Mark: Revenue Authority will become ‘party group of the PNM’

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Opposition Senator Wade Mark – File photo by Sureash Cholai

OPPOSITION Senator Wade Mark says the Trinidad and Tobago Revenue Authority (TTRA) is set to become a “party group” because of Finance Minister Colm Imbert’s role in the selection of its executive board.

Mark was speaking at a press conference in Port of Spain on the morning of April 14.

On April 12, the House of Representatives approved the nominations of three people to serve in top positions in the TTRA.

It approved Patsy Latchman-Atterbury, Helen Thomas-Brown and Riad Juman as the authority’s director-general, deputy director-general (domestic tax) and deputy director-general (customs and excise), respectively.

The order to extend the deadline for implementation of the authority was also laid in the House. The new deadline is now April 30.

Mark said all of this country’s revenues will now be controlled by the Prime Minister and his Cabinet.

He described it as authoritarianism, fascism and dictatorship.

“The minister appoints on contract, the director general; deputy director general; the deputy director general with responsibility for customs and excise…he fixes the terms and conditions of employment for (these titles, too).

“If this minister of finance is unhappy with the performance of this particular group of persons (sic) (people), the minister can remove them.”

He added, “Now what kind of independence would these office holders have to the people of Trinidad and Tobago?”

He said the directors appointed are going to be like puppets of the “master puppeteer” and “your business will be in the hands of Balisier House.

“The TTRA will become a party group of the PNM…”

He said it is unsatisfactory and unacceptable.