Posted On 09 Oct 2018
- There has been an increase by $196.4 million for recurrent expenditure for the THA for fiscal 2018-2019. This clearly indicates the hypocrisy of the Minister of Finance as he clearly stated that expenditure was cut across the board for all ministries. Most of the increased expenditures were for office space rental/lease, storage space rental/lease, contract employment, vehicles, security services, janitorial services.
- In addition the MP noted the continuous funding for festivals in the sum of $25 million. This includes the Tobago Jazz Festival and the Tobago Heritage Festival which generate little or no revenue for the Tobago people. The MP suggested again that the hosting of these festivals be put into the hands of the private sector to be run as a business venture to generate revenues and not be used as largesse to PNM supporters and friends.
- The issue of a failed air and sea bridge was also raised as the MP expressed the concern that the Tobago people wanted a fast ferry and not the Galleons Passage which took 4.5 hours to Tobago in its maiden voyage yesterday.
- The MP asked about the bailout for the hotel owners of Tobago who were on the verge of losing properties to the banks as the Tourism sector had totally collapsed on the island resulting in loss of business.
- The MP urged the Minister of Tourism to engage in an aggressive marketing campaign to ensure an increase in tourist arrivals. She however flagged reduced funding to the Ministry will not be able to see this happen.
- She raised the issue of Petrotrin and the mass unemployment of 5000 workers. She also raised the issue of government sensationalising abuse of overtime by Petrotrin workers resulting in overtime packages up to $45,000.
- Ramdial noted that UNC constituencies were being discriminated against as resources were being allocated to PNM constituencies but not to UNC areas