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Getting spending priority right

Friday, October 6, 2017

Finance Minister Colm Imbert or Planning and Development Minister Camille Robinson-Regis owes this country an explanation over the proposed $3 million expenditure on the upgrade of the Chaguaramas Golf Course.

Indeed, having shared the burden of the economic strain on the country and across all divides, through various taxes and others measures in Monday’s budget, either of the ministers should now explain how it is justifiable to pump money into such a venture at a time when everyone is being asked to cut their cloth to suit their garment.

This newspaper certainly will not disagree with any effort to upgrade facilities which will redound to the benefit of the society, especially in the area of developing healthy lifestyle. However, we are certainly questioning why this is important now when the signal from the Government is one which suggests more cuts in spending and subsidies may lie ahead as the Government seeks to navigate the current economic downturn made worse by the lack of revenues from oil and gas.

The Chaguaramas Development Authority has already made its case for going ahead with the deal, noting it can generate foreign exchange if it is carried through with and marketed right. The sentiment seemed to be echoed by the T&T Golf Association, who no doubt had their mind set on better amenities for golfers throughout the country. We doubt, however, that any avid golfer will leave their current port of call to journey here for the nine holes currently offered in Chaguaramas.

This newspaper hopes, therefore, that the Government revisits this plan later on in the journey to recovery.

Soca Warriors start new era

It may be hard for many football fans to swallow, but Trinidad and Tobago senior football coach Dennis Lawrence will be starting a new era with his team when they battle Mexico tonight in a penultimate round Concacaf Zone 2018 World Cup qualifier in Mexico City.

This is because the team has long lost its chance of qualification for Russia and will be playing for only pride.

More importantly, however, is the fact that Lawrence, who himself may not be sure of his own future, has selected players he believes will be able to take the country forward long after the post-mortem on the current campaign has ended, if it has not already been done.

From what has so far been reported in the fallout from the team’s non-qualification for Russia, discipline and professionalism both on and off the pitch continue to be major issues affecting the team. We thus wish Lawrence and his men all the best as they at least seek to end the campaign on a positive note before seeking to start a new foundation on which to build.

Well done, officers

This newspaper joins businesswoman Arlene Albert in applauding WPC Suzette Ramoutar and PC Indar Kowlesser for again showing the human element of the Police Service. The two officers came the Albert’s assistance after her vehicle shut down in La Romaine and went beyond the call of the duty in doing so at that. Well done, officers.


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