Minority: ‘Empty promises from failed THA administration’

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Minority Leader Kelvon Morris –

“Same old, Same old.”

This was how Minority Leader Kelvon Morris described the three-and-a-half-hours long THA budget presentation by Chief Secretary and Secretary of Finance, Trade and the Economy Farley Augustine on June 24 at the Assembly Legislature in Scarborough.

Morris said, “We were held hostage for over three hours to basically hear things we heard from the very first day of this administration’s existence and therefore, we did not expect anything different.

“There has been a lot of flowery words with empty promises leading to nowhere and the expectation is that Tobagonians will continue to have challenges while under the leadership of this failed administration.”

He added: “If we are being very frank, if we are being very honest, what we have had is some mocking pretenders. Persons pretending to know what they’re supposed to do when in fact you look at their ability to implement – they have been very poor in terms of their implementation.”

He said, Tobagonians are waiting to exhale and are hoping that they will have an opportunity to vote before THA elections are constitutionally due in 2025.

“Tobagonians just want an opportunity to express their frustration, their disappointment, and no empty promise that was made today can really take away from their disappointment of Tobagonians. It is very difficult for Tobagonians at this time, Tobagonians are suffering under the hands of this administration.”

He added: “You hear them boasting about stabilising an economy, but the truth is when you look at the performance of the Tobago economy over the past three years, there has been a story of consistent decline.”

He pointed to the specifically at the agricultural sector as well as the tourism sector, noting that it has been a constant cry. He said the administration constantly talks about spending, but he asked who are the ones benefiting?

He noted that since the existence of the THA, it has not received anything close to the 5.8 per cent requested.

“Therefore, every administration had to make do with about 4.03 or so and the PNM over those 20 years or so would have done extremely well even with the challenges of resources. We built hospitals, we built schools, we developed playing fields, we developed health centres, we developed the Tobago people and the average Tobagonian.”

He added: “I am here as a product of PNM’s development in Tobago, minority councillor is here because of the development of PNM, the chief secretary is here because of the development of PNM policies in Tobago and therefore for the chief secretary to use as an excuse the inability to get a higher proportion of the national allocation tells me he does not have a clue how to govern.

“Governances lies on leadership and ultimately, whatever you get, whether it is $4 of the $100 or $100 of the $100, it all comes down to management and how you prioritise your resources and this administration has failed to properly utilise what they get to the benefit of the average Tobagonian.”

He said, Tobago requires accelerated funding, however, he hastened to add that creativity in leadership is also needed, adding that Augustine has not shown any.