Organizations that receive an annual subvention from Government are being put on notice that they could come under scrutiny as the Freundel Stuart administration seeks ways of cutting back on its expenditure.
Adding that the state “can’t do everything”, Inniss said the approach for his ministry was to provide just enough subvention to organizations for them to “get on with the task and benefit the society at large”.
“There are also those entities that receive subventions that need to be held more to account for the subvention they receive,” said Inniss. “And rather than look at just cutting and calling a figure to cut a subvention the approach of my ministry is to call for detailed reports on how the taxpayers’ money is being spent,” he said.
Each year the Government gives a subsidy to a number of organizations. Last financial year there was a reduction in the amount of subvention to some of those organizations.
Minister of Industry, Commerce and Small Business Development Donville Inniss said subsidies were costing taxpayers millions of dollars each year and corporations should be held accountable for every dollar they receive. Though not giving details, Inniss said each ministry would address the issue individually.
Inniss warned: “I am not granting subventions to any entity in this country for them to go joyriding around the world, or have expensive cellphones and cellphone bills and great entertainment packages, unless they are in some marketing field and have to do these things. So we are looking at it and there will be some further adjustments that will be made appropriately.”
Asked if there were any retrenchment plans for workers that fall under his portfolio, Inniss said: “The programme that affects the number of employees in the Public Service I am sure will affect my ministry.” He did not say what organizations would be most affected, but Inniss insisted that while he empathized with those who would be sent home, his focus was on helping businesses to create employment opportunites.
“Therefore, my task as minister in this ministry is to quickly help those individuals find another job or to start their [own] business, or to help other businesses to grow and expand so that they can take on some of these displaced workers,” said Inniss.
To his critics, the minister said: “We are not Latter Day Saints who now find out that there is hardship in this country. We have been dealing with it since January 15, 2008. So anybody who wants to give the impression that we don’t care or we don’t know what is happening are strangers to the truth.”