Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 9th 2014 Contents A6
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, September 9, 2014
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Opposition Leader Dr Keith Row-
ley has knocked the People s Part-
nership Government for trying to
implement policies which were ini-
tiated by the PNM and for spending
billions and having nothing to show.
Rowley, who described the two-
hour budget presentation by Finance
Minister Larry Howai in Parliament
yesterday as the "missing years," said
that was because all the policies the
Government now wanted to push
were framed on those recommended
by the PNM during its tenure.
"What struck me as odd is the ease
with which the Government has
accepted that this country has lost
three to five years in its development,
because in every single area that the
Minister of Finance attempted to look
ahead it was in the context of PNM
policies, which they had criticised
quite severely and have now come
back to in the last year.
"I would say this budget could sim-
ply be addressed as the missing
years, " Rowley said.
He said during his presentation
Howai was "purportedly" giving a
report on the performance of the Gov-
ernment over a four-and-a-half-year
period but it was ironic that having
spent so much money there was
nothing to report.
"Another very outstanding thing
was the Government s continuous
problems with projects and pro-
grammes on the revenue side to
increase the economic pie of the
country. This budget has been loudly
silent on that and to me that is very
worrisome," Rowley said.
Criticising the Government for
"making a career out of spending,"
Rowley said this reflected poorly on
how the country was run.
PNM public relations officer Faris
Al-Rawi, who echoed Rowley s sen-
timents, said at best the budget was
one of platitudes and a lot of fancy
"The Minister of Finance has pre-
sented several budgets back-to-back.
Some of the items announced are
intended to be an explanation of
budgets that have not materialised in
terms of operation.
"Clearly the operationalisation of
some of the budget incentive measures
have to be figured out, like the incen-
tive for saving for housing," Al-Rawi
But, he said, what was really "stark"
in Howai s presentation was the lack
of particulars on revenue and the fact
Government was back to raising rev-
enue by way of an amnesty for late
payment of taxes.
"We have no particulars in terms
of the efficiency of the revenue
authority. The status of the procla-
mation of property taxes is still in
abeyance. We know the law came
back in, but how it is being phased
in, and how the country deals with
that is a different effect," Al-Rawi
He said there were also no partic-
ulars on the operations of the transfer
pricing mechanisms for the petroleum
The winning number
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terday s T&T Guardian
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Road safety NGO Arrive Alive has commended
Finance Minister Larry Howai for his proposed 50
per cent increase in fines for driving offences.
Contacted yesterday, the group s president Sharon
Inglefield said the increase would serve as a greater
deterrent to errant drivers and likely reduce reckless
But while Inglefield applauded the initiatives, she
said more needed to be done to address dangerous
driving and road fatalities.
"There is a lot more to road safety than just fines,"
Inglefield said, suggesting a rigorous road safety plan
and policy were needed.
"This plan should include, for example, speed
management laws and a new motor vehicle authority,
as well as an audit of our road infrastructure," Inglefield
She also said safe driving education was of para-
In a telephone interview yesterday, secretary of
the Police Social and Welfare Association Insp Michael
Seales said his organisation also supported the ini-
tiative, describing it as a "welcome step."
"When you look at what fines are meant to do,
you would see that it is meant as a deterrent and in
the context it would save lives.
"The increase would also go back to paying public
servants and increasing government revenue so it
will also be a beneficial thing for the public," Seales
Rowley unmoved by budget:
Police inspect a wrecked dump truck and Nissan B14 following an accident along the Churchill- Roosevelt
Highway, Trincity, yesterday. Three people escaped with their lives after a dump truck hit the car from behind
then landed on top it. PHOTO: ANDY HYPOLITE
Hike in traffic fines good---Arrive Alive
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In his 2015 budget presentation, Howai announced the
increase in fines for:
• Driving under the influence.
• Driving without insurance.
• Possessing fraudulent motor vehicle certificates.
• Driving with an expired driving licence.
• For individuals producing or selling fraudulent licences.
Current Fine New Fine
Driving with an expired licence . . . .$1,000 . . . . . . . . .$1,500
Drivingwithoutinsurance. . . . . . . . .$1,000. . . . . . . . .$1,500
Driving under influence of alcohol . up to $8,000 . .up to $12,000
BIGGER FINES FOR
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