Kamla: UNC will Repeal Property Tax Act

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OPPOSITION Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar says a new United National Congress will repeal the Property Tax Act.

In her reply to the 2020 Budget in the Lower House on Friday, Persad-Bissessar said, “This bud­get is a con­de­scend­ing in­sult to the poor, an in­sult to the mar­gin­alised, the work­ing class­es, strug­gling moth­ers and fa­thers.

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“The Fi­nance Min­is­ter on Mon­day threw out crumbs to the most vul­ner­a­ble per­sons in so­ci­ety.

“Imag­ine a $2.50 min­i­mum wage hike and a five-dol­lar bulb! This can’t even buy a box of KFC!”

She said, “CEPEP and URP work­ers will earn less than the new min­i­mum wage as they got a 15 percent in­crease while the min­i­mum wage in­creased by 16.7 per cent.

“This pit­tance can­not even buy a loaf of bread. The Fi­nance Min­is­ter was prac­tis­ing spin bet­ter than Sunil Nar­ine!”

“You’re giv­ing crumbs while you all are eat­ing cake. This Bud­get is the bread the dev­il kneads. But we’ll take you to court for dis­crim­i­nat­ing against CEPEP and URP work­ers. Gov­ern­ment’s ver­sion of fi­nan­cial equal­i­ty is to make every­one poor­er—ex­cept their friends, fam­i­lies and fi­nanciers.”

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Regarding the energy sector, Persad-Bissessar said during her tenure in government, the UNC made 14 amendments to the fiscal regime to facilitate investment which has led to the recent surge in natural gas production.

She said under the PNM, there has not been a single new bid round and a steady decline in drilling which could be measured in rig days down from 2,765 in 2015 to 1,831 in 2017.

Persad-Bissessar said there were decreases in both land and offshore production and exploration.

She said, “Some 63,000 peo­ple lost jobs this term. Now they come to ma­m­aguy the most vul­ner­a­ble in so­ci­ety.

“We de­creased the cost of liv­ing and this gov­ern­ment did every­thing to in­crease it.”

She said, “There’s on­ly so much abuse, dis­re­spect and op­pres­sion peo­ple can tol­er­ate; the line be­tween re­straint and chaos is grow­ing thin­ner by the day. I put this gov­ern­ment on no­tice that a reck­on­ing is com­ing, and it’s com­ing soon.

“Those of you who live so lav­ish­ly and leave so lit­tle for the rest will pay a heavy po­lit­i­cal price.”

She added, “The Row­ley regime has dis­played a cold-heart­ed at­ti­tude to tens of thou­sands of work­ers who they caused to be fired, lose their homes and broke their fam­i­lies. Now you say you want to give them the re­fin­ery to run. Why fire them in the first place?”

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