Monday 22nd September, 2008


Minority Leader: Tobago lagging

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As the nation anxiously awaits today’s 2008-2009 budget presentation, Minority Leader in the Tobago House of Assembly (THA), Ashworth Jack, says he is not optimistic that any of the promises to be made by the Government will be delivered.

After last year’s $42-billion-dollar fiscal package, Jack said he was “not holding his breath” that today’s budget will spark any change.

He said while the PNM administration was very good at making promises, it was not very good at keeping them.

“There seems to be an apathy in this present administration. They need to practice less talk and more action,” he said.

He added: “In terms of delivery, nothing happens, especially in Tobago. The hospital is not yet delivered; the housing complex is not delivered.

“The financial complex, the Scarborough Library and the Performing Arts Centre, just to name a few, are not even completed.

“Everything is happening in slow motion. Something has to be wrong with that. How are we to move forward?”

Jack said there was need for “proper accountability” by the THA, “in terms of the moneys they have got.” He lamented further:

“The problem is gross incompetence on behalf of the THA. We have to ask ourselves, are we getting value for money. Are we satisfied?

“We are not finishing projects in Tobago. There are projects which started eight years ago, but have not been completed. That is unacceptable.”

He continued, “The entire health system in Tobago needs to be overhauled. Scarborough needs to be redesigned.

We need to seriously look at housing and education.

“We have almost nothing happening in agriculture. Tobago seems to be falling further and further behind.” (CM)