PM reviews COVID-19 support through CDF
Prime Minister Andrew Holness has said he will be considering a suggestion made by Member of Parliament (MP) for St Ann South East Lisa Hanna for the Government to allocate additional resources to the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) so that MPs could respond to urgent needs in their constituencies as a result of the impact of COVID-19.
Hanna urged the prime minister to make a one-off allocation to the CDF from the $10-billion COVID-19 contingency fund.
“If you were to say add it to the CDF with the specific objective of doing this in a corona crisis, the Opposition already sits on the Disaster Management Council,” Hanna said.
However, Holness said he was sympathetic to Hanna’s call, noting that“the MPs are most times your most effective response.”
According to Holness, “I have been through roadblocks, country shutdown, hurricanes and other forms of disaster, and it is the MP. In a sense, it should not have been, but our system has evolved to be [so], and at some point in time, we have to define what our role is; but as of now, we do have that immediate response role.”
He insisted that the public must play a key role in the decision-making process of how the CDF should be used in constituencies.
Member of Parliament for Hanover Eastern Marisa Dalrymple Philibert supported Hanna’s suggestion, noting that it was the MPs who have to respond to the needs of constituents in each parish.