Opposition Leader wants answers on $2.5 billion drawdown from HSF

Monday, June 6, 2016 - 20:00

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar is demanding answers from Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley on why $2.5 billion was withdrawn from the Heritage and Stabilization Fund.

Addressing supporters at the UNC's Monday Night Forum in San Fernando, Persad-Bissesar said Dr Rowley owes the nation an explanation.

"So we see then where natural gas is now at a 5-month high, the price...we see where oil is at a 7-month high, yes the prices. So they cannot say oil is $26, we are losing so much revenue from oil, gas is below $2 and so on," she said. 

"And yet, they come to raid the Heritage and Stabilization Fund (by) $2.5 billion. Tonight I want to tell the government that the HSF is not a bran tub.  The Heritage and Stabilization Fund is not a bran tub to dip into, to picK up goodies, to look for money to fight elections. 

"The HSF is to guarantee the future of the generations to come, of the children and the people of Trinidad and Tobago," she said.

The Opposition leader added: "Because of the work of this investigative journalist, we discover - wake up one morning - $2.5 billion gone. 

"What is that for? is it that things are much worse than they're really telling us?  Because you will recall that (the) Minister of Finance had told us that they were reviewing, they were decreasing the price at which oil is pegged - it was $45 in the Budget - he was decreasing it down to $35. 

"So you've already decreased it, then we see the prices for oil and gas rising, and therefore why do you need to raid the HSF? Give us the reasons." 

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