Princes Town MP, Barry Padarath raised the cut of $340M at WASA in this year’s budget at the Standing Finance Committee of the Parliament yesterday.
The Opposition Shadow Minister for Public Utilities highlighted that government has cut $232M for contract employment and $99M for materials and supplies, totalling $331M with cuts in other areas bringing the total to $340M overall.
Padarath asked the Minister of Public Utilities at the Standing Finance Committee to explain the rationale for these cuts in WASA’S manpower and materials at a time when there was massive protest action across the country for dry taps. The Minister was unable to provide any coherent response.
The Princes Town MP further highlighted that these cuts would result in many persons being thrown on the breadline as well as a worsening situation at WASA as it relates to the supply of an efficient supply of water to citizens. He questioned whether government was making these cuts at WASA to further demonise the institution and the staff, similar to what they did with PETROTRIN in an effort to gain support for privatizing the company.
In light of the $99M cut in materials and supplies at WASA, Padarath indicated that areas affected by aging infrastructure and leakages would see more pressure for water since the cut to this vote would further exacerbate the problems without any relief.
The Princes Town MP said that the government was making things worse at WASA rather than fixing the problem.