lay the groundwork for Bermudians to earn a better life”.

And he told a Sandys Rotary Club meeting last night that the administration had “identified a new way forward” that will lead to “a programme of economic and social recovery to mend our broken society”.

“The Social Recovery programme will tackle the root causes of poverty, rather than just throwing money around and announcing that our problems have been solved,” Mr Scott said.

“The resources the former Government pumped in simply didn't work effectively because money is a means rather than an end. Cheques don't solve problems — people solve problems.

“We must lift people out of unemployment. All governments believe that, however the policies we have begun to put in place are designed to reduce unemployment. We are working on building a solid foundation in order to get Bermuda working again for all Bermudians.

“The face of the unemployed in Bermuda has changed and we must jump-start the economy with inward investment. However, this new face is a temporary one that will revert to the norm, once the economy picks up. Therefore, the focus here is not just on the economy, but the underlying social issues that affect our people, and all too often this reality gets swept under the carpet.”

Mr Scott said the programme created a framework of support and guidance to help people become productive citizens.

“Many governments around the world have learned that they must tackle the causes of benefit dependency and lessen people's reliance on social assistance — Bermuda is no exception in this regard,” he said.

“An example of how social recovery can be achieved is the Community Driven Development programme. CDD is a joint initiative launched in March by the Department of Human Affairs and the Bermuda Women's Council. The aim of the programme is to develop the potential of unemployed or underemployed women, so that they become self-sufficient and eventually off financial assistance.

“I would like to give you an example of the impact the CDD programme has had on at least two young women. When asked why she and her sister had joined the CDD programme this is what one of the participants said and I quote: ‘My sister and I are caught in two systems, child and family services and financial assistance. We are breaking the cycle of generational poverty by attending the CDD programme which aims to provide us with the necessary tools towards financial and emotional freedom. This freedom will make us better individuals and lead to financial independence. We can then empower our children to do better and be productive citizens of our Island.'”

Mr Scott said the programme demonstrated that Government “has not forgotten struggling families, where life is often characterised by family breakdown, debt, and dependency”.

“This is why the policies of the Ministry of Community, Culture and Sport are about strengthening the family, helping people get back to work and offering a second chance to those who have lost hope,” he said.

“This Government does truly want all Bermudians to achieve social and economic equity. That is why we are working hard to fix both the economy and our broken society.

“This social change needs to start now. Tonight I am encouraging each and every one of you to embrace this social recovery movement. The future of our country depends on its success; and so does the future of our people.”

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Published November 07, 2013 at 8:00 am (Updated November 06, 2013 at 11:14 pm)

Scott: Govt is working to mend ‘broken society’

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