Arouca/Maloney MP Alicia Hospedales says the People’s Partnership Government needs to account for more than $2 billion in what was described as mismanagement of finances in ministries like Sport, Health, Local Government and Education.
She also called for an investigation into the Ministry of the People and Social Development and Minister Glenn Ramadharsingh because of how $3 billion allocated to bring relief to needy citizens was actually used.
She said on Friday that citizens should refrain from being seduced by the Independent Liberal Party (ILP) and its interim political leader, Jack Warner, since it was “UNC (United National Congress) disguised in a green cloak”.
Hospedales made these comments during her budget debate presentation in the Parliament Chamber at Tower D, International Waterfront Centre, Port of Spain.
But Hospedales said contrary to Government’s claims about “shielding” the economy, the Auditor General had to contend with “unrepresented” cheques and cheques which were unavailable for verification.
Hospedales said: “The Ministry of the People is a total illusion. The work it is doing could be done by the other ministries. It is nothing but a co-ordination for a direct campaign effect and a walkabout. An Edinburgh councillor moved to the ILP. And
there were walkabouts in his area. The State’s resources should not be used to facilitate outreach activities. They are using bullying tactics to force service departments, senior directors and officials to go on these walkabouts.”
Hospedales claimed there was massive corruption involving a contract to upgrade the Piparo Empowerment Centre, which was intended for drug addicts.
She said: “A dining table made from plywood which cost $1,000 was priced at $11,000. The contractor was fully paid at the Piparo Centre but the work is still incomplete on the kitchen and other parts of the facility. The partnership with Vision on Mission, the contractors were paid. But the scope of work varied. The money paid did not match with the work the contractors would have done.”
Contacted yesterday, Ramadharsingh said: “The ($3.4 billion) was correct. I was out in Bangladesh and in Diego Martin dealing with the flooding. I did not hear everything she was saying. But I will deal with it tomorrow. A lot of hollow and political comments which we expected in the budget debate.
“I will like her to counter what was done under their stewardship and rollout of the wide array of programmes that have worked and touched the lives of so many people. I find it is difficult to recall programmes they had to deal with the socially displaced, the differently abled.”