Duke gives budget a failing grade

The To­ba­go House of As­sem­bly’s (THA) Mi­nor­i­ty Coun­cil says the THA’s draft es­ti­mates for rev­enue and ex­pen­di­ture for fis­cal 2020 pre­sent­ed by Fi­nance and Econ­o­my Sec­re­tary Joel Jack yes­ter­day are “a colos­sal fail­ure.”

In an im­me­di­ate re­ac­tion just af­ter Jack pre­sent­ed the over two-hour long $4.72 bil­lion bud­get, Mi­nor­i­ty Leader Wat­son Duke gave the bud­get a fail­ing grade.

Duke, leader of the Pro­gres­sive De­mo­c­ra­t­ic Pa­tri­ots (PDP), said Jack’s pro­jec­tion that the THA will make just over $200 mil­lion in rev­enue out of the re­quired $4.7 bil­lion, showed the THA can­not run the is­land’s eco­nom­ic af­fairs.

He not­ed that the as­sem­bly’s rev­enue should have been greater be­cause it now has spe­cial pur­pose com­pa­nies like the Cas­sa­va Prod­ucts Com­pa­ny Ltd, Stud­ley Park En­ter­prise Ltd and the Fish Pro­cess­ing Com­pa­ny of To­ba­go Ltd.

“Now that we have a num­ber of things that should be boost­ing the econ­o­my, he is say­ing to us that the rev­enue that is ex­pect­ed to be gen­er­at­ed next year will be less than the rev­enue they made this year.”

Reporter: Loyse Vincebt

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