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Critchlow Labour College dispatches 2016 budget for subvention

by Zena Henry

The Finance Ministry is yet to provide details on the promised subvention for the cash-strapped Critchlow Labour College (CLC), even as that educational institution awaits word on its 2016 budget estimates  that government asked it to submit.

This is according to Ivelaw English, principal of the worker training institution. While English could not readily provide the budget figure, and promised to do so, he said that the College has not received word about the subvention as yet, owing to the recent reading of government’s 2015 national estimates.

Finance Minister Winston Jordan, in his budget speech on August 10, 2015 announced that the Critchlow Labour College would  again receive a state grant but he did not say how much it would be and when it would be provided. “Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to inform this House of the return of subventions to the Critchlow Labour College and the Trades Union Congress (TUC), both of which were withheld by the PPP/C Government,” he said.

 The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) government had cut the sums, accusing CLC’s management of poor accountability.

The CLC Principal said that to his knowledge a sum of some $30 million was allocated to the school back in 2007. He said he took over at CLC sometime in 2010 and at that time the college was closed.

He, however, explained that the government requested that the school submit a 2016 budget and this has been done. They now await further information from the government.

On a note of labour institutions, it was also noted that some $11m has been allocated to trade unions across the country. The Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) one of the largest unions representing government workers had expressed great disappointment saying that the funds were grossly inadequate. The head, Patrick Yarde told Demerara Waves that, “there are more than 11 unions in the country,” and he was unaware how it would work.

However, how this money will be shared has not yet been disclosed, but the Finance Minister said that that sum did not include GPSU or the Guyana Teacher’s Union (GTU) which has a separate subvention.

GPSU said that they were given no allocations for “a long time” by the former administration. Yarde said that sometimes when representation is made for financial assistance for certain projects; it would then receive a sum.

The 2015 budget only caters for the time remaining in this year.