Princes Town MP Barry Padarath in a press release said that it appeared that Prime Minister Keith Rowley was in continuous vacation mode, as the PM announced that he will be taking two more personal trips, one next month and another in May. He said the announcement was reflective of this year’s road march hit “We Jammin Still”, in that despite all the problems facing the country, Rowley could still find the time to go on vacation.
Padarath identified five personal or private trips that the Prime Minister would have taken since assuming office till the month of May 2017. In December, the Prime Minister took two trips to attend weddings in Barbados and Florida respectively. In August of 2016 the Prime Minister went to Los Angeles for two weeks and now the Prime Minister has identified the US again as his choice of destination for his next two impending vacations.
While the MP indicated that he had no issue with the Prime Minister having vacation time, he thought that it was insulting for the Prime Minister to justify going on vacation at this time when the country continues to record its highest murder rates, while more and more citizens become jobless, when the economy is in stagnation and when the Police Service is under siege.
The Prime Minister indicated that he is entitled to go on vacation in his justification for taking five personal trips in twenty months. However, the Princes Town MP indicated that if the Prime Minister wanted to speak about entitlements, then shouldn’t the citizens of the country be entitled to security and protection of the person and their families, shouldn’t citizens be entitled to sustainable jobs, shouldn’t citizens be entitled to enjoy good governance, shouldn’t citizens be entitled to enjoy proper healthcare and a better quality of life. However the Prime Minister did not speak of any entitlements to citizens.
Padarath said that the Prime Minister appeared to be taken up with the trappings of office and that there was absolutely no justification for the Prime Minister to proceed on vacation at this time. He further stated that there has been no dent in homicides, there has been no job creation, there has been no significant foreign direct investment and there has been no upward mobility in the health or education sectors.
He questioned what benchmark the Prime Minister was using to measure citizen satisfaction in him and his government’s performance to warrant a decision to go on vacation knowing that the majority of the population was unhappy and unsatisfied with the way things are going in the country.
Padarath stated that in the nineteen months of being in office, Rowley had done nothing to advance the country from when he took over and that the population was becoming increasingly weary of his modus operandi of deflecting from his government’s non-performance by blaming the past administration. He implored the Prime Minister to use his down time more wisely and reflect on the choices he has made in the configuration of his Cabinet. He added that the country could expect much of the same from the Rowley administration unless the Prime Minister started making better choices and decisions in the interest of the people of Trinidad and Tobago.