The Rowley administration has found itself between a rock and a hard place because of the difficulty of establishing truthfulness surrounding the March meeting with the Venezuelan Vice President - and because of controversy concerning the final destination of fuel sold by Paria Trading Company to Aruba.
So said UNC MP Bhoe Tewarie in Parliament yesterday. He was piloting a motion calling for Government to favourably consider the Opposition Leader’s proposals for an Economic Master Plan and facilitate genuine bipartisan collaboration, towards a national recovery policy.
Since filing the motion on May 9th, Tewarie said events have overtaken TT, “Robert Le Hunte is no longer Public Utilities Minister and no longer Vice-Chair of the Road Map Committee.
“The controversial visit of Venezuelan Vice president Delcy Rodriguez, and her entourage and the equally controversial sale of fuel by Paria Ltd, which have become matters of international speculation and controversy, which have led to disputed statements by the Prime Minister and Minister of National Security which seem to border on self-incrimination. They have made this government weak at the knees.”
Tewarie said given because of upcoming elections, the Road Map Committee document’s credibility as a non-partisan, stakeholder guided document of national consensus “has been severely undermined and can be hotly contested."
“So Government by its own reckless actions has served to undermine any good intentions it may have had. It has rendered any proposal for a recovery plan, suspect,” he said adding recovery cannot and will not happen.
“The fact is that, where we find ourselves today makes it very difficult for the government to exercise any moral authority whatsoever in anything. It makes it very difficult for them to summon any credibility, for them to elicit any receptivity from the population or to engender any trust from the vast majority of citizens.”
“On September 7th 2020, the Keith Rowley government will have had five years in office- they have been dread years. Eighteen consecutive quarters of economic decline up to December 2019. Four and a half years of recession yielding a depression.“
”Business knew it. The middle class felt it. The poor and the vulnerable lived it and tried to survive it.....The pre-COVID normal was horrible and undesirable. Then came COVID 19. And every vulnerability was suddenly exposed. The prospects for TT are not good going forward under this government.“
Tewarie said Government gives much information on the amount of relief money being spent, ”But we hardly get real numbers about actual people reached and benefitting from these grants. We don’t know the reach or impact but we have a reason to believe it’s not good.“
”Some cards for salary relief didn’t work at the ATMs. Some people who had food cards in couldn’t have their payment processed at the grocery."