THA Minority Leader seeking answers about money spent on NYC trip for Roxborough Folk Performers

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THA Minority Leader seeking answers about money spent on NYC trip for Roxborough Folk Performers

Minority Leader in the Tobago House of Assembly (THA), Kelvon Morris is demanding answers concerning the trip to New York City by a cultural group and the financing provided by the THA.

He has filed a question for the next sitting of the Tobago Assembly legislature on September 22nd, seeking clarity on taxpayers’ money spent on the trip.

The THA provided $400,417.50 in part-sponsorship for the Roxborough Folk Performers’ trip to New York for Labor Day celebrations.

This financing was the basis for the fall-out between THA Chief Secretary Farley Augustine and his former deputy Watson Duke.

Duke, who is the assemblyman for Roxborough/Argyle, claimed the THA only covered airline tickets for the group and did not provide funding to cover their other expenses like hotel accommodations and meals.

In light of this, Mr Morris said he would like a proper breakdown.

The Minority leader said: “There is some information suggesting that the original application was for the Tobago Day event, which would have passed (before the group arrived in New York). So therefore the question, is why were the funds still (disbursed) or the support still given to the group, when the event (for) which they originally applied would have already passed – which was the Tobago Day (August 28) and not the Labor Day as they eventually went to?”

“It is public funds, and the public should have a clear understanding as to what this $400,000 was spent on. You are getting…varying information as to how this $400,000 was spent: you’re hearing it was for tickets alone, you’re hearing in some instances it was for ticket, food and accommodation.

“So we really need an independent investigation so taxpayers can be comforted as to how their money was spent.”

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