|Political Leader of PNM Tobago|
Ashworth Jacks' infamous description of THA's fiscal allocation over the 12 years of administration has been described as misleading by the Tobago Political Leader of the PNM, Orville London. The political leader is now calling on TOP and the PP members to desist from misleading the public of Tobago on the amount received by the assembly over the 12 years. ." He further noted that all one has to do is add the allocations for every fiscal year for the past twelve years and the amount received would be known."All you got to do is to add all the monies that were given to the THA between fiscal 2002 and fiscal 2012, add it up and you come up with a figure and the figure is not $20b, in fact they gone to $22b He said. He further stated that the way the TOP is proclaiming this false figure is insulting to every Tobagonians intelligence.
London said this misleading information has been spoken of by the TOP and PP members on their platform and in advertisements for the January 21 election campaign. He then stated that the figure the Assembly received up to fiscal 2012 was just $16.39 Billion. and the first quarter receipt for fiscal 2013 brought it up to a little less than 17 billion, which is why they have been speaking of $17 billion on their platform.
London continued to break down the figures stating that of the $16.39B which the Assembly received up to the end of fiscal 2012, $13.54b was for recurrent expenditure and only $2.58b was in fact development funds. "In other words the THA would have received an average of $240m per year for development," he added.
London said: "When you take 12 years and accumulate it in that kind of manner the numbers sound big but when you break the numbers down one would understand the circumstances under which we operated and the challenges which we had to face because basically we would have averaged for development, this is, all the major and not so major development projects in Tobago from the princely sum of $240m."
London then choose to educate the people of Tobago that of the $16B or $17b, $8.8b was spent in wages, salaries and benefits to Assembly employees over the years and that was an indication of the contribution the Assembly had made to the quality of life of the people of Tobago.