Kamla’s 2024 New Year Message

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Below if the 2024 New Year message of Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar:

In preparation for the possibilities of the New Year, we often reflect on the past year, its triumphs and tragedies, its promise and dismay, its laughter and lessons.

It is with a heavy heart that we acknowledge the challenges that have beset our beloved nation in the past year. The record number of murders, home invasions, robberies and missing persons, a declining economy, increased costs of living, impending property taxes, and the looming increase in electricity and water rates have undoubtedly cast a shadow over our collective well-being.


I declare today that it is the mission of the United National Congress to do what this current government is either unwilling or unable to do – restore law, order, and prosperity to our great nation. A safe and prosperous Trinidad and Tobago must be the State’s foundation for its citizens.

The UNC has been presenting concrete plans and policy alternatives aimed at addressing the pressing challenges facing our nation. We are committed to crafting solutions that prioritize the well-being of all citizens, irrespective of background or circumstance. A few examples are:

·       We will pass “Stand Your Ground” legislation to give you the right to use lethal force within the sanctity of your homes to protect yourself and your loved ones from criminals.

·       We will ensure that law-abiding citizens can easily access legal firearms to protect themselves, their families, and their property.

·       We will implement judicial and prison reforms, as well as retool the TTPS with modern training, equipment, and a competent leadership team to eliminate the criminals.

·       We will bring back Community Comfort Patrols throughout Trinidad and Tobago, to ensure you do not have to pay for private security patrols in your neighbourhood. 

·       We will widen the suite of funding for educational and training programs including the Government Assistance for Tuition Expenses (GATE) Programme to once again ensure that every young citizen has access to an education for a better life away from crime.

·       We will eliminate the property tax and other nuisance taxes such as the 7% online tax, along with an extensive deregulation of the bureaucracy that hinders our business sector.

·       We will eliminate unfair and excessively high fines that this Government has implemented to terrorize the population.

·       We will work with the business community and use the full power of the state apparatus to end the scourge of extortion and robberies. 

·       We will have an all of Government approach which accepts that addressing crime extends beyond policing and legal actions only. The comprehensive components of governance in addressing crime also encompass social welfare, healthcare, business development, employment opportunities, and education. These main sectors collectively influence the crime rate, and a holistic strategy with structured operational policies, guided and managed by competent personnel are essential to effectively achieve progress.

The United States has expanded its dire travel warnings about Trinidad and Tobago, and other countries will likely follow soon. Once safe working-class communities, such as St Augustine, St Joseph, Chaguanas, Trincity, and Tunapuna, are highlighted as danger zones on the international stage.


To date, the current government has offered no assurances of ending illegal drug and gun imports and gang warfare by sealing off the porous borders, improving surveillance, and boosting detection rates. There are no efforts at improving the inefficient criminal justice system through radical and urgent reform. 

Additionally, the Prime Minister continues to hide from engaging the Opposition and all stakeholders in anticrime talks, but prefers to continue with his public relations game in which every citizen loses.

While the country is being battered with violent lawlessness, the crucial National Security portfolio remains in the hands of an abominably inept Minister. 

At the dawn of 2024, there is no assurance from the Government about a fresh resolve to stamp out criminality and secure our besieged nation. Citizens have been told to fend for themselves!

We must work today to prevent tomorrow’s generation from inheriting a criminal-run failed state where the killing of men, women, and children becomes normalized to the point of no return.

As I genuinely hope for every citizen to have a happy new year, I do so with the knowledge that we are starting 2024, with the blood stains of the last few years still fresh on our collective souls.

No matter what side of the political divide we as citizens have stood on in the past, today, we must unite in the knowledge that what has occurred in the last eight years of this Government’s negligence has plunged the country into terror.

I wish every citizen a safe and secure 2024, and together, we can make that a reality. Let’s take control of T&T together.


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