More questions have been raised by the Opposition concerning the Salary Relief Grant, as they contend that the Government has not provided full details concerning the distribution of the grant.
Just one day after Minister of Finance Colm Imbert, and Minister in Ministry of Finance Allyson West addressed several Opposition concerns at a news conference, Barataria/San Juan MP Saddam Hosein and Oropouche West MP Davendranath Tancoo once again revisited the matters.
“It is easier to get a US Visa than to get a Salary Relief Grant,” said Hosein during the press conference, as he once again challenged the numbers put forward by the Finance Minister.
Tancoo went one step further, questioning if grants were withheld based on which constituencies people lived in.
“He tried to create the impression that constituency breakdown or geographical breakdown was impossible. I indicated that at that point in time because the addresses, the requirement for an address was actually a column or a row on the application form,” said Tancoo.
Hosein took the suggestion a bit further, when asked by members of the media if such a position could be proven.
“Definitely we would need answers on that…we would be able to uncover whether the government has been using state resources for purposes of campaigning in an election, and then we would be getting into a very serious situation there. Where state resources are being used to prop up one particular party for an advantage in an election,” said Hosein.
“When you look at the numbers and the figures and you see where the grants were allocated you would see whether or not there was any influential, any resources placed in influential parts of the country to sway where the voters would be.”
The Opposition MPs also continued to raised questions about the rental and decision to outfit Three Alexandra Place regarding Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi’s connection to the property, as well as the recusals of Minister of National Security Stuart Young due to Cabinet discussions involving NCB Global Finance.
Young’s brother Angus Young is an executive at the company.
On Thursday, Minister Imbert denied Young had any case to answer concerning the matter, and said that NCB Financial only was successful in about four per cent of bids involving government projects.