NA MP William Marlin
~ Richardson: Adjustments will be made ~
PHILIPSBURG--A motion by National Alliance (NA) Member of Parliament (MP) William Marlin to request that the Council of Ministers prepare an amendment to the 2022 draft budget to increase the subsidy for Turning Point Foundation from NAf.1,240,434 to NAf.1,600,000 was passed by Parliament on Monday by twelve votes for and three against.
The amendment should be presented to Parliament within 60 days for its consideration and approval. In the motion Marlin said Turning Point has been providing assistance for many years to citizens affected by substance abuse. Through Turning Point’s assistance many individuals, and by extension their families and the community as a whole, have benefitted from the care provided.
Justice Minister Anna Richardson, in reacting to the motion, said much of its content explains the importance of the amendment. She said Turning Point is a much-needed organisation which supports what is a growing phenomenon in society. She said there had been many postings about students taking narcotics in schools and this is spilling over into society in a grand way, and that Turning Point must be able to continue its services and its doors should remain open.
“I am grateful that this motion is tabled and indeed we will do what is necessary to make the necessary adjustments in the days allotted,” Richardson told MPs.
Finance Minister Ardwell Irion said the NAf. 230,000, post on the VSA budget, to which United Democrats (UD) MP Sarah Wescot-Williams said Turning Point did not have access, will go to the Justice Ministry for Turning Point to be able to use to execute its programme. He said the funds on the VSA’s budget were for a specific purpose and had not been accessed for the purpose for which they were allotted.
The motion says that as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increase in the demand for care provided by Turning Point. In recent discussions with Dr. Lloyd Richardson of Turning Point it was disclosed that there is a dire need for an increase in the subsidy presently provided to the organisation to prevent it from having to either close its doors or turn away many persons who need its services.