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Opposition Senator Wade Mark

Gail Alexander

The crisis concerning the Police Service Commission and other high levels will affect T&T’s investment climate since foreign investors won’t be attracted if they lack confidence in T&T’s institutions or think there’s a political conspiracy to appoint a “puppet” Commissioner of Police.

That was the view of UNC Senator Wade Mark, delivering his Budget 2022 statement in the Senate yesterday.

Mark dismissed the Budget as a “weaponised” mechanism meant to inflict maximum injury on the people “while (PNM) simultaneously enriches themselves, their family, and their financiers.”

He added, “In this budget debate, our country is enduring a constitutional calamity that will have untold rippling effects throughout every sector of our society, including our economy, there is no greater single impediment to economic prosperity than the erosion of the rule of law. And there’s been no greater threat to the rule of law than this government.”

“This country’s chief lawmaker, whose incompetence is the sole cause for this calamity which has befallen T&T could appreciate the gravity and seriousness of his hubris.“

“There is no greater risk to economic prosperity than the erosion of the rule of law.”

Mark said T&T’s economy depends heavily on foreign direct investment. “Which foreign investor wants to inject capital into a country that can’t even select a commissioner of police? In other places companies are taking persons to the edge of the Earth’s atmosphere, meanwhile, in T&T, a merit list from the Police Service Commission can’t even travel from the President’s house to the Parliament.”

“Which foreign investor wants to invest money in a country where the chief lawmaker cannot draft the simplest of documents, much less being able to draft the complex financial and regulatory framework that foreign investors require to ensure protection on investment?“

Mark added, “Which foreign investor wants to invest in a country where that same incompetent law drafter uses Parliament to make untrue accusations against a sitting opposition leader and then is forced to promptly apologize?”

“We have no Commissioner of Police, no Police Service Commission, an Attorney General’s office is without competent leadership, we have an unknown public official that is a puppet master manipulating constitutional processes- and we have a President who I will not mention because the standing orders do not permit me to impeach that officer.’’

Mark added, “Our economic problems don’t exist in isolation. If investors and citizens have no confidence in our institutions, then they will have no confidence in our economy.“

“If investors think there’s a political conspiracy to appoint a puppet CoP commissioner then they will not invest for fear of political prosecution. If investors aren’t convinced this Government has the political strength and will to remove the obvious source of incompetence from their ranks, they will not invest.”

Mark said Government should introduce a tax on the Attorney General,

“For every time he loses a case. We wouldn’t have to worry about property tax after that. With that money we could buy everybody in the country a Porsche.”

Mark called for a forensic audit of the FCB/ Barita Investments issue and for the FCB CEO and Board to resign over this “Ponzi scheme”.