Local Government Minister Kazim Hosein is defending a recent decision by the Tunapuna/Piarco Regional Corporation to raise certain service fees.
In a release, Mr Hosein says the matter has been scheduled for implementation over a year now and was also placed on the table by the previous Administration.
Minister Hosein also insists “though the public may not see the benefits of this decision now, with the implementation of local government reform, these measures will benefit all citizens.”
He says with Local Government Reform, all Municipal Corporations will have
to create avenues for additional funding in order to better serve their burgesses.
The decision was taken by the Council on Wednesday and will see adjustments in the fee structure for services such as building plans, food badges and removal of bulk waste.
As for the legality of the move, the Minister says by virtue of the Municipal Corporations Act 1990, the Council is empowered to address such issues and does not require the intervention or approval from the Line Ministry.
The UNC claims the Corporation has justified the increase as being necessary to “offset the shortfall in allocation and release from Central Government”.
Minister Hosein also made this point, saying the Corporation has been severely impacted financially and had to find ways to increase its revenue stream.
Tunapuna/Piarco Regional Corporation Chairman, Kwasi Robinson has also been quoted as saying “There comes a time when difficult decisions must be made and we as local government practitioners have a duty to the people to make such decisions with the benefit of all burgesses at the forefront. We, at the Tunapuna/Piarco Regional Corporation remain committed to efficiently provide the much-needed goods and services to all our burgesses.”