OPINION

Controversial funding

A review of the Culture Ministry’s subsidies says nothing about the country’s culture policy over time. What it does reveal on the other hand is the culture minister’s hometown or electoral district. The subsidies from the ministry do not follow any steady pattern; however, much of the money goes to anything from churches to local communities in that same geographical area. People in the know have a lot to say about those who managed the ministry’s finances, regardless of the government in office. The ministry funds do not go into culture; rather, they are used to garner votes. It’s time the state enhanced accountability over the spending of the ministry’s subsidies. The conservative administration which was elected made pledges to impose transparency across the political system, and it has an obligation to report and justify its funding decisions. The government must abolish these special accounts as no one knows who or what is funded, or based on what criteria. Above all, the government must re-examine controversial subsidies. It must correct rather than repeat the mistakes it slammed when it was in the opposition.