On Friday March 7th , 2014, the Government presented the Estimates of Revenue and expenditure for the fiscal year 2014 2015. It is a 475 page legal size document, detailing the amounts spent and amounts projected to be spent from 2012/2013 to 2015/2016. A section of that report has caught the eye of Dr. Francis Smith, well known orthopedic surgeon. That section deals with the disabilities services division under the portfolio of the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation. That division saw a spike of over 5 million dollars from the fiscal years 2012/2013 and 2013/2014 primarily attributed to grants to individuals. Dr. Francis Smith was on Rise and Shine last week where he explained further.
“If you take a look at the 2013 column and you will see that the budget was some two hundred thousand dollars in grants to disability services. All of a sudden, there is a whopping increase to some five million. So you look at the past tree years; 2013 was two hundred thousand, 2014 and 2015 roughly five million. In the past three years an average of 4.5 million dollars being spent for a total of 13.5 million dollars. When you look at that and you see that it is being allocated to individual grants. Now what the hell does that mean -individual grants ? It is right in here, These things are available electronically. Every year, 13.5 million dollars for the past three years which amounts to roughly a hundred thousand dollars a week being given to Boots Martinez, In the name of disabled persons, children and adults , I would say. Individuals grant, now we look at that because that is exactly how money disappears. It’s not just PetroCaribe funds, it’s directly government revenues. so where are the disbursements, who are these disable persons who are getting these money?”