Government is “closing off” its financial assistance to Vision on Mission in 2015, Minister of the People and Social Development Vernella Alleyne-Toppin said yesterday.
She was responding to a question from Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley, during the meeting of the Standing Finance Committee in Parliament.
Rowley asked whether Vision on Mission, which had received approximately $2 million in 2013 and 2014, will receive no money in 2015. He said he had considered this programme to be a good private-sector initiative.
Alleyne-Toppin said Government was closing down this project, which was aimed at providing transitional housing, counselling and rehabilitation for deportees and other ex-prisoners.
However, she said Government had a facility in Wallerfield “that has been refurbished and outfitted for its first intake of ex-prisoners and deportees”.
The formal opening of this facility is scheduled for late October, she said.
On the issue of accommodation of the ministry, Alleyne-Toppin said she expects the Ministry of the People and Social Development to move into No 1 Alexander St on November 1.
On the issue of the $500 a month baby grant for underprivileged parents, she said all recipients must attend antenatal and post-natal visits at health facilities, parenting outreach workshops conducted by Servol, family planning sessions and financial literacy sessions.
Also, yesterday, attempts by Tobago West and Minister for Tobago Affairs Delmon Baker to have Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Chief Secretary Orville London attend the Finance Committee meeting when the Ministry of Tobago Affairs is being examined were ruled to be outside of the Standing Orders by the chairman, Wade Mark.
Mark said the Standing Orders provided for accounting officers and other technocrats to assist the minister and London was neither.