These past couple of weeks illustrated that ministers in Trinidad and Tobago believe that it is all well and good to spend money that the Finance Minister claims that we do not have all the while telling the citizens that we must band our bellies for the greater good of the nation. So it’s do as I say, but not as I do.
First up, we have our very own Minister of Tourism, who racked up a whopping $59,000 telephone bill during her visit to the Bahamas. It was alleged that she claimed ignorance with regard to the roaming charges.
The Express newspapers reported that she said that she found the bill to be “abnormally high”. Wow, you think! And then, to add insult to injury, the Prime Minister allegedly defends her so-called ignorance of the price of data roaming by citing that recently one of his colleagues told him to switch off his data when they were about to travel overseas on some official business.
This. Is. Nonsense.
I find it very hard to believe that neither of them knew about roaming charges because I am positively sure that this is not the first time that they have ever travelled outside of Trinidad and Tobago. Most, if not all frequent travellers know about the cost of roaming. So while Ms Cudjoe needed “to be accessible”, racking up a phone bill of $59,000 is absolutely unacceptable.
Next up, comes the Sports Minister Mr Darryl Smith, who decided that he needed to splurge $92,000 on a two, three or four day trip to our beautiful sister isle. Yes, $92,000. How could two ministers spend all that money in just a few days for their business trips? Simple, they’re not spending their money!
This blatant wastage of our taxpayers dollars has to stop. Frankly, these ministers should PAY back these bills. After all, don’t they get allowances and subsistence in addition to their salary? Not to mention that some of them generate income from their private practices. So while many citizens of this country do not even get a decent salary or have no source of income at all, money is no problem for these people.
Each minister needs to be accountable and held accountable. Accept responsibility and then endeavour never to do it again or they should be replaced.
If this sort of behaviour continues, citizens of Trinidad and Tobago need to send a message to ALL of the politicians out there for elections and NOT vote for anyone. Not voting is also your democratic right because you would be saying that you have no faith in any of these people to lead this country. Then maybe they and anyone else aspiring to political life would think twice about abusing the power that was handed to them by the masses who must always be at their whims and mercies, while they continue to live la vida loca.