Last update: 11-Dec-2013 6:16 am
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Rowley: No plans to tackle crime
Apart from offering nothing new, yesterday’s $61.3 billion 2013/2014 budget by the People’s Partnership Government also has failed to establish substantial plans to tackle crime and demonstrated a failure to reconnect with communities in east Port-of-Spain. So said Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley during a news conference yesterday after Finance Minister Larry Howai delivered his budget presentation. Saying the PP Government had its birth in contradiction, Rowley added: “For a party that has never supported or has established no policy on housing construction, this government is now listing as its major achievement housing distribution and is now beating its chest about allocation over housing construction.”
However, he said, there had been thousands of houses which have been under construction for “quite some time” or which have been completed and which have not been distributed. Given that scenario, Rowley said, the Government had made allocations for further construction which he found “quite disturbing.” Continued violent crime and last week’s protest by Beetham Gardens residents over the killing of Christopher Greaves reflected an urgent need for the Government to reconnect to east Port-of-Spain residents, Rowley added. Rowley said Government had not heeded the Opposition ten-point urban renewal plan submitted during the crime talks.
He said: “What I found quite disturbing is that given the problem that we have just tried to address in east Port-of-Spain, where one of the main solutions that was advanced to the Government by the Opposition is the whole question and the need to reconnect with an urban renewal programme that would bring about the prospects of job creation and the reduction of strife and tension in east Port-of-Spain. “The Government has made no provision for that housing programme but in fact has made provision for other housing programmes for which there is basically no request and no demand other than the natural demand in the country.” Knocking Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar for failing to deliver on her promise of jobs to east Port-of-Spain residents Rowley added there could be no proper job creation in that area without an urban renewal programme. “So that is not news. The Government has consistently increased the size of the national budget by maintaining or increasing its expenditures. Nothing has changed there,” he added.
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