Tobago’s Contingencies Fund currently stands at $59 million dollars as of May 31, 2016.
This is the assurance from Chief Secretary Orville London, who yesterday (June 1) addressed allegations that the THA’s Contingency Account is short of funds. London was speaking at the post Executive Council media briefing at the Administrative Complex, Calder Hall.
London had been asked to comment on suggestions that the Fund was running low. He responded by saying those desiring to lead Tobago should ensure their statements are based on fact.
“I want to explain something to the people of Tobago and I want to read what the law says,” London stated yesterday. “Act 40 of 1996 says; ’Notwithstanding Section 42 of the Exchequer and Audit Act, monies appropriated by Parliament to the fund, that is the Tobago House of Assembly Fund, for the service of a financial year, which remain unexpended at the end of a financial year, shall be retained in the fund and utilised for the purpose of capital investment.’”
The Chief Secretary said this funding has been used for development projects on the island.
“If we did not have those unexpended balances which became the Contingencies Fund, a lot of the developments which is taking place in Tobago today, will not take place,” he stated. The list of projects includes the Shaw Park Complex and the Scarborough Library Facility, which were both commissioned in 2015.
During the media briefing, London stated, in error, that the balance was for May 31, 2015. The Chief Secretary, however, has since clarified that the figure reported by Secretary of Finance and Enterprise Development, reflected the Funds’ balance as of two days ago.