Civic watchdog group, Fixin’ T&T, today slammed Stuart Young, the Minister in the Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs and the Office of the Prime Minister, for “vacuous” promises regarding campaign financing legislation.
Young vowed to present legislation before the next general election. However, Fixin’ T&T, which is headed by businessman Kirk Waithe, insisted that the PNM should put legislation in place before the upcoming local elections and suggested that: “the PNM and the UNC are two sides of the same filthy coin.”
The following is the full press statement from Fixin’ T&T:
Fixin’ T&T finds assurances attributed to Minister Stuart Young of “Campaign Finance Legislation before the next general election” to be vacuous and reminiscent of rhetoric spewed by the People’s Partnership.
The energy and vigour expended on the troublesome SSA Bill would have been better invested in plugging the holes through which the wastage from corruption and inefficiency has freely flowed for decades.
If the PNM Government were truly committed to protecting our patrimony and guarding our treasury, the ‘effective implementation’ of meaningful legislation to govern Procurement, Campaign Financing, Party Financing and Whistle Blowing would have been the top priority: job one.
If Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and Young et al are serious, campaign Finance Legislation can, should and must be ‘effectively implemented’ ahead of the local government elections due this year; but they apparently are not.
Our so called ‘leaders’, all of them, refuse to appreciate that to fix criminal activity at all levels we must first fix crime at the very top.
We very deliberately use the term ‘effective implementation’. Our politicians enjoy speaking of ‘putting legislation in place’.
Legislation to govern the accrual of points on the permits of errant drivers was passed and assented to since the year 2000. The ongoing failure to put the requisite infrastructure in place has prohibited the ‘effective implementation’ of this law.
Procurement law had been discussed, bandied about and promised for almost fifteen years before the Kamla Persad-Bissessar led Administration had it brought to our Parliament. Again, the absence of the infrastructure necessary makes ‘effective implementation’ of even the watered down version eventually passed, impossible.
Only a few days ago the infrastructure was finally put in place for the ‘effective implementation’ of laws governing speed on our nation’s roads.
FIXIN’ T&T maintains our position that the PNM and the UNC are two sides of the same filthy coin.
Our current economic situation is much more the result of the failed policies of successive administrations than it is depressed oil and gas prices.
The recent and many downgrades by various agencies all speak to that fact as well as the lack of confidence that anything will change.
In most cases it’s the same old story; jobs and appointments based on political friendship rather than merit. As such Malcolm Jones, who failed spectacularly as Petrotrin’s Chairman, can be appointed to an advisory committee on energy.
All of our socio-economic challenges are symptomatic of poor economies; crime, healthcare, education and more.
Trinidad and Tobago is a wealthy nation. We’re too rich to be so poor.