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Budget a vicious attack, says Kamla

Budget a vicious attack, says Kamla
Kamla Persad-Bissessar (GP)

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PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – Opposition Leader Kamla Persad Bissessar on Friday accused the government of launching a “vicious attack” on the population as she criticised the T$52.49 billion budget that Finance Minister Colm Imbert said contained measures that would help revitalise an economy hard hit by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“The idea that COVID crashed our economy is just as fake as the fake emails presented in this house. It is not true!  As the saying goes, “facts are stubborn things, and they do not go away”. It is the Rowley-led government, not COVID, which has put our economy into the ICU,” Persad Bissessar said.

The Opposition Leader said that over the past six years, Trinidad and Tobago had seen a collapsing gross domestic product (GDP), unprecedented unemployment, dangerous debt, failing credit ratings, depleted foreign reserves as well as negative foreign direct investment.

“I rise in defence of the people of Trinidad and Tobago against the vicious attack on them by this brutal and heartless … government masked as budget 2022” Persad Bissessar said during her two and a half hour rebuttal to the fiscal package.

She said that the government had presented a series of “unrealistic misleading” figures and policies for the next 12 months and that unlike the government “whose only idea is to tax, tax, tax, borrow, borrow, borrow, and spend, spend, spend, we have practical solutions for revenue generation”.

The Opposition Leader insisted that the “country is in a deep crisis” and that it “is patently clear that this government does not have a clue how to manage the economy, or lead us out of the abyss into which they have sunk us”.

She said her United National Congress’ (UNC) strategy for recovery, sustainable growth and diversification of Trinidad and Tobago’s economy is built on five interconnected principles, including people centered development,, allowing the private sector to drive economic growth and development as well as  deepening economic reforms “but with a human dace” and providing people with a sense of ownership and independence.

In addition, Persad Bissessar said there is need for promoting environmental stewardship, adding that the party has developed a national economic transformation master plan.

“The UNC has spoken to the people, consulted with them, consulted with experts and professionals and we have developed what we believe is a solid and sustainable national economic transformation master plan to rescue and restore Trinidad and Tobago”. (CMC)