THE EDITOR: The letter titled “Clear sign of poor, failed leadership” in the June 16 Newsday seemed to vilify the hardworking Minister of Social Development and Family Services, Donna Cox. The letter was well intentioned but its content was somewhat misleading regarding the matter of performance and leadership of the minister. So I beg to differ.
I take no offence to the author’s right to write, but it was clearly a wrong representation of the performance of the minister. We must not attempt to ascribe dishonour to whom honour is due and the ongoing efforts by the minister and her team are credible by any standard.
As the flagship of the Government in caring for the less fortunate among us, the efforts of that ministry have been commendable. So I lament this sad and misaligned attempt to malign the work of the ministry, which has been one of the hardest hit ministries with the onset of the covid19 pandemic.
It has set about the task of rebuilding from the past and setting new horizons for the ministry to meet the needs of vulnerable people in our society. Cox has reflected the Government’s good intention to right the wrongs and provide relief for those who need it most.
The recent special subvention from the Ministry of Finance provides an excellent base to implement the much needed improvements to the ministry’s operations and give the hard working staff a chance to get further ahead of things. The release of funds is a good sign that the leadership of the Government is supportive of the efforts of Cox and her team. I accept this as a fact.
But then why would someone ascribe blame to a fledgling ministry that only last month launched a new effort to improve the online distribution of funds to the population? The special initiative called the Income Support Grant is intended to accelerate the process to get much needed assistance to the needy. The effort will reduce the need for people to stand in long lines waiting on their stipends, grants or allowances. I look forward to improvements in the service offered.
Cox’s effort is a bright light in the midst of the gloom of our present situation. I look with hope to the time when all support measures are fully implemented and digitised. The ministry is clearly set to achieve the high standards it has set for itself to lift the disadvantaged among us to a more comfortable and rewarding life.
I look to the leadership of people like Cox to address the ills of society and help to close the gap on the provision of care to the less fortunate among us. I continue to have hope, especially during this covid19 pandemic that the needs of the vulnerable would be adequately addressed.
As for the detractors, their energies might be better suited to planting a backyard garden or supporting a worthy cause as we help to build our country, rather than casting aspersions on the improving processes of our social system. So whether this is attack is on the person or the political party, it is in poor taste, especially when referring to proven leadership.
The ministry cannot be judged on what a few people say, but rather on the delivery of services to the oppressed, poor and needy. Madame Minister, lead on!