Kamla promises a brighter future for T&T

Monday, November 11, 2019 - 07:45

In what ap­peared to be more of a gen­er­al elec­tion cam­paign rather than a lo­cal gov­ern­ment ral­ly, Unit­ed Na­tion­al Con­gress po­lit­i­cal leader Kam­la Per­sad-Bisses­sar dished out a list of promis­es if her par­ty re­turns to pow­er.

The Op­po­si­tion Leader un­veiled the UNC’s plans for the coun­try be­fore a large crowd of yel­low-jer­sey wear­ing sup­port­ers who flood­ed the Cou­va South Mul­ti-Pur­pose Car Park on Sun­day for the launch of the par­ty’s 139 can­di­dates for the De­cem­ber 2 lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tions. Some of the plans in­clud­ed re­peal­ing the Prop­er­ty Tax Act, de­crim­i­nal­i­sa­tion of mar­i­jua­na, restart the lap­top pro­gram and restart­ing the Petrotrin re­fin­ery.

Tak­ing time out to send greet­ings to her op­po­nents at the PNM’s Con­ven­tion and Ral­ly, she shout­ed, “Hel­lo, Queen’s Park Sa­van­nah. We send you love and greet­ings from Cou­va Car Park.” Urg­ing sup­port­ers to come out in their num­bers and cast their votes, Per­sad-Bisses­sar said, “De­cem­ber 2 will be no or­di­nary elec­tions. We are not in or­di­nary times. Nev­er be­fore in the his­to­ry of T&T has so much been at stake at lo­cal elec­tions,” she urged.

Ac­cus­ing the Gov­ern­ment of spend­ing $250 bil­lion in four years on noth­ing that has stim­u­lat­ed the econ­o­my or im­proved the qual­i­ty of life for the cit­i­zen­ry, she un­veiled the par­ty’s Na­tion­al Eco­nom­ic Trans­for­ma­tion Mas­ter Plan for T&T via a video pre­sen­ta­tion.

UNC supporters wave paraphernalia during Sunday's Local Government Elections rally. (Copyright RISHI RAGOONATH)


Per­sad-Bisses­sar said the plan is on the par­ty’s web­site and open for dis­cus­sions and con­sul­ta­tions. In the first 90 days of as­sum­ing of­fice, she promised that a UNC gov­ern­ment will hit the ground run­ning as she list­ed plans in every sec­tor, in­clud­ing crime, health, ed­u­ca­tion, and en­er­gy. Per­sad-Bisses­sar promised that the po­lice ser­vice will get the prop­er re­sources to bring down the crime and keep the cit­i­zen­ry safe.

While the PNM Gov­ern­ment failed to pro­claim pro­cure­ment leg­is­la­tion, she said her gov­ern­ment will pro­claim the long-await­ed leg­is­la­tion and re­source the of­fice of the pro­cure­ment reg­u­la­tor. “For four years they play lip ser­vice with the pro­cure­ment leg­is­la­tion, they will not pro­claim it. So things like the sale of the Petrotrin re­fin­ery would have been brought un­der the pro­cure­ment reg­u­la­tor and not un­der Row­ley and his cab­i­net. When they went to buy boats in Aus­tralia that would have been done un­der a pro­cure­ment reg­u­la­tor and not by Min­is­ter Young and Row­ley. When they went to buy air­craft for Caribbean Air­lines all of that would have been done with trans­paren­cy un­der a pro­cure­ment reg­u­la­tor but they have failed to pro­claim it.”

Per­sad-Bisses­sar said her gov­ern­ment will al­so open the Cou­va Hos­pi­tal, adding that if her gov­ern­ment were in of­fice the Point Fortin and Ari­ma Hos­pi­tals would have al­ready been opened.

Per­sad-Bisses­sar al­so said she had in­for­ma­tion that the walls of the in­com­plete Point Fortin hos­pi­tal are cov­ered with mould. She con­tin­ued, “We will ban all sin­gle-use plas­tic straws and man­date Sol­id Waste Man­age­ment Com­pa­ny to de­vel­op a new na­tion­al re­cy­cling ed­u­ca­tion pro­gramme. Some of you with the ras­ta locks may like this one, we will ta­ble leg­is­la­tion for the de­crim­i­nal­i­sa­tion for mar­i­jua­na,” she told sup­port­ers.

Promis­ing the farm­ers and fish­er­folk pro­tec­tion, she said her gov­ern­ment will be in­cor­po­rat­ing the Prae­di­al Lar­ce­ny Squad in­to the T&T Po­lice Ser­vice and all out­stand­ing is­sues by ex-Ca­roni work­ers, cane farms and Petrotrin em­ploy­ees will be set­tled. Ad­di­tion­al­ly, she promised to scrap the pro­posed Rev­enue Au­thor­i­ty and bring back the Min­istries of the Peo­ples and Jus­tice. Among oth­er things, Per­sad-Bisses­sar al­so promised a re­duc­tion in per­son­al and cor­po­rate tax­es and to widen the list of dis­eases cov­ered un­der the Chil­dren’s Life Find to in­clude Be­ta tha­lassemias (a group of in­her­it­ed blood dis­or­ders) as she re­mind­ed the au­di­ence that they had gone to court and was un­suc­cess­ful for a child with this con­di­tion to get help un­der the fund.

Charg­ing that her gov­ern­ment was about de­liv­er­ing, she said the Row­ley-led ad­min­is­tra­tions about “old talk.” She warned the gath­er­ing not to be fooled by pro­pa­gan­da and di­vi­sion com­ing from the PNM plat­form.

The oth­er speak­ers in­clud­ed Deputy po­lit­i­cal lead­ers David Lee and Jealean John, Cou­va South MP Rudranth In­dars­ingh, Princes Town MP Bar­ry Padarath and Sen­a­tors Sean Sobers and Sad­dam Ho­sein.