Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 6th 2015 Contents A5
Saturday, June 6, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Describing Chaguanas West MP Jack Warn-
er s attacks on the Government in Parliament
as "very offensive," a distressed Prime Minister
Kamla Persad-Bissessar yesterday walked out
of the Lower House shortly after he began
Normally composed in the face of criticisms
of her Government, the PM rose suddenly yes-
terday while Warner was on his feet and said
his statements were "very offensive" and "out
She hurriedly exited the chamber and retreat-
ed to her office upstairs the Parliament building
in Tower D at the Port-of-Spain s International
In her contribution just before Warner spoke,
Persad-Bissessar told the House she was dis-
tressed to see the number of international jour-
nalists who had arrived in T&T because of the
allegations against Warner with regard to his
"Here we are now, a focus of the international
world, not for the good and great things but
because of the actions of one man."
The PM said T&T s good international image
was now under threat because of Warner and
called on him to fix it. She urged him to do all
he could to co-operate with US law enforcement
authorities and subscribe to due process of law.
Whatever evidence he had, the PM said, he
should give to the court and have the matter
dealt with once and for all.
"Do not take down this country to whatever
place that you may be going to," she added.
"Co-operate and do what is right so that we
can lift, once again, the image of Trinidad and
But an unrelenting Warner continued his
attacks after the PM left, warning Persad-
Bissessar that the shame and scandal was yet
to come and that he would have the last laugh.
"I will have the last laugh, locally and inter-
nationally," he said.
He said he hoped to have the same media
coverage when that happened.
He said it would have been good if the inter-
national media had reported that it was Per-
sad-Bissessar who passed the Section 34 leg-
islation (later revoked) that would have prevented
two people from being extradited to the US.
He was interrupted by Speaker Wade Mark,
who told him he was imputing improper motives
and warned him "not to go there."
"Mr Speaker, if you say so, is so," Warner
Supported by PNM members on the oppo-
sition benches, Warner vowed that nobody
would jumbie him or set his agenda before
Condemning Persad-Bissessar for reading
into parliament s Hansard records the US charges
against him in the Fifa indictment, he said in
this country people remained innocent until
proven guilty. He said the PM s "judgments"
against him, therefore, were mind-boggling.
Responding to her call to co-operate with
US authorities in the Fifa scandal, Warner said
he had surrendered himself to this country s
courts and had done all he could to co-oper-
House 'attack' too much for PM
Kamla walks out on Warner
Government s decreased costs in several
areas go towards funding payment of salaries,
wages, cost of living and other allowances
arising from new industrial agreements for
various public sector employees, Finance Min-
ister Larry Howai announced yesterday.
Howai made the point while piloting a motion
seeking parliamentary approval for variation of
$2.1 billion in the 2015 Budget, via decreasing
funds in four ministries and shifting them to
31 other agencies to fund important expenditure
up to September 2015.
Howai said in the light of "some of the mis-
leading reports in various media I want to
emphasise this is not a supplementation request
for more money, but a variation of current
expenditure." He noted that the Prime Minister,
after the oil price drop, had requested that no
work be started on capital projects which had
not been funded and that reductions in recurrent
expenditure should take place to realise a savings
of approximately $3.5 billion. He said govern-
ment s Budget Division in its mid-year review,
"after taking into account the considerable sav-
ings under some areas of expenditure, as well
as the need for additional funding in some
areas, has estimated revised total expenditure
of $62.9 billion---$1 billion less than in the
The majority of the variation of funding was
in respect of Personnel Expenditure, he said.
Variation of funds was also required for goods
and services, current transfers and subsidies
and current transfers to statutory boards and
Of the $2.1 billion figure, some $1.4 billion
would go towards the payments of salaries,
wages, COLA and other allowances for members
of the teaching service, officers employed in
the civil service and statutory authorities,
monthly and daily-rated Port Authority employ-
ees, daily-rated Water and Sewerage Authority
employees and four regional corporations, as
a consequence of new industrial agreements.
Some $787,854,000 million will be spent on
the needs of the Judiciary; Ministries of National
Security; Housing and Urban Development;
Trade, Industry, and Investments; Communi-
cations; and the Environment and Water
In the case of the Judiciary, he said, an addi-
tional $27 million was required to complete
refurbishment of the Chaguanas ($12 million)
and Old San Fernando Magistrates Courts ($15
For National Security, an additional $478
million was required for the acquisition of naval
assets: four coastal patrol vessels, two utility
vessels and six on-board interceptors.
In the Environment and Water Resources
Ministry, an additional $148 million was required
to cover the cost of desalinated water supplied
by the Desalination Company of Trinidad and
Tobago, he added. Another $51 million was
required to meet liabilities to be incurred for
contract and short-term employment, fees,
financial support to sporting and cultural entities
and security services.
Howai explained that in the Finance Ministry,
savings of $748 million were achieved because
funds for capital projects in various
ministries/departments were not fully used as
a result of contracts not being finalised. He said
savings of $100 million also accrued from the
Caricom Petroleum Fund, whose current balance
was $240 million. There was also a $410 million
savings from the Constituency Development
Fund idea which had not been operationalised.
Howai said in respect to Caribbean Airlines
Limited, funds were provided to meet increased
air subsidy and arrears of fuel subsidy, but no
decision had been taken on the proposed increase
of the air subsidy, whereas the outstanding fuel
subsidy was much lower than had been pro-
jected, thereby resulting in a savings of $150
Declining oil prices and their ensuing impact
on petroleum product prices also resulted in a
significant reduction in subsidy claims, which
translated into savings of $693.8 million.
Howai said while $120 million was listed in
the Budget for the Baby Care Assistance plan,
based on an assessment of the demand for the
facility, savings of approximately $100 million
would be realised.
He said adjustments in the variation of the
Budget, together "with the projected shortfall
in revenue of $1,345.5 million and the impact
of fiscal prudence and adjustments with expen-
diture will result in a decrease in the projected
overall deficit on fiscal operations to $3.948
billion or 2.12 per cent of GDP.
Government shifts $2.1bn to pay salaries
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar responds to claims against her Government by
Chaguanas West MP Jack Warner during yesterday's sitting of Parliament.
PHOTO: MARCUS GONZALES
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