The underfunded Over-the-Hill Initiative
Has Prime Minister Minnis abandoned his Over the Hill Initiative? The Over the Hill people want to know.
When asked whether he thought that the Prime Minister has abandoned his much touted Over the Hill Initiative, a resident of Lily of the Valley Corner replied, “I ain’t know but what I know is I ain’t see or feel nothing change since he say he was doing it.”
On Meeting Street, another resident responded, “I don’t know what Minnis talking bout because I ain’t see nothing change and I still catching hell.”
In 2018, Minnis tabled the Over-the-Hill white paper unveiling his government’s plan for the rejuvenation and social economic empowerment of inner city communities. So what has happened to the budget allocations and various donations earmarked for this initiative?
In the 2018/2019 Budget, $5 million was allocated for this initiative, yet very little was spent.
In 2019/2020 the allocation for the initiative was reduced from an impressive $5 million to only $2,850,000. A mere $350,547 was spent in the first 9 months.
If this weren’t appalling enough, for the second year in a row, the allocation for this initiative is about to take yet another nosedive as the proposed allocation for 2020/2021 is a mere $1,428,200.
In just two years, the budget allocation for “The Save the Over-the Hill Initiative” has been reduced by some 72%. What a priority Over-the-Hill residents must be to the prime minister.
So what did the residents actually get from this initiative? Oh, I almost forgot, they did get bathroom facilities at Southern Recreational Grounds.