Opposition Leader: “2020 Budget an insult to the poor.”

In her opening salvos of her response to the Finance Minister’s Budget Presentation… Opposition Leader Kamla Persad Bissessar S.C., has described the 2020 Budget as an insult to the poor.

She says government should call the general election now.

According to Opposition Leader, the Finance Minister did little more than throw crumbs at the most vulnerable in the society.

The Opposition Leader argues that government’s provisions have meant that CEPEP’s allocation was the lowest in years.

She points out that CEPEP workers will be paid below the minimum wage, which government raised by two-dollars-and-fifty-cents.

The Opposition Leader points to several policy decisions undertaken by the Rowley Administration which she said only served to destroy the T&T economy. According to the Siparia MP, the worst thing that ever happened to the country was the closure of the Petrotrin Refinery. She noted that government’s negative campaign against the former state company made it impossible for the former workers to find new jobs—leading many of them to complete suicide—and also for attractive bids to be made for the Refinery’s assets.

The Opposition Leader also took Government to task for what she says is their plunder of the Heritage and Stabilisation Fund, noting that the country’s debt burden has increased while its savings have decreased.

She also points to the the fact that the country has slipped down several international indices of good governance and macroeconomic performance, pointing out that several CARICOM countries managed to improve their standings on those indices, including the Corruption Perception Index and the Ease of Doing Business.

The Opposition Leader also raked the Rowley Administration over the coals for its failure to provide the National Security Ministry with the resources it needs to protect the country and fight crime. She points to the fact that the Air Guard and Coast Guard are unable to carry out their functions as they should because of equipment issues; and that the Police Service are still waiting on their body cameras; that the Prison Service is still awaiting firearms for its officers; and that the Witness Protection Programme and the DPP's Office remain under-resourced.

Mrs. Kamla Persad-Bissessar, S.C., MP, is the first to respond to the 2020 Budget Presentation, beginning her rebuttal at 10 this morning. She will be allowed 3 hours and 20 minutes to make her contribution.

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Story by: NEWS DESK

Image courtesy PARLIAMENT OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

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