Our annual budget appears to be a magic trick every year. Now you see it, now you don’t! Where do all those billions go?

We certainly are not a country that “looks” like we spend billions a year! Our roads are just short of becoming tracks, our healthcare makes the average citizen cringe, our education system is stuck in time, our national security cannot solve this epidemic of crime we are facing and so on.

The budget sounds nice on paper but the real story behind these budgets is the money appears to be like Monopoly money. Fake! Ministries cannot pay their suppliers and employees on time, sometimes for months at a time. So what is the purpose of this budget when in fact the money is not dispersed or available?

Six billion here, five billion there, when in reality these ministries are not seeing this money immediately or not in time to execute their jobs and projects! Why in this country does the concept of “backpay” exist? Pay de people! Do you think that could ever happen in a first world country!


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.