Progressive Democratic Patriots political leader Watson Duke wants the Farley Augustine-led THA to use its budget allocation to ease the burdens of the less fortunate in society.
In the second instalment of his Monday Mandate series, Duke said he was disappointed with the government's $2.521 allocation to the THA. He said the PDP had requested close to $4 billion in its budget in June but only received $2.521 from central government.
"I am calling on the Chief Secretary, Farley Augustin,e to take that $2.5 billion budget and do a budget with it. Let Tobagonians know how that budget would be spent and don't let it be a hit or miss. Let Tobago understand how that money will be carefully managed," he said in a video on his Facebook page.
Duke suggested the $300 million the THA received for its development programme should not be used to build walls, bridges and drains but to "help alleviate the distress poor people are now facing."
He predicted the increase in fuel prices and inter-island travel will eventually lead to increased transport costs as well as increases in goods and services, mortgages and rent.
"We must seek to stabilise the lives of Tobagonians," he said.
Duke also urged the Prime Minister to do the same.
"Take the development budget, billions of dollars and use it to reduce the hard pressure that poor people are due to face at the pumps, are due to face at the inter-island travel, are due to face at the grocery, mortgages and their rent We must make the lives of our people easier and better." Duke slammed the government for offering public-sector workers four per cent.
"It is something that should go in the Guinness Book of Records. Utter rubbish. Utter madness." He said the government must ensure poor people could live.