Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) leader Watson Duke is promising $10 million for each Tobago constituency if the party wins the December 6 election.
He also waded into the People’s National Movement, accusing them of “giving away Tobago land” during the party’s virtual meeting on Wednesday night.
Duke promised that if they get into office, over the next four years of PDP governance, each constituency would receive $40 million.
The money, he said, would come from the Development Budget.
“If you take that from the Development Budget you might end up with $100 million on your hand. But that is what we are here for, to fight for more money,” he said.
He said if the PNM loses this election, they would then spend a lot more money in Tobago to win back the electorate.
“Without Tobago there ain’t no PNM in Trinidad,” Duke said.
Duke also doubled down on his previous promise to pay each Tobago House of Assembly worker a bonus before Christmas.
Current THA Chief Secretary Ancil Dennis had questioned where an estimated $20 million to pay up on such a promise would come from.
But Duke noted that some $21 million was spent on the Prime Minister’s residence, which was nothing more than a “vanity project of humungous proportion.”
“If we took that same money to build that house and we put it in workers’ pockets who have been slaving to build this country, slaving to mind their children, slaving with bills and you weigh it against one house, one man as against 20,000 homes. Which is better? Make that judgement,” Duke said.
Duke also accused the Government of “giving away” Tobago lands.
Duke said that back in 2011, former THA head Orville London had boasted that it was the largest landowner in the Caribbean.
“He boasted he owned 1,200 acres of land, estates they had bought,” Duke said.
He said that acreage comprised 34 estates that the THA owned and between 2001 and 2011, the THA bought eight additional estates for $1 billion.
“We are losing our lands,” he said.
He warned that the Government had given away 28 acres in Rockly Bay and 12 acres at the Cove Estate for the planting of strawberries.
“Where in Tobago they grow strawberries? Some kind of experimental something,” he said.
He said the PNM-led THA delivered only 11 lots for houses a year, yet PNM Tobago council leader Tracy Davidson-Celestine was promising 2,000 houses in four years.
“I want to say to Tracy, stay out of those business. Find we zip-line and leave we land issue to serious, forward-thinking Tobagonians,” he said.
Duke asked how Davidson-Celestine planned on delivering that many houses and asked if her “friends in Trinidad” were going to help.
He said the PDP housing plan did not need external help but would look at resources from within the community.
“The resources stay right here,” Duke said.
Duke claimed the PNM wanted to keep Tobagonians poor so they could “throw any food card at yuh.”
He once again promised to ease the financial burden placed on workers.
“Tobago is on its way home,” he said.