…after 2018 half-year figures risePeople’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Member of Parliament (MP), Dr Vindhya Persaud has decried the reduced allocations to the Child Care and Protection Agency (CC&PA) in the 2019 Budget.This comment was concurrently made what another offender was found guilty and handed a life imprisonment sentence in the Sexual Offences Court at the Supreme Court for raping a one-year-old toddler.Speaking on Thursday, Dr Persaud told members of the National Assembly of the alarming reports of child sexual abuse in Guyana, highlighted that 418 cases werePPP/C MP, Dr Vindhya Persaudalready recorded for 2018.“We cannot be immune to the paedophilia that occurs and we read about in the newspapers. Over 4000 cases of child sexual abuse were reported in 2017.For this year along in the first six months, 481 cases; when will we wait, before it gets to a 1000 before a comprehensive programme is rolled out?” the MP questioned.She stated that Social Protection Minister Amna Ally “did not mention” those numbers in her last Budget speech, adding that it was a “very thin document.” In fact, the PPP/C member stressed that she has been saying the same things over and over to no avail.“I sound like a broken record when every year I keep asking for counsellors in school. I have asked for specialists to provide therapy for children who are suffering from post-trauma disorder of abuse and sexual abuse. By the Minister of Social Protection’s admission, there is one psychologist in the whole country. There are 88 case workers that service the children’s home and centres,” she expressed.“Clearly, the Child Care and Protection Agency needs more money as was espoused at a recent meeting, needs more financing but what is the money being used for – fences and the CC&PA capital budget has been slashed by 50 per cent. Is this how we take care of our children?” Persaud quipped.She is of the view that Guyana’s health sector is “caught in the troughs of mismanagement”, having noted that there are “crippling shortages” which are paralysing the health sector. She stated that there is a lack of transparency which dogs the Public Health Ministry. She added that rather than expending sums on children and those vulnerable in society, Government rather spends funds on cultural celebrations among other “unnecessary” expenditures.“What bothers me and what is bizarre in the lengthy budget is that pensioners, women, children, youth, the sugar workers have zero to miniscule allocations but compare that $713.6 for the provision of furniture under Citizenship and Immigration Services. Adding $5000 to the pension would be half of this amount. $350 million for Jubilee Republic initiatives under the Ministry of Social Cohesion but I certainly don’t see the social cohesion happening. But should we do that by more frenzied and unnecessary spending at the cost of the taxpayers.I think taxpayers want some money in their pocket, they will forgo an arch or two,” she said.She expressed that none of the aforementioned expenses contribute to the growth and development of Guyana’s economy but noted that these expenditures are “stark reminders of waste, extravagance and the reality of economic instability and stagnation.”Up to June 2018, Guyana recorded an increase in reported cases of sexual abuse against children as was noted by Director of the Child Care and Protection Agency, Ann Green. Green had outlined that she believed the high number exposed itself only due to intensive work by the department.She had encouraged that more persons report abuse as she noted the half-year numbers were just ‘tip of the ice berg’ as abuse, especially sexual abuse, is often hidden and goes unreported.