Mr Speaker, before I begin I want to acknowledge an immense debt of gratitude to the Prime Minister whose astute leadership has caused the PP to not only win not one damn seat in the Tobago House of Assembly elections but also to lose the Chaguanas West by-election in the UNC heartland to the more astute Jack Warner by a big, big margin. By doing this she distinguishes our public affairs and has created the conditions for higher levels of confidence in our economy and society. Ent?
THINGS ARE GROWING AS WE SPEAK
Our economy is growing. Inflation is down. We have lowered food prices, a matter which was impacted this year by the removal of the VAT on food such as red beans in cans – a Sunday staple in homes with food, and canned mini chicken hotdogs which, I am told, might assist in causing cancer due to its high nitrate content. But not to worry as we are once again promising to build an oncology (cancer treatment) centre but more on that oldie but goodie later. I just want to add that the economy is growing along with the bank accounts of the select few.
Mr. Speaker, the issue of Government’s procurement mechanism has been outstanding for too long. This, as you can well imagine, is a mechanism which will make the awarding of favours to party shareholder and the chosen few a bit more difficult. Needless to say, this will not go down well with the up and coming briber and bribees but I am sure there will be the customary loopholes cleverly fitted into the act thus continuing to make politics an attractive field for the scum at heart.
LAND AND BUILDING TAX IN YOUR…
Mr. Speaker, if there was one phrase which one can be called misguided it will be that ominous and overused phrase “axe the tax.” Off the record I want to say that we are an under-taxed nation and are too damn happy, yes. Still off the record, I want to commend the former PM for understanding the concept that one can never truly own something physical and it is at the states pleasure one is allowed to say so. Now back to the budget. All I want to add to this topic is that we, your most loved and adored Government, will ensure your property is fully taxed despite promises of my predecessor. This tax will be designed so that you will wish you had opted to squat instead of purchase. First, the tax will be gentle and the same as you left it then it will rise to a point where instead of planning your little vacation to Mayaro, Tobago or Florida you will be planning to pay tax and more tax. This measure will ensure that there is enough money to maintain and exceed the current levels of skulduggery in government. Remember, what the well-off always says to the poor – Happiness is a state of mind not the pocket.
HIGH QUALITY JOBS
Mr. Speaker, do you know what a high quality job is? Well, Speaker of the House might be one even if you are not your own boss. However, in my books, a high quality job is one where one is paid quite a few million on leaving a top post at a financial institution only to pick up the one as Minister of Finance, another high quality job. But since most in this country will never be able to be so blessed, we have decided to use the term high quality jobs to define jobs that are not CEPEP. Any way, we created a few of these high quality jobs and if you have one of those then good luck with it. Wasn’t RBC retrenching people and creating high quality jobs? It’s all about the spin. I kid you not.
GASOLINE VEHICLES CONVERSION TO CNG
Mr. Speaker, this topic is now a long-standing joke and a good one at that. However, I think this latest attempt will be fruitful as billions of tax payers’ dollars are being spent on new company which will attract the right financial talent. Need I say more?
CRIME DOES PAY WELL
The problems witnessed in the recent upsurge in crime are created by those who have made deliberate life decisions to make a decent living by becoming high quality criminals. Crime, in this land of equal opportunity, is really a risk-free endeavor, unlike other activities like driving PH taxis or walking down the street. Fortunately for citizens we,on both sides of this house, know how profitable this life of crime can be and so as to reduce unemployment to lower levels than the current stated and boasted about low level, the government may offer potential criminals a greater incentive to branch out into other similar activities like politics. We intend to open up the field of crime to any citizen who show a passion for the art form of politics.
Mr. Speaker, the Government has continued to roll out its own CCTV network so as to appear as if it’s doing something to make our streets safer. What I can’t say in this speech is if this initiative is working, if the cameras are monitored by high quality people or even if they are connected to something. Crime is a profitable field as any contractor who was awarded contracts from the government knows. We will continue to make crime our top priority and crime contractors can rest assured their bread will continue to be generously buttered by the government using taxpayers’ dollars.
HOUSING FOR THE CHOSEN
This one is once again a no-brainer and that is why there is always a big in-fight as to who will get to be the Minister. But I digress needlessly. Mr. Speaker, this government is always concerned about votes and houses and the two go hand in hand. What I do want to say however is that this government will pay for most of your higher education but will not even lift a finger to ensure you, the middle income professional, can afford a house. To hell with those who expect the government to care about these couple thousand votes. Besides, there are big big people who will rent you a home in a crime hotspot for anywhere between $5000 to $8000 a month. That is the policy in a conch shell.
HEALTH AND DEATH
Mr. Speaker, most of us here will be healthier if we were to lose a few pounds, drink a four or five fewer, smoked a couple packs less and walk a little more. Our health policy should be revolving around providing crime-free green spaces for jogging, walking, and cycling instead of mouthing that nice politically sounding phrase – building new hospitals. But, in order to get votes we must give the people both their poison and their antidote. So, we aim to build more hospitals so that more citizens can get sick and seek medical attention at the same time. We will put aside plenty money for this initiative.
EDUCATION AND DANCING
In a nutshell, Mr. Speaker, the major education imitative of this Government can be summarized in one word, laptops. And not just laptops but laptops handed out by our astute leader so as to try to get votes. Mr. Speaker, though laptops are popular in the schools I am led to understand lap dances are nearly as popular these days.
TOURISM IN A FEW WORDS
Mr. Speaker, Trinidad and Tobago is a nice place and despite the street crime, traffic and floods that creep up on you like a thief in the night, we do expect tourist to flock to this country. Don’t ask me why cause I don’t know.
Mr. Speaker, we propose to plant more in Trinidad and Guyana thus making no one happy. However, Mr. Speaker, once we find a way to make the select few party shareholders rich, we will allocate more funds to this so-called critical sector.
Mr. Speaker, who elected Kublalsingh?
Mr. Speaker, there should be much more to say but the same things are said every budget and like nearly all budgets of the past, these words are empty. I can’t stress how grateful I am to present this statement of wishes. Thank you and see you soon.