Caroni Central MP Dr Bhoe Tewarie yesterday said the Opposition United National Congress (UNC) is not the enemy but the 2017/2018 budget will increase crime in TT.
Tewarie made these comments as he responded to National Security Minister Edmund Dillon in the budget debate in the House of Representatives. He claimed the focus of the Government was “to tell the population that we are the enemy.” After rejecting that argument, Tewarie told Government MPs, “Instead of declaring war, let’s bring the murders down.”
He said after spending approximately $17 billion on national security for the last two years, Government has nothing to show for it. According to Tewarie, the $17 billion equates to spending $17 million per murder. He also expressed concern that the country’s murder toll could exceed 400 for this year.
On a proposal to use drones in the fight against crime, Tewarie said this made no sense, “if land, sea and air are not properly covered.” He added, “Don’t give people toys with to play all over the place.”
Saying crime is hanging over TT like a cloud, Tewarie claimed the budget is anti-business. He agreed the private sector should be encouraged to build more houses.
However, Tewarie rejected the proposal of a ministerial oversight committee to expedite the process of obtaining building approvals from regulatory agencies. Noting this committee would initially be chaired by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, Tewarie warned it could open the door to political interference, patronage and corruption.
He warned the same thing could happen with a similar committee proposed for agriculture. “This is madness. This government is going loco,” Tewarie said.
He also claimed Government had “put the country in a box” where the exchange rate is concerned. Tewarie claimed in such a scenario, “devaluation becomes an option you cannot avoid.”