FINANCE Minister Colm Imbert said on Wednesday that the Government was not underfunding the police service, as he announced $57 million more in funding from them in the Mid Year Review.
In all, the police would get $600 million in funding this year, he said, piloting the Finance (Supplementation and Variation of Appropriation) (Financial Year 2021) Bill, 2021 in the House of Representatives.
"We are seeking appropriation for an additional $57 million for the police service. We have a loan which has already been executed, money deposited in an escrow account, of $200 million."
Coming on top of an original allocation to the police for goods and services, he said the extra funds would be used to pay the service providers, and for police equipment, weapons and similar items.
He said the $200 million loan and $57 million in supplementary appropriation followed an original appropriation to the police of $300 million.
"When you add that all up, you get close to $600 million for the police service for fiscal 2021."
Imbert said that out of the $600 million, some $150-200 million would be spent to pay previous bills, to clear off debts.
"So the police service, if all goes according to plan, will have had available to it, after it clears its liabilities, almost $400 million for goods and services for fiscal 2021, if this is approved.
"Therefore I want to put to rest the old talk about underfunding of the police service. That's nonsense. I want to repeat that with all we are doing, the police service will get almost $600 million for goods and services this year, and when you take the $200 million for past bills, they would have available to them some $400 million for 2021, which is a significant sum."