“We deserve better than this.”
So says Minority Councillor Dr Faith BYisrael at the 41st plenary sitting of the THA at the Assembly legislature on Jerningham Street, Scarborough on Monday.
Responding to the reallocation of figures for fiscal 2021 presented by Deputy Chief Secretary and Secretary of Finance and the Economy Joel Jack, BYisrael said “it seems like every year we play this game.”
She said: “This honourable House goes through the process of asking for a whole bit of money, we end up with half of what we ask for and then we come back to the house asking us to, in essence, support the plans and the policies of the Executive Council.
"Then we kind of go through this charade that we kind of insist on going through again today when in fact, it would make more practical sense to really just come back to the people of Tobago and say in real life, real practical dollars and cents priorities and so on that in this division, we asked for $10, we expected to do these five things, because we only got $6 we will only now focus on these three things because these are the priorities that we can pay for.”
She noted that this has been a request by the Minority Council and ordinary Tobagonians.
“This is actually what the people of Tobago would like us to do because it is what actually makes sense. Unfortunately, I have gotten accustomed to the list of things that we claim to be proud of and we spend six, seven, eight, nine, ten hours and the people of Tobago still don’t know what the priorities are and where we are going,” she said adding that it seems as though the THA is accustomed to ignoring good governance practices.
She said the THA remains a prisoner repeating what has been done for the last 20 years.
“That is a little bit disturbing.”
BYisrael said the people of Tobago are equally frustrated with promises that have been made and never materialised.
“You have an opportunity coming up to redefine the kind of governance that takes place on this island. We have an opportunity to finally get representation that you can trust, and we are asking the people of Tobago to give us, the Progressive Democratic Patriots, an opportunity to show you what good governance looks like, to show you what good representation looks like because each and every one of us deserves better than what we’ve been getting,” she said.
She said the youth development needs to be the cornerstone of any developmental plan.
“Given the recent announcement about the reduction in GATE funding, it is important that the House shows that alternative options can be provided,” she said.