Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 28th 2016 Contents SASCHA WILSON
Opposition leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar has
urged supporters not to get distracted by controversies
surrounding Foreign Accounts Tax Compliance Act
(FATCA) or President Anthony Carmona as their
main concern should be Friday s budget presentation
by Finance Minister Colm Imbert.
"The budget statement by the Minister of Finance,
that is what we have to be afraid off," the former prime
minister told supporters at the party s Monday Night
Forum at Tableland Secondary School.
Persad-Bissessar said since the Rowley-led PNM
assumed office food prices and crime increased, thou-
sands of jobs have been lost and the Government has
not made a single achievement.
Denying that she walked out of Parliament and
abandoned the debate on the Tax Information Exchange
Agreements Bill 2016, Persad-Bissessar said: "Let me
make it clear that I did not walk out of the Parliament
on Friday. I was put out of the Parliament on Friday.
I have no regrets because I stood up and said you are
telling lies. I could not sit there and allow them to
continue to tell lies.
"We didn t abandon the debate. We left one member
Dr Tewarie because he was the next person in line to
speak so the debate could have continued on that day
but they did not have any intention. They had planned
to shutdown Parliament early without passing the Bill."
She added: "They came to jumbie the country that
if the Opposition behaved badly and did not support
their draconian and dangerous position the country
would collapse the sky would fall down."
If the Bill is not passed by Friday it will result in
heavy penalties between local businesses and US banks,
but she said: "So Friday will come and Friday will go
but you know what will be the end of the world, the
budget statement by the Minister of Finance. That is
what we have to be afraid of."
Persad-Bissessar reiterated that the Opposition sup-
ports the agreement with the US but not the Bill.
"The Bill is to give effect to the agreement but they
(Government) brought clauses and provisions that are
not necessary, not required, not needed by the agree-
ment. They come and put in the bill clauses now to
give their Minister of Finance power to go into your
bank account wherever it may be, power to go into
your financial business wherever it may be. He becomes
a powerful maco spy. I am warning you we will not
allow these provisions we will not vote for those pro-
visions. They are not required under the agreement
with the US."
Saying for the past two weeks the Government has
been coming up with distractions to deflect from the
main issues. She said crime remains number one issue
with murder toll fast approaching 400.
"In the last budget they allocated $10.81 billion for
national security. Secondly, they promised to so do
certain things in their manifesto and in the budget
last year. Don t be surprised if they come back with
those lies again to tell you we going to do these things.
For the entire year tens of billions spent and crime
is still on increase."
Listing PNM manifesto promises she said the Gov-
ernment had failed to deliver, she said not one of the
things discussed during the recent crime talks with
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley had been undertaken.
Claiming that the PNM has a track record of unkept
promises, she recalled in the last budget the Ministry
of Health was given $6 billion for health care.
"They have refused to open Couva hospital. They
have stopped the work on the Arima and Point Fortin
Hospitals. Please open the children s hospital. They
told us they needed until June, June has come and
She said if no mention was made about opening
of the Couva Children s Hospital she would be asking
supporters to join her in a march demanding that the
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Wednesday, September 28, 2016
hospital be opened.
Persad-Bissessar said she had also instructed
attorney Gerald Ramdeen to seek legal redress on
behalf of the parents of a baby who could not get
help from Children s Life Fund and passed away.
She said Rowley also failed to keep his promise
to immediately address the shortage of medical
personnel, expedite surgery and expand CDAP.
Touching on high food prices, she said: "We are
bracing for that as we go to Budget Day."
Comparing the prices for a list of food items
from last year to this year, she said: "This is a
basket of goods that would have cost you about
$1,100 last year now cost you so much more in
vital items to $1,432 on the same basket of items.
All of this before we go to budget on Friday. While
that is happening jobs are being lost."
Kamla: Don't be distracted
by FATCA, Carmona issues
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