OPPOSITION Leader Dr Keith Rowley said the People's Partnership Government had degraded the country's ethical standards, principles and integrity, and that he saw yesterday's debate by the Congress of the People on whether or not Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar should dismiss National Security Minister Jack Warner as a "smoke screen".
Of the motion brought by COP vice-chairman Vernon De Lima, Rowley said he had no expectations.
"There is a plummeting of standards in Trinidad and Tobago led by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago. I have no expectation that ethical standards will prevail. That is just a smoke screen. It appears the majority of people in this country are being led to believe that ethical standards and conduct do not matter. It is what you could get. This is the general way of life that they think we should accept."
Rowley was the feature speaker at the San Fernando West constituency conference of the People's National Movement at San Fernando last evening.
Rowley read to the audience a letter of award from the Housing Development Corporation, dated August 24, for a $5 million contract for the rehabilitation of a car park at Maloney Gardens.
"It wasn't something that went out for tender. Somebody sent a proposal to the HDC and it accepted the proposal for a car park at Maloney Gardens for $5 million," he said.
Rowley said the directors of the company took up their position on July 20 and one of the directors is a university student and the other one is an executive assistant from an auto rental company.
Of the upcoming budget presentation, the Opposition Leader said that although the last two budgets brought by the Government were the largest ever in Trinidad and Tobago, "you see no effect of the expenditure. So now we are being told that there is going to be an austerity budget...so we have to expect less".
"All over the country they are spending money. There is just leakage of the system, but you are not seeing any development in the country."
Rowley said the population had "penalised us (the PNM) for not passing the grade of high standards of accountability, transparency, and perception, and crime.
"However, today, the crime situation is worse than it was in 2010. Before we measured murders by the day, now we measure it by the hour," he said.