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.
“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.”
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?”