Monday, December 4, 2023
HomeNewsPM Mitchell: “MPs have no budget”

PM Mitchell: “MPs have no budget”

“All of the initiatives you hear talked about here, except perhaps for the bathroom and toilet which are being provided at cost, not a single cent is coming out of the government budget.” 

Those were the words of Prime Minister Hon Dickon Mitchell as he responded to requests made by attendees at government’s townhall meeting held at Westerhall Secondary School, last week.

Concerns of poor road infrastructure, calls for playing field enhancement and general upgrades to villages within the parish of St David were some of the issues raised at the meeting.

Prime Minister Mitchell stated that Grenada’s system of government is “not effective to addressing the needs of the population.”

“I want to use the Laura playing field as an example. Yes, I am the MP for St David but legally based on our constitutional setup, I have no control over playing fields. The playing fields throughout the length and breadth of Grenada are under the Ministry of Youth, Sports, and Culture but I am making this point because I want our citizens to understand MPs have no budget. In fact, members of parliament whether you are in the opposition or in the government; let me go further, if you are an MP and you’re in the government, you do not get paid anything. If you are an MP and you’re in the opposition, you get paid $1200, there is no other monetary allowance to an MP, that’s the system of government we’ve inherited from the British,” Prime Minister Mitchell explained.

The Prime Minister noted that community projects are usually supported by external funding.

“It is all me frankly begging as the MP for St David, asking people to help and getting the communities involved,” he said. “We have a structural challenge about our system of government that we have to address, which is we elect people to represent a constituency, the people who are elected themselves have no resources from the State.”

Moreover, the government highlighted two initiatives that it is hoping would improve communities and by extension Grenada. According to Prime Minister Mitchell, the Water Access and Sanitation in Homes (WASH) initiative to be piloted in St David will ensure that “every household in the country has access to clean water and adequate sanitation facilities by 2027.”

Additionally, the Government is planning to launch a cultural and creative symposium in April   to bring together bankers, lawyers, educators, and policymakers to pave the way forward for the development of the creative economy.

The newly established Office of Creative Affairs   is looking at legislation, policies, training and funding that will ensure an enabling environment for the creative economy to flourish.

Under the Office of Creative Affairs, Creative Industry Advisor to the government, Orlando Romain noted the establishment of a registry. He said this registry is responsible for collating data of the industry that will be used to make informed decisions.

 “It will also allow us to service those creative persons and businesses via training programmes, funding programmes because we will be going out there looking for grant funding for the creative industries and keeping in connection with the creative industries and being able to send them opportunities and developmental services.”

The Office will also provide concessions for people within the sector that are looking to enhance their product offering. Registered businesses, individuals and organisations, can receive 100% duty concessions on the import of raw materials or tools of trade.

“We believe this will go a long way in allowing our creatives to improve the quality of their output and would encourage more persons by lowering the barriers of entry to enter that market,” Romain said.

Noting that the process to apply is simple, Romain said, “you have to be registered to the Office of Creative Affairs, then you would have access to an online account where you can then apply for the concessions and you will be able to track your application process from start to finish.”

PM Mitchell: “MPs have no budget”

“All of the initiatives you hear talked about here, except perhaps for the bathroom and toilet which are being provided at cost, not a single cent is coming out of the government budget.” 

Those were the words of Prime Minister Hon Dickon Mitchell as he responded to requests made by attendees at government’s townhall meeting held at Westerhall Secondary School, last week.

Concerns of poor road infrastructure, calls for playing field enhancement and general upgrades to villages within the parish of St David were some of the issues raised at the meeting.

Prime Minister Mitchell stated that Grenada’s system of government is “not effective to addressing the needs of the population.”

“I want to use the Laura playing field as an example. Yes, I am the MP for St David but legally based on our constitutional setup, I have no control over playing fields. The playing fields throughout the length and breadth of Grenada are under the Ministry of Youth, Sports, and Culture but I am making this point because I want our citizens to understand MPs have no budget. In fact, members of parliament whether you are in the opposition or in the government; let me go further, if you are an MP and you’re in the government, you do not get paid anything. If you are an MP and you’re in the opposition, you get paid $1200, there is no other monetary allowance to an MP, that’s the system of government we’ve inherited from the British,” Prime Minister Mitchell explained.

The Prime Minister noted that community projects are usually supported by external funding.

“It is all me frankly begging as the MP for St David, asking people to help and getting the communities involved,” he said. “We have a structural challenge about our system of government that we have to address, which is we elect people to represent a constituency, the people who are elected themselves have no resources from the State.”

Moreover, the government highlighted two initiatives that it is hoping would improve communities and by extension Grenada. According to Prime Minister Mitchell, the Water Access and Sanitation in Homes (WASH) initiative to be piloted in St David will ensure that “every household in the country has access to clean water and adequate sanitation facilities by 2027.”

Additionally, the Government is planning to launch a cultural and creative symposium in April   to bring together bankers, lawyers, educators, and policymakers to pave the way forward for the development of the creative economy.

The newly established Office of Creative Affairs   is looking at legislation, policies, training and funding that will ensure an enabling environment for the creative economy to flourish.

Under the Office of Creative Affairs, Creative Industry Advisor to the government, Orlando Romain noted the establishment of a registry. He said this registry is responsible for collating data of the industry that will be used to make informed decisions.

 “It will also allow us to service those creative persons and businesses via training programmes, funding programmes because we will be going out there looking for grant funding for the creative industries and keeping in connection with the creative industries and being able to send them opportunities and developmental services.”

The Office will also provide concessions for people within the sector that are looking to enhance their product offering. Registered businesses, individuals and organisations, can receive 100% duty concessions on the import of raw materials or tools of trade.

“We believe this will go a long way in allowing our creatives to improve the quality of their output and would encourage more persons by lowering the barriers of entry to enter that market,” Romain said.

Noting that the process to apply is simple, Romain said, “you have to be registered to the Office of Creative Affairs, then you would have access to an online account where you can then apply for the concessions and you will be able to track your application process from start to finish.”

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Recent Comments