London seeks talks with Howai over THA budget allocation
Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Chief Secretary Orville London is seeking an urgent meeting with Finance Minister Larry Howai to “discuss financing options that must now be explored” in light of the $2.4 billion allocation provided to the THA in the 2014 national budget.
A statement from the THA on Wednesday said London wrote to Howai, stating that with the recent passage of the Appropriation Bill (2014) and with no amendments made with respect to the THA allocation, he wished to “reiterate my concerns over the said allocation”.
London added: “This concern relates to several recurrent and development programme issues, but particularly to the financing of our major ongoing capital projects.”
He said the financing options were necessary to ensure major projects in Tobago were not stalled during the fiscal year, for lack of appropriate funding.
“Indeed, a failure to address this matter can have quite deleterious consequences for the performance of the Tobago economy in the coming months,” he said.
London told the weekly post-Executive Council media briefing on Wednesday that Howai has always treated the assembly with respect, and he was hoping the meeting would be held before October 24, when the allocation will be discussed at the plenary sitting of the assembly.
The assembly had requested an allocation of $4.95 billion for the year.