Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 26th 2013 Contents A12
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, October 26, 2013
The Tobago House of Assembly (THA) has got
a 50 per cent shortfall in the amount it requested
in the 2013/2014 budget, and is on a mission to
get an increase, one which "may climax in Port-
of-Spain," THA chief secretary Orville London
warned on Thursday.
London s bold stand came three days after the
PNM won the local government elections in
Claiming the THA was now forced into a position
where it has to rewrite all its 2014 development
plans, London said the situation may lead to a
motion being presented in Parliament by Oppo-
sition Leader Dr Keith Rowley.
"We have to totally reconfigure our mindset
and our plans. That s the situation in which we
have found ourselves. We have to deliver 50 per
cent of what we have promised."
London was speaking at Thursday s plenary ses-
sion of the THA in Scarborough on a motion pre-
sented by Secretary of Finance and Enterprise Joel
Jack on the issue.
During debate on the motion he addressed an
assembly which comprised only members of the
ruling PNM, since the party won all the seats in
the January THA election.
London said there was also a 20 per cent shortfall
from what the THA had requested for development
He used strong words in reference to the Kamla
Persad-Bissessar Government and its relationship
with the THA during his presentation: Callous,
insensitive, victimology, hostage, plot.
London said the THA s relationship with the
Government was rocky.
"The only friends of Tobagonians reside in Toba-
go," he said. "There are no friends outside.
"There is ample proof that the relationship
between the THA and Central Government will
remain unpredictable and rocky until 18 months
down the road, when the Government changes."
London claimed that earlier this year,
Persad-Bissessar promised she would
meet with him once every three months.
"On June 14 we met and smiled with
one another and so on."
He said on July 29 he wrote the PM,
reminding her of that meeting, in which
they spoke about having a harmonious
relationship, and complained that, since
then, he had heard nothing from her.
On August 26, he said, he got a letter
from the PM saying consideration was
being given to the matter he had raised.
"Two months later, the matter still
under consideration," he said.
London spoke after Jack s motion,
which was filed to express the THA s dis-
satisfaction with its budgetary allocation
for the fiscal year 2014, and to seek the
approval of the House to explore all alter-
native funding and financing mechanisms
under the THA Act to advance and accel-
erate the implementation and execution
of capital projects on the island.
The motion also called for the Executive
Council to be mandated to ensure the
completion of all major on-going capital
projects, including the Scarborough
Library and the Shaw Park Cultural Com-
It also called for the preservation of
employment levels throughout the assem-
bly, especially within vulnerable social
safety net programmes such as URP and
CEPEP, and the continuation of Tobago s
socio-economic development agenda, as
outlined in its Comprehensive Economic
Jack said there were significant short-
falls in what the THA requested for several
other sectors, including health, education,
tourism and infrastructural development.
He said the THA requested $70 million
for URP and was allocated only $19 mil-
lion in Finance Minister Larry Howai s
budget, a $51 million shortfall.
The THA requested $58.7 million for
CEPEP but was allocated only $8 million,
a $50.7 million shortfall, he added.
THA gets 50 per cent shortfall in funding from Govt
London warns of bitter climax
THA ecre ar f fi a ce J el Jack ha aid T bag
will c i e be i charge a d ake charge f
T bag devel me , b dge derf di g
wi h a di g.
I hi re e a i d ri g a m i he ma er i
he THA la Th r da , Jack li ed a mber f
ra egie which he aid c ld mi iga e agai he
im ac f a $2.492 billi ga i he b dge ar
all ca i T bag .
He aid he a d chief ecre ar Orville L d have
alread a r ached he Mi i r f Fi a ce wi h a i e
f r al e re ha viable devel me
r gramme ca r ceed.
The e i cl ded:
•L g- erm b d fi a ci g
•The e abli hme f a T bag Devel me Ba k
•P blic/ riva e ar er hi (PPP)
Jack aid while H wai wa e he e l ra i f
PPP, he decli ed c ider i i g b d , ci i g a
rel c a ce add he c r deb b rde .
Am g her ra egie li ed b Jack deal wi h
he derf di g are:
•A a embl -wide r grammi g adj me , wi h
ri ri r jec agreed b all ecre arie
•The rede l me f b dge a d -b dge ca h
re rce mee fi a ci g eed
•Tigh er b dge ar ma ageme headed b THA
ecre arie .
Jack reaffirmed he c mmi me f he L d
admi i ra i ha , wi h a di g he evere
derf di g f he fi cal 2014 b dge , i w ld
g ara ee he c i ed em l me f all THA a d
c rac w rker , mai ai URP a d CEPEP
r gramme a d w rk ward he c cl i f all
a di g maj r r jec .
C t y t
y y t y
PHOTO: MARCUS GONZALES
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