Politicians should not be giving $$ to constituents | Give funds to Social Development for disbursement — Vanterpool
Fourth District Representative Mark Vanterpool is calling for a ban on the $10,000 monthly allocation that each district representative receives to assist their respective constituencies in the British Virgin Islands.
Vanterpool, who was speaking in the House of Assembly on Friday, said: “I strongly recommend that we discontinue that practice and we find a way to fund the Social Development Department to assist those who really need help.”
He continued: “It is becoming a problem. [So] I hope we can find a time — it may not be in this budget [but] maybe in future budgets — to pay more attention to the Social Development Department and the Ministry of Health for where they can identify the needs of these people more and better, and for us to be able to address them through the budgetary process and not through our handouts.”
“I have to decipher between a long list every month. But the concern I have is that it shouldn’t be me. That shouldn’t come from us because once you have to help that person financially like that, it leaves that person beholden to you! It’s not right,” the Opposition legislator argued.
“At election time, you may go around, and they look into your face, and they say: ‘yes you help me with that and that and I am beholden to you’. They should be beholden to the country who should have a structure in place to support the social fabric of the country,” Vanterpool added.
The veteran legislator, however, said the issue he raised would no longer be a concern if the territory’s elected representatives were made to go through the Social Development Department for funds whenever they identify persons who require the support.
Vanterpool’s calls come on the heels of Fifth District Representative making an appeal for the $10,000 monthly allocation to be increased.
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