Kamla: PM's statement was rehash of excuses

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar has described the prime minister's first of two addresses last night, as a "rehash of excuses" without any clear idea of where the country will go in the future.

The Opposition Leader issued a statement following the prime minister's statement last night.

"Prime Minister Keith Rowley subjected citizens of this country to yet another long-winded and bizarre lecture- which has not yet finished - which said nothing and offered no hope for people who continue to suffer under his administration.

This political performance put on by the Leader of the PNM is a blatant abuse of taxpayers’ dollars.

He continued his usual diatribe of “Blame Kamla, blame the UNC”, for his inability to manage our country’s affairs. 

It was a rehashed repetition of their litany of excuses to cover their incompetence, and Rowley needs to tell the country how much it cost us, the citizens, to put on his PowerPoint presentation.

Rowley not only failed to account to the people on what the Government has actually done, but three and a half years later he has nothing to show, even after spending more in three years than the Government I led did in 5 years.

In 2018 we saw a continuation of the PNM Government’s mismanagement and its crippling impact on the people of Trinidad and Tobago, who are facing higher food prices and increased cost of living, rising joblessness and hopelessness. 

The Government’s only economic policy since coming into office has been to make life harder for people by increasing taxes.

What is now clear is that this Government is intent on deliberately misleading the nation about the true state of our economic situation. 

It must be noted that a recent report by the Central Bank indicates that 2019 will be a tough year, as the economy is slowing down. 

The question that must be asked is - where is the so-called “turnaround” touted by the Finance Minister?

In addition, a report by the Inter-American Development Bank revealed that out of 27 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, T&T placed third-to-last in an assessment of its per-capita gross domestic product (GDP) performance in 2018, which, in simple terms, means that “the average Trinidadian and Tobagonian is worse off now than they were 11 years ago in 2007.”

These findings confirm what the United National Congress has been saying: that this Government, led by Dr Keith Rowley, has no idea how to govern, and what is worse - has no plan for a return to growth and prosperity. 

Where, in this first part of his lecture series, was the Prime Minister’s plan for raising revenue?  Where was the plan for job creation? Where was the plan to make our citizens feel safer? He said nothing that would give people any sense of comfort or optimism that their lives will be improved.

It was clear from the graphs presented that the Keith Rowley Administration crashed the economy. Significantly, one graphic showed $0.5 Billion higher expenditure than revenue in 2019 compared to 2015.

We do not expect anything from Part two of the Rowley show, and the Prime Minister should have spent his time focusing on viable solutions and a plan to move the country forward.  The country has long lost confidence in the PNM and are crying out for a return to sound leadership and good governance.

Our country is facing a dark future under the PNM, and Rowley and his cohorts have shown that they are not capable of moving us forward.  Trinidad and Tobago deserves better. 

Our country, our people deserve good governance, and it is the United National Congress that has the vision, the experience and the will to build a brighter future for all."