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Cannot trick me

Senator Kerrie Symmonds (File photo)

The amendments being sought to the Disaster Relief Fund are not being done in the interest of needy Barbadians but for Government on the eve of an election to “lick out”.

This is the view of Senator Kerrie Symmonds in the Upper Chamber today when the amendments to the Catastrophe Fund were laid.

Symmonds said the amendments read like a Shakespeare tragedy with a lot more to them than meets the eye and he was not going to be tricked into purchasing any mahogany birds.

“This is about licking out the people’s money. I believe that is the purpose. It is about the $36 million Government wants to get,” he charged.

He also stressed that the amendments were seeking to put statutory boards in front of householders who are still waiting on relief from damage sustained during the passage of Tropical Storm Tomas two years ago.

Symmonds said that the Government opted not to use the money in the Catastrophe Fund but rather to take the archaic route in using the Rural and Urban Development Commissions to replace roofs.

“To this day many people are in exactly the same position they were in in 2010, except for their level of distress… Scores of people are still waiting and hoping for relief,” he said.

Failure to deliver

The senator said this was an island wide plight and the present administration had failed to deliver as expected by the people of Barbados.

“It is bothersome to me that we have not come to fast-track and give people relief, … people who have been waiting and waiting in vain, but to push them one side and put in front of them statutory corporations. We are now being asked to put Government agencies into the queue,” he added.

Symmonds pointed out that the Government was given over $16 million after Tomas and that money was put in the Consolidated Fund and then a further $17 million were voted for in a supplementary yet no relief was give to effected persons.

He also said since the passage of Tomas two Estimates cycles would have passed and no mention of the fund was made. (DB)

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