Barker weighs in on cutbacks


INSTITUTE of National Affairs director Paul Barker says constraining the support services programme funding for provinces and districts is important although challenging for the Government in the face of political pressure.
Barker was commenting on the Government’s decision to reduce the programme funding for districts and provinces as part of its 100-day plan.
He told The National that it was a major component of public expenditure with a poor output for planning, accountability and provision of goods and services.
Barker said with 2017 drawing to a close, there would be little time left for the District Development Authorities to plan and manage these funds this year, so this should provide a major reduction from the original 2017 allocation.
“There are various other areas of public expenditure (usually projects) which will be behind schedule and can be readily cut back. But it is crucial that funding is not unduly restrained for the main functions of the State,” he said.
“Notably, core infrastructure maintenance and repairs, education, health, law and order, but also for key regulators and the public watchdogs which play a critical role in ensuring accountability such as the Ombudsman Commission and the Auditor-General which has
not had its website operational this year.”

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