Sunday, September 27, 2009

How to make a Budget

How to make a Budget
Kevin Baldeosingh
Trinidad Express

Friday, September 11th 2009

Over the past week, all serious commentators have analysed the Budget, but now I am going to do so. In order to understand the 2009-2010 Budget, and all Budgets for the past eight years, you have to understand the principles, perspectives, and PNMs that inform the various measures. Without this, you may fall into the trap of looking for economic ideas, policy measures, or common sense.

For example, given the world-wide slump and the drop in government revenues, you might have expected a Budget which emphasised austerity and which tried to avoid a deficit that may well worsen the country's fiscal situation in the near future. But, if that's what you were thinking, you are clearly unaware of the first rule of Budget-making in Trinidad and Tobago, which is:

If You Doh Spend, Yuh Cyar Tief

This is why in the second paragraph of the Budget, Finance Minister Karen Nunez-Tesheira read, "My profound appreciation is also extended to the Honourable Prime Minister and my Cabinet colleagues who share with me collective responsibility for the integrity of this Budget." This, you would recall, was the same reasoning Nunez-Tesheira used to claim there was no conflict of interest in her overseeing the bailout of CL Financial while she was a shareholder in CL Financial. However, since this Cabinet is headed by a Prime Minister who falsely alleged that $10 million were missing from the Cleaver Heights project, who has had four court decisions go against him in six years, and who needs $3 million drapes, Nunez-Tesheira's statement is not persuasive. But she feels free to make such absurd assertions because of Rule#2:

Those Who Fail To Learn From The Past Are Condemned To Vote PNM

Everybody with sense, and even some radio talkshow hosts, warned the Manning administration that it was repeating the policy mistakes of the first energy boom of 1973. Back then, the oil dollars were also wasted on grandiose projects rather than sustainable development and inflation reached double digits. And, now that the second boom is bust, the same strategy which failed in 1983 is being pursued again. When the bottom dropped out of the oil barrel in 1982, the Government did not reduce expenditure. Instead, it increased its wage bill by $1.4 billion. By 1983, unemployment began creeping upward, by 1986 the Treasury was pretty much emptied, in 1988 the NAR administration had to go to the IMF, and by 1989 unemployment was 22 per cent. Which brings us to Rule#3:

You Can Fool All People Some Of The Time, And PNM Supporters All Of The Time

"As we have clearly illustrated, our current economic performance is creditable by any standard," Nunez-Tesheira told T&T last Monday. Well, apparently not by the standards of the Global Competitiveness Report. Although T&T's ranking in 2009 improved for the first time in five years to 86th out of 133 countries, it seems the Government's standards for measuring economic performance are not the Report's, which cites inefficient bureaucracy, corruption, and crime as undermining business in this country. The Report also ranks us 122nd in the prevalence of organised crime. Which reveals Rule#4:

Budgets Are For PNM-Till-Ah-Deads, Even When They Deading "We will not waiver from our zero-tolerance posture towards criminal activity," read Nunez-Tesheira, with nary a blush. "From the traffic violator to the kidnapper, from the white-collar criminal to the drug trafficker, the message to the criminals is simple: you will be found and brought to justice and you will feel the full brunt of the law. The Government will act to eliminate criminal activity at all levels, especially gang related activity."

Yet the Unemployment Relief Programme has still been allocated $429 million, which should fund a good bit of gang-related activity. Last year, the murder rate among URP workers alone was 50 per 100,000 (compared to a national rate of 40 per 100,000). The Government has spent billions more dollars on blimps, crime plans, boats, radar, helicopters, even as murders reached 540 last year and are already past 350 with four months still left in 2009. So why would a Government which claims to be serious about crime refuse to revamp the URP? Because of the final rule of Budget making:

Do So Doh Like So

"Our vision is for a nation where there is respect for the rule of law and human rights and the promotion of the principles of democracy," Nunez-Tesheira read in the conclusion to the Budget, while all around the country even PNMs snickered. After all, her dear leader has spent the past fiscal year defending Calder Hart, shafting the Draft Gender Policy, invading a radio station, and giving public lectures to explain why he should be Executive President, Benevolent Dictator, and Cutest Christian in the Caribbean.

One of the best commentaries of the 2010 budget so far.

Bravo Mr. Baldeosingh! Give this man a standing ovation.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Sharma asks: Is the PNM against East Indians?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

15 murdered in four days

SINCE Saturday some 15 people have been murdered in this country, according to statistics.

The murder toll for this year now stands at 380 with more than 100 days left until the end of the year. The murder rate for this same period last year was 379.

The year 2008 was the bloodiest year in this country's history with some 550 murders being recorded, according to statistics.

And adding to this bloody trend yesterday was the fatal shooting of four men in separate incidents.

In the first incident Clint John, 28, from Claxton Bay was fatally shot sometime around 8.30 p.m on Monday at 19th Street Beetham Gardens, police reports said.

And then some two hours later, Errol La Borde Junior, 23, was fatally shot in Petit Valley, according to police reports.

La Borde Junior, lived at Bakr Trace, Pioneer Drive, Petit Valley, his father Errol La Borde Senior said at the Forensic Science Centre, in Federation Park yesterday.

The senior La Borde could not say why anyone would want his son dead but revealed that his son was involved in an altercation on Sunday.

And just after midnight Lewis Phillip, 19, was found shot dead at Eden Trace in Laventille, police reports said.

Phillip, from Pashley Street, had a single gunshot wound to the back of his head, police said. The bullet exited under his left eye.

"Too much bloodshed in this country," Phillip's aunt, who requested anonymity, said at the Forensic Science Centre yesterday.

"It is high-class nonsense. The gangs taking over Laventille. If one group see you talking to another group they don't like they will kill you. It is frustrating, it is a whole nastiness, crime is not under control," she said.

And in the last of these four killings, Levi Mendoza, 17, was shot dead around 2.30 a.m. while sleeping in a camp at Bagatelle, police reports said.

It was the first time Mendoza slept away from his family's home, his sister La Toya said yesterday.

Mendoza decided to sleep out after a dispute over dirty dishes, relatives said.

So he opted to sleep at a camp in the area, relatives said. Mendoza died on the spot.

An unidentified man who was also at the camp at the time of the shooting was listed in critical condition at the hospital up to presstime, police said. A third occupant of the camp escaped on foot, police said.

Investigations are continuing.

Yup...we really reach...this is PNM country...Patrick....we steppin up with you!

Stepping up to the highest murder rate in the country's existence that is.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Kamal Mohammed denied National Award

Trinidad Guardian Newspaper dated 31/08/09 :

NCIC questions Kamal’s ‘rejection’
Richard Lord
Published: 31 Aug 2009
Richard Lord

President of the National Council for Indian Culture (NCIC) Deokinanan Sharma is questioning the method of selection of recipients for national awards. This, as the NCIC’s nominees for awards—former government minister Kamaluddin Mohammed and Justice of the Peace Ackbar Khan—were rejected by the National Awards Committee. Mohammed was one of two nominees for this country’s highest national award—the Order of T&T. When contacted for comment yesterday, Sharma said he was “very disappointed that a man who has done so much for this country has been rejected.”

He said Mohammed served as a councillor, a minister in several PNM governments, “and was called as Mr Caricom for his tremendous work with the regional body.” He said Mohammed was also a president of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and served those country exceedingly well. Sharma said while no one explained the reasons for rejecting a nominee, “something is very wrong about the national awards.” He said the process did not appear to be transparent and questioned whether there was “racial discrimination in the selection of awardees.” He said he did not know what a citizen had to do in this country to be rewarded with its highest award.

In response to another question, Sharma said over the years he noted the racial imbalance in the list of awardees. Secretary general of the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha, Sat Maharaj said yesterday that the awards could no longer be considered to be national, but instead it was the Patrick Manning’s awards. He said the SDMS had decided last year against any further participation in the awards. Maharaj said Mohammed deserved the country’s highest award but should not feel too disappointed by the rejection of his nomination. Mohammed, when contacted, said he had no comment to make on the matter. But a source said family members were very upset over the rejection.

Trinidad Guardian Newspaper dated 01/09/09 :

Kamal’s nephew in shock

Published: 1 Sep 2009

Jamal Mohammed, nephew of former government minister Kamaluddin Mohammed, says he is shocked and dismayed over the omission of his uncle’s name from this year’s Independence Day awards ceremony. Jamal said his uncle was formally nominated to receive the nation’s highest award—the Order of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. As far as Jamal was concerned, the nomination was properly prepared and submitted on time to the relevant committee.

Jamal added, “These national awards have been designed to recognise those citizens of our country who have dedicated their lives in the service of Trinidad and Tobago. “If ever there was someone who deserves a national award—and the highest award, too—it must be Kamaluddin Mohammed. “For over 56 years, more than half of his life, he has dedicated his time to the service of the people of Trinidad and Tobago. “By rejecting his nomination, a number of questions come to mind:

• Was his nomination received and considered by the awards committee?
• If not, why not?
• If his nomination was considered and approved, was it forwarded to the Prime Minister and Cabinet for final approval?
• If not, why not?
• If his nomination was forwarded to the Prime Minister and his Cabinet, was it considered?
• If the Prime Minister and his Cabinet received the nomination, what possible rationale could there be to refuse the nomination?
• Is it true that only friends of the Prime Minister and the PNM receive awards?
• Remember 1981? When Dr Williams died, Uncle Kamal was supposed to be appointed Prime Minister, since he was the most-qualified and experienced Member of Parliament at the time.
• Uncle Kamal was not appointed for reasons unknown to all, but understood by all. Was the same rationale that was used in 1981 re-used in 2009 to deny Uncle Kamal his national award?
• What message are we sending to our younger generation? Uncle Kamal has given his life for Trinidad and Tobago, yet his country—Trinidad and Tobago—represented by the Government, the State, Patrick Manning administration refuses to recognise his contribution.
• What else must one do to deserve a national award?

First off let me wish you Trinis out there a Happy Belated Independence. that the pleasantries are over...time to get down to some business.

Everybody wants to know why Kamal didn't get a National Award and Jamal, his nephew, is in shock. Hear what...lemme break it down for allyuh in real simple terms - RACIAL DISCRIMINATION!

Yes, you heard me, it's outright discrimination against a man of East Indian descent by the current PNM regime. Who vex loss and if yuh don't like it then take it in yuh pipe and smoke it!