Opposition Leader Joseph Atherley has accused Government of “bungling” its efforts as it seeks to get things done quickly.
Speaking in Parliament today during debate on the National Insurance and Social Security (Amendment and Validation) Bill 2018, Atherley questioned Government’s decision to divert the monies from the Health Services Contribution which were meant for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital to the National Insurance Fund instead of the Consolidated Fund.
“It is unfortunate that a Government so equipped, not in terms of its numbers, but in term of the quality of its principals, continues to bungle in its efforts to perhaps get things done rather quickly, it is not necessarily taking the requisite care to ensure that things are done as properly as they might be done,” Atherley said.
“We’ve seen that with reference to initiatives at the Ministry of Public Works and Transport more than once, we have seen it with reference to the appointment of Senators at the outset of this Parliamentary session, we have seen it with reference to the treatment of pensioners relative to the debt restructuring of recent date . . . and in this instance we have seen it with reference to this Bill before us,” he continued.
The Opposition Leader also queried if it was legal for the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) administration to do so.
Atherley said under Section Two, assessments, charges, duties, fees, rates, impositions and other levies, are payable to the Consolidated Fund as part of Barbados’ revenues.
“We need to be properly told whether or not this procedure is proper because taxes and levies collected at the hands of the citizens should go into the Consolidated Fund. Now we are expressing the view that we want these monies to go directly to the QEH and we do not want to have repeated instances which we had in the past where monies paid into the Consolidated Fund for a particular identified purpose did not reach the intended target,” Atherley said.