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Watson Duke

Minority Leader of the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Watson Duke says the island will get “almost nothing” in the upcoming budget.
Just 5 days before Finance Minister Colm Imbert delivers the fiscal package, Duke was on CNC3’s The Morning Brew giving his predictions and suggestions for Tobago.
He described the Government as being “penny pinchers, and misers of the nation’s treasury.”
It is in that regard Duke assessed that “We (Tobago) will expect them to get almost nothing, almost nothing and they will come back and they would say they are satisfied with the budget.”
He said what Tobago needs at this time is up to 2 bn dollars in capital expenditure.
He added that revenue generation on the island has been significantly low because of the “lame ducks” who are in charge of the THA.
He said every money earning strategy that they have tried has so far failed.
“So now he’s (Finance Secretary Joel Jack) coming with that 5bn dollar request. What does he expect? He will get nothing because his masters or his handlers in Trinidad, PNM handlers, they are not satisfied.”
Duke maintained that the people of Tobago want to see development.
“We want to see a development budget that actually develops Tobago. Every year they are giving Tobago 250 million dollars, what can that do?”
He suggested that more than that figure is used to fund one project in Trinidad.
“That is an insult,” he said.
As it relates to creating revenue, the Minority Leader said more focus should be placed on health and education as well as different aspects of agriculture.
Last budget Tobago received 4.4 per cent which amounted to 2.283 billion dollars.

Reporter: Chester Sambrano