I condemn the cowardly move by the Rowley regime to hastily end the Budget Debate in the House last night without the contribution of almost half of the Cabinet Ministers of this country, including the Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley.
This is the second consecutive year that the Rowley regime has chosen to unilaterally end a Budget Debate without contributions from key Ministers and MPs.
Conventionally, MPs on both sides of the House are duty-bound by precedent, tradition and the very spirit of their Oath of Office to account in a budget debate to citizens.
All MPs traditionally account to their constituents about the work they have done in the nation’s 41 constituencies, and the work they intend to do in the upcoming year. Opposition MPs also usually raise crucial issues of governance on behalf of citizens, in the time honoured expectation that the Government MPs would give relevant answers.
Government MPs are also expected to account to citizens about how they have spent taxpayers’ dollars in the previous fiscal year, and how they intend to spend the monies allocated in the US$52Billion budget in the upcoming fiscal year.
Twelve out of twenty three (almost 50%) Government MPs including several Ministers of Government holding key portfolios refused to contribute to this crucial debate. These include Ministers in charge of some of the most crucial sectors of our society, such as National Security, Energy, Labour, Planning and Social Development.
The reasonable conclusion is that the Rowley Government’s despotic scuttling of this year’s Budget debate was clearly done to avoid the Prime Minister and his senior Cabinet Ministers answering to the damning allegations of blatant corruption against their Government, as well as their sheer incompetence, and willful mismanagement of the economy and failure to adequately manage other key sectors of the country, in particular, crime, joblessness and poverty.
Further, by his cowardly refusal to account to his employers—the taxpayers of Trinidad and Tobago – and by his new trend of shunning and willfully abandoning his Prime Ministerial and Parliamentary duties, Dr Rowley is in violation of the spirit of his respective Oaths of Office to both the citizens of this country and his constituents of Diego Martin West.