Dec 18, 2023


Hon. Michael Pintard

Leader, Free National Movement

November 8, 2023


THE BAHAMAS – Subsequently, the Prime Minister has prioritized the selection of the Leader of Government Business in the House; a candidate for the Minister’s constituency and is now giving focus to the chairmanship of his Party. Meanwhile, there is no urgency in expediting the appointment of a substantive minister to oversee social services.

Residents (in West Grand Bahama and) throughout our country deserve a safe and decent place to call home, access to food, and the assistance they require during challenging times. Many currently face dire circumstances, due to inflation, high cost of electricity and other factors. Homes are in disrepair with conditions that are unsafe and affect overall well-being and quality of life. Persons are without food and basic essentials.

As acting minister of Social Services, the Prime Minister needs to address these issues urgently and provide assistance to those who are living in substandard conditions.

Our nation cannot afford to delay focused attention on social matters. It is our moral duty to ensure that the well-being of our most vulnerable citizens – the elderly, persons with disabilities, women and children, and all those who need our support – remains a top priority.

There is a gamut of issues that require intervention. For example, prior to his passing, Minister Wilchcombe met with leaders of advocacy groups to discuss possible amendments of the Protection Against Violence bill to address gaps. There is an urgent need to investigate and rectify the chronic understaffing issues within group homes; the renewal process for maintenance contracts for these homes needs swift attention. These critical matters are not receiving priority from the PM, as acting minister.

How much longer will Social Services have to wait for a minister to be appointed. If another ministry had been impacted, would there be a six-week vacancy? Why are the most vulnerable not among the PM’s top priorities?

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