An independent senator has chided the Government for not engaging in public consultations without presenting the revised fiscal package.
Senator Stephen Creese has also warned the Government to be wary of adopting an attitude of arrogance, autocracy and “we large and in charge.”
Creese, a former Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government, said there was sufficient time to engage in dialogue with the population before introducing the mid-year budget review.
He stressed that consultations were particularly important in light of the stringent measures being introduced.
“Consultation would have engaged the people in meaningful debate,” he stated.
He said the ruling PNM should have long developed policies on several national matters, such as State ownership of enterprises.
The senator argued that consultations would also serve to bridge and unite the nation, which, he said, is fractured along ethnic lines.
“Process is important,” he added.
“People must see a mechanism that allows for meaningful participation.”
He said there is “an emerging class that depends on the party in power.”
Creese said: “If we are to resolve the racial divide, we must find ways to bridge the chasm.”
He stated that “a Black elite has replaced the old colonial elite” and that there is also “a Brown elite.”
The senator said that the colour and ethnic divide “leads us nowhere.”