Looking at the superficial side of the budget one may be tempted to be persuaded by its “goodies”, but to the discerning, the question to ask is where are the measures that point to real growth and development in human and economic terms. Which is why there is merit in the argument that the budget is more political than developmental, offering palliatives as a cover-up to real issues, the solution to which is the lifeblood of this nation going forward.

For how else can one look at the minuscule measures aimed at lower-level workers and other handouts here and there for pensioners and the disabled et al?

These are certainly welcome to this group, but is this the objective, to appeal to the material instincts of the vulnerable, so that they gleefully accept what comes their way without question, concluding in their minds that this is indeed a “good budget” for which the Government should be rewarded with their vote?

And even for the not-so-simple minded, the net effect is the same, for with no measures significantly jeopardising business and corporate interests et al, the likely reaction from this group is that it is indeed a budget that can be accepted with little question.


Public confidence in any government is not helped when the family of a senior government minister is the beneficiary of State contacts. In the case of Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi, contracts to his relatives run to over $20 million a year for the rental of property, according to an exclusive Sunday Express report. Put in context, this works out to 8.5 per cent of the State’s annual bill for the rental of private property.

I wish to thank the endorsers of the statement on the “Education of Children of African Origin” articles that appeared in this paper recently. The statement rightly raised several issues of inequality in access to quality education in T&T, by black children (among others).

Every employee in Trinidad and Tobago, regardless of if they work in the public or private sector, is entitled by law to certain rights.

I have been working with the United Nations on Violence against the Women/Gender-Based Violence for the past ten years in Africa, the Arab world, and Eastern Europe. And in Trinidad and Tobago we have had one of those recent uproars over the killing of women and the search for causes. And the primary cause stares us in the face.

The state of existence as a tribalist is when one is living with a distinctive characteristic so as to be identified with a particular identifiable distinctive group. This status quo surfaces to facilitate the tribal member who is excessively loyal to his own group. 

LISTENING to President Paula-Mae Weekes’s address on the reopening of the Red House, even the most sceptical among us could not help but be impressed, indeed be moved, by her departure on the role she was expected to play and the sentiments she was expected to express as head of officialdom, to be a spokesperson for the people on the ground pointing to their “hurt” and the inability of the leadership to address this hurt.