Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 26th 2016 Contents A6
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, January 26, 2016
Four ministries have so far
reported unpaid bills from the
past PP s tenure totalling $2.1
billion, which together with
other figures would take its last
2015 Budget expenditure to $66
billion, Finance Minister Colm
"The (PP) government spent
about $66 billion and we re still
counting as the $2.1 billion is
only from four ministries, so
who knows where this will reach
in the final count," Imbert added
in the Senate, yesterday.
Imbert detailed the situation
in response to a challenge by
UNC Senator Wade Mark to give
the final expenditure for the last
PP budget. Both speakers were
participating in a debate on a
Standing Finance Committee
report closing the 2015 accounts
including shifting $200 million
in savings from the Energy Min-
istry to Works for the Pt Fortin
Highway and associated issues.
Mark, accusing the PNM of
misrepresenting the PP s per-
formance, said despite the
PNM s "ramblings and negative
insinuations" concerning the
economy the report of shifting
savings of $200 million from
the Energy Ministry to Works
showed the PP had managed
prudently, frugally and remained
within the 2015 Budget alloca-
tion amid the economic and
financial situation and still got
He said while the PNM had
accused the PP of waste and
mismanagement, the reality was
otherwise. Projecting there had
been savings of between $3 bil-
lion and $5 billion from the last
$60 billion budget, Mark called
for Imbert to give the final
Mark said the PP s projects
were lost by re-engineering by
the finance minister. "What a
con job! Talk about square pegs
in round holes!
The minister s job is a tall
order, you need someone who s
up to the task. The PNM has
short-changed the public with
Replying, Imbert said the last
2015 unbudgeted expenditure
was $59 billion, not $55 billion
as Mark believed. Imbert said
there had been a lot of off-bud-
get expenditure incoming,
including bills not paid for 2015.
He said the reports totalling $2.1
billion from the four ministries
would take the 2015 budget to
Also, Imbert said, the PP
"maxed out" the Central Bank
overdraft, told state agencies to
borrow ($4.7 billion) and there
had also been borrowing by
HDC ($750 million), Udecott
($1.2 billion), Nidco ($1.5 billion),
EFCL ($285 million), EMBD
($400 million and PTSC ($57
million). "All of this would take
the budget to about $66 billion."
Education Minister Anthony
Garcia yesterday told students
of Success Laventille Secondary
School that they were treasures
and they should always strive
for excellence in all aspects of
Garcia said this during a brief
visit to the school yesterday fol-
lowing the deaths of students of
the school, De-neilson Smith,
17, and Mark Richards, 16, who
were shot dead on Thursday after
being forcibly removed from a
taxi near their Laventille homes.
Garcia told the students, who
were still grieving over the deaths,
that they and their school were
treasures. He said the school lost
two treasures when the boys were
killed. Garcia called on the school
population, in the prevailing cir-
cumstances, "to bind together,
to think of all the good and pos-
itive things that you have been
doing and learnt in this school
and to carry on especially at this
Garcia, a former teacher, prin-
cipal and TTUTA president, told
the students he shared their pain
and grief. But he said time was
"the greatest healer and with
time we will be able to get over
the grief and the pain we share."
He urged the students to con-
tinue to do things positively and
to "keep uppermost in your
minds that you are students of
one of the best schools of all,
Success Laventille Secondary
He said students of that school
"have excelled in many areas of
school life and of national life."
The minister also called on them
to always strive to be the best
they could ever be in life.
Garcia also met with the prin-
cipal, Hamida Baksh.
After spending just over two
hours at the school, Garcia and
his entourage, accompanied by
heavily armed police officers,
went to Laventille where he vis-
ited the scene of the crime along
Picton Road, where the two boys
were gunned down.
The minister also visited the
boys homes at Sogren Trace and
Opposition senate leader
Wade Mark yesterday failed to
get T&T s dire crime situation
debated in the Senate as a mat-
ter of urgent national impor-
tance. But he intends to try
again to get the Upper House
to debate the situation.
Mark confirmed this yesterday
after a request in the Senate to
debate the issue failed to fly. Sen-
ate President Christine Kangaloo
said it didn t qualify under the
standing order (SO) Mark had
filed it and advised him to refile
it under SO 15
Mark had presented the issue
to the Senate for debate, saying
it was a definite matter of nation-
al importance since up to when
he filed it, there had been 39
murders in T&T in 24 days---an
"It s urgent as it points to
uncontrollable and indiscriminate
slaughter of citizens daily and
must be dealt with as soon as
possible. It s important since
murders aren t confined to any
specific group/community, but
are occurring nationwide."
Noting the murder toll had
reached a reported 41, yesterday,
Mark later told reporters he would
refile the request, but it might
qualify for debate after Carnival.
In senate debate on a Finance
Committee report, Mark said the
past PP government pumped $35
million in 2015 into crime reduc-
tion and security management
and also focused on education
to stem juvenile delinquency.
"When you contrast that with
what s happening now, it leaves
you to wonder what is the future
of education and the youths?"
he added, noting the new gov-
ernment s lull with the PP laptop
initiative, VAT hikes on school
books and possible scholarship
Mark said while the PNM had
been critical of the Community
Comfort Patrols, the PNM had
retained them. GA
Man murdered at wake
JENSEN LA VENDE
A St Helena man
was murdered on
Sunday night while
at the wake of his
former boss broth-
er, who had himself
police, Nicky Joseph,
31, of Madras Street,
was at the wake of
Jean-Pierre Assee at
Arouca, when he was
called outside and
shot. Police said
while at the wake someone telephoned Joseph
around 10.30 pm. When he stepped outside he
was shot and killed.
Speaking with the media yesterday afternoon,
relatives of the father of two children, six and
four, said the children were unaware that he had
Assee was Mohammed s older brother.
Mohammed was killed outside his Ross Trace, St
Helena Village, Caroni, home on April 19.
Assee was buried yesterday.
In an incident last December Assee, 30, a car
dealer, was shot at least ten times. He died last
Tuesday night at the Eric Williams Medical Sci-
ences Centre. Assee, of Sierra Vista Drive, Omeara
Road, Arima, was standing outside his business-
place at Ramcharan Street, St Augustine, with
Dave John, 48, and 11-year-old Kadeem Whiskey
when a car drove by and opened fire.
John was shot in the right hip and Whiskey in
the right ear. It was the second attempt on his
life. The first time the killer was shot dead by a
security guard hired to protect the businessman.
On September 29, Quane Rochford was gunned
down by a security guard after Rochford tried to
kill Assee outside his home.
In an unrelated incident, police are investigating
the circumstances surrounding the death of Carl
Ramdeo s body was found inside a burnt shack
at Crown Trace West, Couva. Police said Ramdeo
was a struggling drug addict.
And in another matter, the body of a man found
at Clifton Street, Laventille, on Friday night has
been identified as Kerry Serrette.
Serrette s body was found around 9 pm last
Friday face down at Clifton Street. Police said
they received a phone call informing them that
the man had been discovered dead on the roadway.
Police said 16 spent shells were retrieved from
the scene of the shooting.
As of yesterday, the murder toll has tied with
that of last year for the same period at 41.
Homicide detectives are continuing their inves-
tigations and are calling on members of the public
to provide them with any information that may
assist in arresting those responsible for the murders.
Money Mania Cash
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You have until 3 pm today to come to the
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photo identification to claim your prize.
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Imbert: PP govt spent
$66b and counting...
Speaker blanks attempt to debate crime
Garcia comforts Success Laventille students
Education Minister Anthony Garcia visits Inez Phillip, mother of murdered Success Laventille student
Den-eilson Phillip, yesterday, at her home in Laventille. PHOTO: SHIRLEY BAHADUR
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