Burris to 'fight' for larger Tobago budget

Progressive Democratic Patriots political leader Watson Duke, left, and PDP Tobago West candidate Tashia Grace Burris.  -
Progressive Democratic Patriots political leader Watson Duke, left, and PDP Tobago West candidate Tashia Grace Burris. -

Tashia Grace Burris, the Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) Tobago West candidate for the upcoming general election, says the island should be receiving ten per cent of the national budget.

Addressing a rally on Sunday at the Montgomery Hard Court, Burris said if she wins the seat, the PDP would push for a significant increase in the allocation.

Burris said for too long, Tobago has had to settle for what she considers to be a paltry four per cent of the budget.

"We ever get 6.5. We ever get five per cent. Ent they always giving we four per cent?" Burris asked supporters.

"So, we going and fight for ten per cent of the national budget because they cannot keep doing us this. Twenty-four years after the fact, Tobago still have to be begging for development – begging for the right to do what we want to do for our people. This has got to stop now."

Burris, 34, said a larger allocation would help to develop the island at a faster rate.

She said if the budget is $50 billion, one billion would go toward the development of health care.

"You waiting ten hours in a hospital will be a thing of the past because Tobago will have the best medical facilities in the Caribbean."

She added everyone employed in the sector will also be made permanent.

Burris said contracts will be a thing of the past and a health scheme would be developed for citizens, "so that if anything happens to you, you are covered by adequate medical care. That is what one billion does for health care."

Turning to education, the mother of two said all schools will be equipped with the resources "to teach, mould and train your children to become the leaders of tomorrow.

"That if we don't want SEA (Secondary Entrance Assessment), a minister of education can't talk and say the country want SEA."

Burris added: "Under a PDP representation in the Parliament and a PDP THA, we will be in charge of our education system. We can design our curriculum so that students who show talent in different areas, can go to the different schools that are designed for them – sporting academies, creative academies and tech voc schools."

She said if $1 billion were to be pumped into tourism, Scarborough could be revitalised with a deep water harbour to accommodate cruise ships.

"We can become the cruise ship hub of the Caribbean. So, them 19,000 visitors they (Division of Tourism) patting themselves on the back for, what about one million visitors when the year come! There will be jobs for all of us."

Burris told supporters she does not want to be a career politician but simply wants to build Tobago as a Member of Parliament over the next five years.

"But ah have a fight down the road first. People have to go to pave the way."

PDP political leader Watson Duke has already confirmed he will be contesting the Tobago East seat, which is currently held by the People's National Movement's Ayanna Webster-Roy.


"Burris to 'fight' for larger Tobago budget"

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