Paray: Government’s Mid-Year Budget Review a ‘Sinking Titanic’

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By Chantalé Fletcher

THE Mid-Year Budget Review is reminiscent of rearranging deck chairs on a sinking Titanic.

This is according to Mayaro MP Rushton Paray in a statement following the Minister of Finance Colm Imbert’s delivery on Friday.

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Paray said, “The Minister of Finance appears disconnected from the harsh realities facing the nation, lacking the vision, innovation, and leadership necessary to navigate the economic turmoil.

“The addition of $2.3 billion to an already deficit-laden annual budget, without clear justification, underscores a pattern of mismanagement. As we approach the end of the ninth year under this current administration, it becomes evident that the Government has failed to achieve any notable economic milestones, relying instead on imposing new and higher taxes as the primary means of revenue generation.”

He explained the Mid-Year Review revealed that the Government was out of touch with the pressing needs of its citizens, “continuing a legacy of poor economic management. Without significant changes in strategy and implementation, the country’s economic and social challenges will persist, leaving the population to bear the brunt of these failings.”

Paray said, “The Government’s inability to stimulate economic growth is evident in its lack of response to the declining production of oil and natural gas. The supposed economic improvement cited by the Minister last October is nothing more than a slight rebound from the pandemic-induced downturn, with the economy still 6.4% lower than pre-pandemic levels. Even prior to COVID-19, the Government presided over a period of economic decline, marked by falling energy production.”

He added,“ As we progress through this decade, Trinidad and Tobago finds itself once again grappling with PNM’s mismanagement, marked by an over-reliance on tax increases. While other nations are modernizing their economies and fostering new industries, the PNM’s approach is contributing to an increase in the working poor and enriching a small circle of privileged individuals. 

The Mayaro MP stressed that, “The measures outlined in the $2.3 billion supplementary allocations fail to address the underlying issues, offering no solutions to the country’s economic crisis.”

Paray made reference to increasing crime and violence which he described the government’s response as “inadequate.”

Therefore, he highlighted the sensational coverage by international media that showcased the brutal realities of gang life in Trinidad and Tobago, which raised questions about the effectiveness of local law enforcement. 

“The reappointment of the head of the police service, despite their apparent inability to tackle these issues, underscores a lack of accountability and effective governance,” Paray added.

He said, “ The reliance on increased spending and tax collection, without strategic planning and reform, will not lead to the desired economic turn around. The nation requires comprehensive economic planning, inclusive of all sectors, to address the ongoing decline and steer towards growth and prosperity.”


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