UNC deputy leader David Lee replied to the Prime Minister’s call for him to go to church by accusing Dr Rowley of trying to belittle the Opposition when it raised valid concerns about possible corruption in the National Lotteries Control Board (NLCB.)
After an Opposition briefing on Sunday over the NLCB, the PM had told the Opposition instead to attend church. The MP insisted he had.
Lee said it was quite unfortunate the PM has trivialised the Opposition's claims of corruption at the NLCB by calling for him to go to church, but not adequately addressing these serious claims relevant to taxpayers.
Saying he attended mass at 7 am on Sunday before joining Opposition colleagues to demand accountability and transparency from the Government, he urged the PM to stop trying to sweep issues of mismanagement and incompetence under the carpet, as the matters around NLCB involve millions of taxpayers’ dollars, and citizens deserve answers.
“As a nation we are seeing yet another instance where the Prime Minister has looked to either distract, shrug off or ignore allegations of taxpayers’ money being wasted or misappropriated.
“This clearly demonstrates a government that has not only lost its way but may even have been responsible for these acts. Therefore these responses are a way to hide their incompetent actions.”
This may be the case with NLCB, he said, where someone in the Ministry of Finance or AG's office "dropped the ball" regarding proclamation of the winnings tax.
The NLCB imposed the tax for several sayd before discovering that the new law had not been proclaimed.
“It is quite abhorrent and distasteful," Lee added, "that in a democracy which is supposed to uphold the principles of free speech, each time the Opposition raises issues that are pertinent to our nation's economic and social framework or public infrastructure, the Government tries to be condescending towards us.
“They adopt the approach of ridicule and insult in an effort to force the Opposition into submission.”
Lee vowed to be undeterred in its duty to the people of TT, and again called on the Government to come clean.
“The Minister of Finance (Colm Imbert) needs to tell the population why was this tax illegally implemented without proper procedure and further investigate the improper procurement procedures at the NLCB.”