PM: We will adjust Budget to suit

By Clint Chan Tack
October 06 2015 – newsday.co.tt

Prime Minister Dr Keith RowleyPRIME Minister Dr Keith Rowley yesterday said the 2016 Budget provides the Government with an appropriate roadmap to guide the country through the challenging economic times ahead. The Prime Minister made this point as he and Finance Minister Colm Imbert spoke with reporters at Tower D of the Port-of-Spain International Waterfront Centre, after Imbert unveiled the Government’s $63 billion fiscal package.

Rowley, who is also chairman of the National Security Council, welcomed the fact that national security got the largest allocation of $10.8 billion in the Budget. He observed that, “up until recently, in every single budget since 1956, the largest allocation in the budget has always been education.” He explained, “This budget has as its largest allocation, national security. That is driven by the chronic and rampant criminal conduct in Trinidad and Tobago.”

According to Rowley,” So we get the pain of the crimes and we have to pay the largest amount of our earnings on trying to treat crime. That is the dollarising of crime in TT. This should let the population know, if ever we did not know before, that crime is having a serious effect on the population of TT.” Stressing it is imperative that “we have to treat and roll back the cost of criminal conduct in this country, “the Prime Minister disclosed, “What has not been mentioned in the Budget, we intend in very short order to conduct a major manpower audit of the security apparatus of TT to determine what we have available, how it is being used and how we can improve upon it.”

Reiterating Government’s commitment to “make every effort to eliminate waste and corruption,” which existed under its People’s Partnership (PP) predecessor,” Rowley said this justifies the decision to conduct a thorough audit of the Children’s Life Fund, which was the brainchild of his predecessor, Kamla Persad- Bissessar. Imbert indicated that controls will be put in place on that programme, “to stop fraud and then we are going to go after the people who stole the children’s money.” Imbert, who is also Diego Martin North/ East MP, said he knew of a constituent who was recorded as having received US$25,000 under the Fund to treat her sick child but she never received the money.

The Prime Minister added, “A number of those situations are before the Fraud Squad and that indicates to us, there was something wrong in there.” Rowley was confident that properly audited and managed Life Fund would serve its true purpose better. Describing Imbert’ budget presentation as very comprehensive and lucid, the Prime Minister said, Imbert “has given the population, a clear picture of what I can conclude to be a very, very serious situation.”

Rowley observed, “Of all that has been said today, in the Finance Minister’s presentation, nothing should strike the population more starkly than the fact that TT, in five years, we increased our budget by 33 percent.” Saying the expenditure pursued under the PP has landed the country, “on a plateau on low oil prices, low production of oil and gas and of significant loss of confidence with respect to the management of our foreign exchange,” the Prime Minister said, “We have not yet determined why we have been putting so much foreign exchange into the local banking system, yet the foreign exchange is unavailable to those who need to conduct their business.”

Explaining the Budget is not cast in stone, Rowley said, “There are things that can happen during the period that can increase our revenue or decrease the revenue which will allow us to have an ability to spend more or to spend less.

Source: http://www.newsday.co.tt/news/0,218022.html

37 Responses to “PM: We will adjust Budget to suit”


  • This is a half-hearted budget;the govt is scared to make the necessary adjustments. What goes around,comes around. When Robinson had to make tough decisions because of PNM mismanagement they were raving and ranting. Make the sacrifice now,let the people know the real measures they have to take; we did it before and we can do it again.We shall overcome

  • Tough Decisions? Do you mean like where to put the $100,000 statue of gene miles (vengeful whore) NAR planned to do with revenue from newly installed V.A.T., while asking the taxpayers to tighten THEIR belts? what is your definition of ‘mismanagement’?

    • What is the basis for labelling Ms. Miles a “vengeful whore”?

      • Gene miles was the outside woman of john o’ halloran & was a whore but was celebrated politically by enemies of the pnm because she exposed what was called the gas station racket by o’ halloran and made nasty comment about Dr. Williams. Make no mistake she was a well known whore and she opened her mouth as a scorned lover (vengeful). Question how come david west isn’t celebrated as much? What about ruh marchand? Who exposed the corruption in life sport? Eh? Give me a break she was a vengeful whore that was politically celebrated! Had nothing to do with country…but whatever corruption was exposed we benefitted by knowing

    • How dare you refer to gene Miles as a “vengeful whore”?
      I knew her personally as the payroll clerk in the Revenue Dept. at Trinidad house. She was a very friendly, cooperative and efficient employee.

      • Of course you did…and if you truly wanted to defend her honour you shouldn’t have cast a bigger shadow on her personality by revealing her to be YOUR friend! Though you try to attribute statesmanlike quality to her. I distinctly remember her referring to Dr. Williams as “That, short, frog-eyed bitch”….i can see why you like her so much.
        Question:Why didn’t the american taxpayers fund a statue for monica lewinsky for writing a book and her fun time with Bill clinton? Eh? Didn’t she expose corruption? Though everone was glad to know whatever corruption she might have exposed,The only people who would call her a ‘national hero’ deserving of national ‘honour’ and respect are the political enemies of the democrats and bill clinton.give me a break!

    • This is absolutely wrong to attribute a label on a patriotic citizen, who was hunted down as she set about to expose the gas stations racket. Then ‘O’ Halloran must be a saint.

    • Gene Miles was considered to be a beauty who was rumored to have been jilted by O’Hallaran. Some claimed that this motivated her to expose the corruption. Whether this is true or false I do not know but the FACT remains that the corruption she exposed was real and needed exposing. I would not agree with defaming her given the reality of the corruption that was exposed and how she was treated after.

  • Why does any government(Rowley) have to give $15 million to the Labor movement (his buddy Roget) and complain in the breath that there is a shortage of funds? UNHEARD OF IN ANY COUNTRY!

    • Government ministers passing a law with a sneaky clause to assist corrupt persons from being brought to justice…THAT is “UNHEARD OF IN ANY COUNTRY” or plotting via e-mail to murder a journalist or a senior counsel lawyer…THAT is “UNHEARD OF IN ANY COUNTRY”

    • TMan! where were your voice of disapproval when Kamla bribed Larry Howai with close to $11M just to take up the job of being Finance Minister? The worst kind of morality is the kind that selects what kind of immorality is wrong. You always claim to be christian (which I have a hard time believing) but one of the tenets of christianity is being just. Your justifications are only for anything UNC and hate for the PNM. Pleaseeeeeeee! spare me your moral posturing.

      • It isn’t christianity as we know it…The hindus that converted to christianity in the caribbean did so for strategic economic, political and academic reasons…the prestige schools were christian so rather than go to regular schools, the lust for stztus (caste) motivated them to at least appear as christian to take advantage of the system. Note:it wasn’t that they couldn’t get an education as hindus but they wanted the prestigious social power. Also many of the ones that did actually change the religion, it was not a real psychological/spiritual change but a superficial one…they didn’t get the “jesus loves all the chilren of the world whether yellow, BLACK or white” concept..he same racist, clannish attitudes were transferred into their new ‘christian archtype’. Even in india, the largest christian conversions in the world take place and it is called ‘modified hinduism’ i.e. it becomes a hindu heart and soul in christian relics and buildings. Also, research this..the vast majority of christians in T&T are african…what is the ratio of christians in eaither community who became wealthy from chistian BUSINESSES…i.e. which christian group has a larger percentage of ‘pastors’ etc who open churches that generate a lot of money from hefty donations and televangelism…tell me what your findings are.

  • Gene miles was not a patriot! She enjoyed the largesse of o’halloran’s corruption and when he slighted her she retaliated. Cro Cro…now that is a patriot! He exposed “corruption in common entrance” through his music…a voice for the weak and oppressed african youth…you pick your patriots and i’ll pick mine.

      • You mean NOW you like shorty…when shorty first ca e out with that song om shanti…sat picketed it as a defilement of hindu traditions (how dare he touch ‘our’ hindu instruments) but nowadays you praise shorty. As i said before, people of your ilk prefer the martin luther kings to the malcolm x…you prefer mandela to steve biko…i prefer cro cro to sparrow…i love shorty and i love cro cro..

  • PNM has a history of demonizing people who expose their corruption instead of addressing the corruption itself. What happened to Gene Miles, whether she exposed the corruption out of vengeance or not, I do not know, has happened to other people who did not conceal PNM’s wrong-doings. Also, whether she was a whore or not is not even my concern and in my view in itself does not demean her. The party attempted the same with Dr. Rowley. If Manning had won the elections then Rowley would have been politically ostracized. Manning’s failures benefitted Rowley (plus I suspect he also had a very wealthy and well-known disgruntled financial backer).

    Gene Miles’ father also exposed corruption during colonial times. In the 1940s her father, Ranny Miles, exposed the Caura Dam corruption, and a Director and several engineers were jailed following investigations. Some argued that Gene could have been following in her father’s footstep.

    I do not have any personal knowledge of what would have motivated Gene and her father to expose corruption. I also doubt Dr. Rowley’s campaign against Calder Hart was altruistic. I am not promoting Dr. Rowley or Gene Miles as genuinely caring about the interest of the people in this country. And, I am not demonizing any of them. My view is that what she exposed needed exposing and addressing. PNM has a history to reckon with.

    • Well you exposed your narrow mindedness…so the pnm demonises people? And if this is so that is unique to the pnm as a political part? Your slip is showing..It is relevant if she was a whore or not…not because she exposed corruption, but because she was a political tool used to fight future elections…she is to this day a political symbol for those who hate the pnm,,not hate corruption..hate the pnm (africans in charge) that is the basis for clarifying the rubbish about her being a hero and patriot. Hee what..did she cry corruption whilst using the corrupt money to be flown all over the world? Eh.? Did she return the diamonds and expensive items bought for her? See? A real hero and patriot would have had nothing to do with..much less a affair with a corrupt politician…its a joke…she was nit a patriot or a hater of corruption…just a vengeful whore and we benefitted from the fallout…ruth marchand, who has been in hiding since last year for exposing lifesport theft kuch more than o halloran’s racket…do you cry out for her? She is a patriot…her legs were closed when she spoke out about corruption.

      • Well you exposed your narrow mindedness.

        So, to disagree with you and the PNM narrative is to be narrow-minded? I am not trying to make a hero of anyone. It is you who want to condemn Gene Miles for not being a patriot, but I do not see many of that all around. History has taught me that real heroes/patriots are very few. Whatever character flaws she had was not worse than the corruption that PNM wanted to hide and the history of them abusing people who challenge them.

        And if this is so that is unique to the pnm as a political part? Your slip is showing…

        What slip … the fact that I am not a PNM loyalist? Where did I state or even imply demonising people was unique to the PNM? I am addressing Gene Miles and the PNM so I see no need to mention the ugliness of others that have already been recently exposed here. It is not “if this is so”; demonizing people is part of how PNM operates. It may not be motivated by the caste mentality of many in the UNC but it is still based on corruption and sycophantic loyalties.

        It is relevant if she was a whore or not…not because she exposed corruption, but because she was a political tool used to fight future elections

        I believe whoring by its different definitions is part of all the political parties and is not unique to females either. I am not using that accusation to discredit Gene Miles and I am not demeaning prostitutes either (if that meaning is implied). Because others used what she exposed to campaign against the PNM, does not mean I would hate her for that. This also holds true for Dr. Rowley. What he exposed about Calder Hart was used by others to campaign against the PNM too, and it does not mean that he should be hated for that either. His questionable motives do not overshadow the corruption that was exposed. I do agree that people should question the motives of people who expose wrongdoings as sometimes their intent is worse than what they expose. But I do not believe what is said by some to be the motives of Gene Miles and Dr. Rowley outweigh the cases of egregious wrongdoing that they exposed.

        All of the exchanges on this forum do not have to be framed in the context of Africans (PNM) vs Indians (UNC). Not because I am against, and constantly mindful of what uniquely comes out of the UNC — the caste system mentality with its racism — means that I am giving PNM a pass on its many wrongs.

        PNM has a history of abuses which include corruption and anti-African racism that has to be addressed.

        • Well said. I can’t really disagree with most of your point. However you misunderstand my point with gene miles and corruption…i am not attacking gene miles for exposing corruption…i am denouncing the propaganda that she was a patriot who saved t&t from corruption and needs to be praised as a divine hero who deserves a statue..with taxpayers’ money! Gene miles character as i exposed is not rumour or propaganda it is the truth, buttttt for so many years people forgot that inconvenient truth & the opposition forces to the pnm supported and coaxed her into this false deity position that was contrary to reality.
          As for the issue of you not giving the pnm a pass and being a ‘Pnm loyalist’…do i give that impression? Read my posts very carefully…

          • I do not believe that I misunderstood your point. The PNM camp has conducted itself as though Gene Miles brought the party into disrepute, and they hated her for it. They were trying to discredit her much more than they did O’Hallaran and company who were the ones actually involved in widespread corruption.

            I could dig into the history and find several persons who have had statues erected in this country — with taxpayers money — and show that they have questionable character, to say the least. Moreover, Sabga got this nation’s highest award quite recently and I quite doubt that spotless character was used as a basis for his recognition. Honesty and integrity are not generally used as criteria for honouring people in this country and all governments from 1962 to now are culpable in this regard.

            Whether one likes it or not, Gene Miles is a symbol of exposing government corruption and she was persecuted for so doing, especially by members and supporters of the PNM. Her efforts are recognized by others with both noble and ignoble intentions. This is not to say that people, especially those familiar with her history, are unaware of her imperfections. Just the same, many embrace the work of WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, in exposing corruption on an international scale and are willing to play down what some consider his “immoral” playboy ways. His uncovering of the maliciousness and deceit of regimes such as in successive US governments far outweigh his so-called sexual indiscretions (I am not convinced that he raped anyone either).

            There is also a measure of gender bias in how women are typically demeaned for whoring (whether true or false) while their male counterparts are celebrated. I am always cautious and suspicious when I see women being put down as whores.

  • “ECONOMIST Indera Sagewan- Alli is questioning why if the People’s National Movement (PNM) government is saying it has inherited a country whose economy is so bad why did it still announce a massive $63billion Budget when expected revenues are a meagre $41 billion. She raised the issue at the San Juan Business Association’s post-Budget discussion at Maritime Plaza on Tuesday, alongside economists Dr Anthony Birchwood and Dr Darren Conrad.”……….Newsday
    I continue to be disappointed in the quality of affirmative sources of authority that the media exposes us (the public) to.
    At one point in time in our history, when one of us was blessed with the fortune of being ‘qualified’ to be called an economist, it used to be one worth listening to or paying attention to. But we do have a fairly informed public that can discern the quality of information passed on to us by those who think they are qualified to so do. This Sagewan-Alli woman has been all over print and video media spreading views that supposedly we should be heeding. Being an economist, is being in a field of specialty that calls for expertise in financial planning, auditing and monetary affairs. So, naturally when attention is drawn to advice coming from one with such expertise, such advice should contain some degree of technical evaluation and forethought. But this statement by Ms Sagewan-Alli leaves much to be desired from one enunciating this calibre of expertise. One does not have to be an economist to understand that if you inherit a budget with high deficits, it means that a lot of money is being owed and has to be payed back. At the same time, the incoming government has to find money to run and maintain all governmental functions effectively. If the incoming government were to propose spending that would seriously contract spending, it would mean that our economy would go into a tailspin thereby causing collapse and inertia. So, government MUST continue with some level of inherited spending until it can get hold of the economy’s strengths and weaknesses before attempting to apply medicinal corrections to control the financial spending by government. Sagewan-Alli speaks more like a politician than an economist and her suggestions just does not make sense for someone with her standard of education and exposure. As a matter of fact, she gets a lot of exposure on the local media and there is little or no commonsense emanating from her contributions. Media should put on the best and brightest not political hacks and professional mis-fits. As a public, yearning for informed sources of enlightenment, it would be pleasurable and educational to be subjected to information that is beneficial and helpful to understanding our government and how it works. Sagewan-Alli speaks of her political choices on the topic of the economy and does not make sense of the handling of the economy from one adversarial party to the other.

  • Are you surprised?she’s typical! Pay attention to her tone and body language…did you hear her statement about it being “easy” to be forthcoming on the first budget but ‘challenged’ the pnm to be so in future budgets…do you wonder where all this zeal and bold intellectualist daggers are coming from all of a sudden? The indian community gave kamla as much support as they could (18 seats) and still lost! The entire community is BITTerrrrr! It was believed that they would ride back into office surprising the african communi4y that they stilll supported kamla…well many publicly are showing that they don’t even care that their bitterness is showing…and that says alot. This crap that was seen in the past 5 years where only indian political analysts and economists are sought after for public pronounciations needs to be balanced out…let’s see an at least even amount of dark siinned african economists and political analysts giving their views, so the picture will be clearer on all discussed issues

    • We are inundated on TV and panels with “professional perspectives” featuring “professionals” like Indera Sagewan-Alli, Maukesh Basdeo, Ann Marie Bissessar, Indira Rampersad, Bishnu Ragoonath, Hamid Ghany and former head of UWI Bhoe Tewarie. There is no shortage of ideas and concerns from these people, yet none of the ideas they articulate appear to be of value to the population at large. The people who have records of accomplishment in providing value to the population such as Professor Ken Julien (PLIPDECO, UTT) and Malcolm Jones (Petrotrin), were persecuted by the UNC government. Media provides a public service and they must be seen as making an effort to impart knowledge (to the population) that can make valuable contributions to the society at large and not sectarian and narrow minded groupings. Those who take it upon themselves to act as teachers must have something in themselves to offer as insights into our lives that we can live by. A departure from the narrow minded views came from people like Dr. Dylan Kerrigan who offered some perspectives recently on the hate unleashed on social media following the loss of the UNC in the last election. He provided us with information on how that came about and what approaches should be employed to correct that type of behavior. I submit that his appearance on TV and talk panels would yield more value than those of whom I stated earlier. Winford James offer intelligent perspectives but he is not seen (or heard) as often as say Indera Sagewan-Alli and that is a shame.

  • Alyssa presents, based on her comments, as a hateful, vengeful bigot whose primary objective is to discredit Indian people. There is no doubt that many Indians perpetuate racist feelings towards Africans, but Alyssa refuses to accept the fact that often those feelings are reciprocal. Ironically, Alyssa herself writes like the perfect example of a Black racist, anti Indian/Hindu bigot. She makes no apologies or hesitations regarding her feelings, as she gleefully bunch all Indians and Hindus as one entity.
    She also questions the motives of every Indian based on their ethnicity only. She pretends to be an expert on Hinduism, presenting only one view and ignoring the variations within the Hindu movement and the writings of many learned scholars.
    None of us on this Blog have blinders on when it comes to Hindu caste- based racism, but we acknowledge that we all live on a tiny piece of real estate and therefore we have to coexist peacefully. Alyssa has taken her rhetoric to a meaner, baser and dangerously divisive level. In terms of her dissatisfaction regarding the visibility of more Indians in the media, academic and political areas, well, that is a reality because there are more of us residing in this twin island nation.

  • Tman (tgirl) is a deceitful, racist and divisive character on this blog and probably in a primary, secondary or tertiary educational institution in T&T. Tman’s main focus is to deceive the african population into complacent acceptance of a divisive ideology designed to DIS-Empower Dark Skinned, African descendents of slaves and relegate them into a position of inferiority & subservience that already exists in the mind of He/she and his/her parents and grandparents.He/she believes in an age old slaveowner/boat brahmin philosophy of frightening those he/she considers inferior into not speaking out against injustice for fear of being labelled racist. Tman/Tgirl is unqualified to credibly discuss racism or hatred because he/she is incapable of differentiating between right & wrong. Based on Tgirl/Tman’s posts over the past 5 years….she/he is a sociopath. Alyssa draws strength and inertia from Tman/Tgirl’s baseless attempts to run her off of this blog and into Dalit/Untouchable Status!….good luck with THAT!

  • Pay attention to Tman/Tgirl’s comments…He/She distinguishes between two ethnic groups that are predominantly black skinned by calling one ethnic group a colour i.e. Black (africans) and the other ethnic group by their geographical origin(Hindus/indians) Tman attributes learned behaviours (caste/racism) as being genetic…e.g. Tman deliberately interprets criticism of bad behaviours rooted in religious ideology to criticism of the genetics of an ethnic group (Indians)….Tman /Tgirl was taught well by his grandparents, parents and village!

  • Gene Miles and wikileaks’ founder are chalk and cheese. She was john o ‘halloran’s outside woman and becuase the relationship went south she retaliated by outing him on corruption. You are comparing that to the wikileaks founder whose calling in life was to expose corruption and as retaliation for exposing corruption he was villified with his alleged sexual indescretions…they had two completely different personas and motivations. Gene miles revelled in the corruption until she fell out with the corrupt.! That is not patriotism and any attempt to portray that as such reeks of a political agenda.

  • Another little discussed inconvenient truth is that Ms. Miles did not simply ‘expose corruption’ but was very nasty in her comments about specific members of the PNM uncluding Dr, Williams…so it wasn’t that she exposed financial corruption and all party members attacked her but she insulted them also. My point is that it was back and forth, not just the pnm and supporters attacking her in her innocent corner. Yes, they hated her for hurting the party, but ms. Miles wasn’t too nice either.

    • I doubt that you misunderstood my analogy between Assange and Miles who have both exposed corruption at different levels but whose detractors have attempted to discredit them by publicising their so-called sexual indiscretions. In no way am I saying that they were the same. The fact is, because of the tremendous value in what these two personalities exposed, their alleged moral failings (which were used to cast doubt on their allegations) should not be a major talking point when dealing with their revelations of corruption.

      Further, many in the PNM, even back then, could easily be considered whores. The leadership certainly did not object. What they accuse Gene Miles of doing, many others in and out of the party have also done.

      Vengefulness is part of the character of political parties in this country, including the PNM from Eric Williams come down. The PNM (and its supporters), like other political parties, are notorious for berating people who do not tow their corrupt lines or who expose what they perceive to be wrongdoings, and often go a step further by trying to destroy them as well.

      Dispassionate discussions are not the norm. They trade insults and distort information in their vainglorious attempt to defend the indefensible.

  • Look here, Alyssa, you seem to be a smart woman/man. The central issue is PNM corruption, their greatest legacy…O’Hallaran, Prevatt,Mahabir, Hart ET al. The focus is not on the witness for the prosecution, but on the accused and their dastardly deeds.
    Stop obfuscating by trying to make Gene Miles the issue.
    You do a similar tap dance when you try to blame Indians and their caste system for the continuing failures of Africans.

    • Tman, the insults that caste-minded Indians spew at Dr. Rowley, for example, is not about him alone but about dehumanizing an entire race of people. It is part of a caste system which positions Black people at the bottom of the social/religious hierarchy in their Hindu world order (check the laws of Manu). Insulting Black people is the norm for caste-minded Indians. In India, lower caste people are conditioned to accept dehumanization as part of what they have to undergo to hopefully one day born again into a white body and attain purity.

      Make no mistake about it, caste-minded Indians, whether they are aware of it or not, are constantly at war fighting for total Brahmin domination over African people. For these reasons, the UNC as it currently stands is not only a corrupt party but an extremely dangerous one.

    • Ahhhh, see folks? Just give he/she time to expose her mindset! When did anyone on this blog, blame indians for African ‘failings’??? Oh and tman/tgirl…You don’t dictate what and where the focus is…and i see we’ve taught you a new word ‘obfuscate’…why would anyone have to tap dance around pnm corruption in october 2015? The unc (your party) has redefined to the african population what corruption truly is! It could never be worst than what took place over the past 5 years…also because of the indian community’s standing ovation on election day…with 18 seats, the african population is forced to re evaluate what is ULTIMATELY important to the indian community (not corruption) and therefore their priorities will have to adapt also…what is the point in fighting against corruption if a large section 0f the population supports corruption blatantly & officially in unprecedented ways

      • The fact that the PP, or more accurately, the UNC won 18 seats is indeed a sad indictment on the people who voted for them.

        However, we will probably need to work on the younger generations of tribally-minded UNC voters before it is too late.

        Or perhaps it is too late….

        • That’s the problem …the unc is simply 1 organization where indians congregate and have dominion over…like the u.w.i. and utt, fcb, rbc…it is the mindset that creates the institution…wherever the caste mind goes these behaviours are institurionalized…the maha sabha ALONE has 150 schools ans 1000s of teachers…how can ‘we’ battle for the minds of their children? Battle for the control of the minds of our children and fortify their minds to all these issues so they don’t have to
          rediscover the pain that already exists…please google “Racism at Torrib Trace Presbyterian School” tell me if you think if this is christianity at work

      • Promote what you love and desire instead of bashing what you hate.It would be a more useful use of time.

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