This Rowley led Government, when it cannot get its way, instinctively resorts to insults.
This was demonstrated this weekend when AG Al Rawi roundly criticized the EU for placing TT on a new blacklist for deficiencies in our anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing frameworks. We witnessed it in Parliament when the US Ambassador was pointedly insulted by Dr Rowley for rightly placing on record his Government’s disappointment with TT’s stance on Venezuela. Months ago, while attending a Commonwealth meeting in London, PM Rowley criticized foreign countries on their advisories. And in Chile at the start of his administration he criticized Luis Almagro, Secretary General of the OAS, for being opposed to Maduro.
Rowley and his administration may get away with this “pavement” aggression in TT, where he routinely calls those who do not share his views “imps”, “traitors”, “unpatriotic”, and “disgraceful”, but it will not work on the international arena and it does a disservice to our country’s interest.
He may be better advised to solve the problems by dealing frontally with the issues; rather than passing blame onto others, complete with trademark insults.
The Minister of Finance, in a letter sent to the Code of Conduct Group dated November 21st 2017, listed 5 pieces of legislation needed to make TT compliant and the proposed timeline for their passage:
The Income Tax (Amendment) Bill, the Double Taxation Agreements Bill and the Companies (Amendment) Bill by June 30th 2018. The Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters Bill by November 30th 2018 and BEPS Inclusive Framework Legislation by June 30th 2019.
To date only one of these has been passed in Parliament; two are now before a JSC and two are still in abeyance.
“The Opposition pleaded with the Government to bring all legislation required to make TT compliant with international requirements to Parliament. We knew that simply passing the Income Tax Act would not be sufficient. We were told that we were unpatriotic and were opposing for opposing sake. This incompetent Government has no one to blame but themselves for TT being placed on this new blacklist,” says Naparima MP Rodney Charles.
Apart from being put on this blacklist, T&T was named the World’s 12th most dangerous country, according to an article by Business Insider. We rank alongside countries like Venezuela, Yemen, Jamaica and Columbia for the highest crime rates in the world. Is this the image we want in the international domain?
Global giants like the US, Canada and the United Kingdom have all issued travel advisories warning their citizens to exercise increased caution and security in T&T due to crime and terrorism. Visitors are being warned of the increased risk in certain areas of the country due to gang related activities, robberies, assaults, kidnappings and home invasions. It is unfortunate that under this PNM regime, this is what we are now known for.
The PNM has demonstrated that its formula in politics is backward, undemocratic and pathetic. With the poor performance and broken promises of this Rowley Government, T&T is headed towards political, economic and social difficulties. Insults will not fix this Rowley, only action.
MP for Naparima.