Government files show 300 were being paid fortnightly under URP to assist sick children

Thursday, May 12, 2016 - 00:00

Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Colm Imbert says the Government has uncovered files showing that 300 people were being paid salaries as area foremen under the URP system, to assist their ill children.

He says they will now be channeled through the right mechanism.

Speaking at today's post-Cabinet media conference, Minister Imbert said they were all parents of children with cerebral palsy. 

Works and Transport Minister Fitzgerald Hinds later confirmed they were being paid a total of $264,000 per fortnight, from August 2011 to very recently.

Minister Imbert says the payments have been discontinued and the cases will now be handed over to the Ministry of Social Development, where they can benefit from various grants.

"You had these people just being paid every fortnight. They were not working on any gang or did any project. It was a methodology used by the previous administration to give these people money on a monthly basis," Minister Imbert said.

"It was misplaced to give people money for not doing any work. It will be placed in Social Development that they can get disability grants or any other grant," he added. 

The fortnightly sum amounted to over $3 million per year.