What is a Tom Zitting
A number of my friends were outraged that an adult American tourist who was caught committing a criminal offense, against a minor, was spared the court appearance and was given instead, after his arrest an interview with the local prosecutor, the OM.
He was given a TOM session, a Transaction with the Public Prosecution Services, instead of a rendezvous with a judge in court.
It is the OM’s privilege to do so. After all, it was a tourist, and the crime was described as ‘mild.’ Whatever that means. (The tourist allegedly fingered her, a 12 year old tourist from Chile, under her bikini in the water off Palm Beach)
So, the OM decided to act discretely, fine him, and let him go, chasing him out of the country seemed a practical solution. Here’s the carpet, sweep everything under.
The community was outraged.
What is mild? Is the minor going to deal with the crime committed against him/her, mildly?
Then the MinJust came out slugging, in disagreement with the OM. He cited an article in the penal code whereby victims may protest and appeal, and the various not-for-profit foundations dealing with cases of child sexual abuse may also take action to appeal the OM’s decision, demand a day in court and even restitution.
If we had an Ombudsman, he could interfere too. But we don’t.
We were surprised at the speed that case was handled. We were all saddened as the ease that case was dismissed.
The country’s budget delivered to Parliament
The MinFEC managed to conclude budget meetings and present her masterpiece to parliament, last week, the earliest ever.
This country’s budget, as far as I can recall, was always presented towards the end of the year, but in 2020 it was delivered in what can still be considered the beginning of the year. Hurrah.
On paper, we will bring in Awg 1,569 million and spend Awg 1,523, which means if all goes well we will be creating a surplus of 46 million.
Don’t hold your breath.
ConVid 19 is threatening to totally jeopardize best laid plans, because according to my sources, the island’s economy is about to suffer a blow, as big as the global economy, only here because of the size of our economy, it will hurt more.
So tighten your belts my friends, we’ve been through periods of austerity before, and we can do that, we’re Teflon-coated.
Looking at GOA’s 2020 budget, one number pop out, 476 million. And that is the cost of personnel – not personal, but personnel, the GOA chart boasted a spelling error – 30% of this country’s tax revenue goes to sustain GOA’s apparatus. 30% labor cost!!
Then 14% of our tax revenue, 221 million, goes to INTEREST payments to service our loans.