Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 13th 2014 Contents FINAL DETAILS WORKED ON
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Wednesday, August 13, 2014
N No Public Consent, No Parliamentary Legislation,
No Independent Governance.
6.1000 6.1877 6.3733
5.3954 5.6794 5.9918
9.8685 10.3879 10.9489
7.8446 8.2575 8.7117
****** 0.0605 0.0641
2.0863 2.2677 2.4264
* 2.5371 ****** 3.2319
for AUGUST 12TH, 2014
The 2014-2015 budget will be delivered from 1.30
pm on Monday, September 8.
The date was announced by Prime Minister Kamla
Persad-Bissessar during the conclusion of the debate
on Government s Constitution (Amendment) Bill early
Persad-Bissessar was explaining why the debate
had taken place at this time. She said Government
had promised the reform and wanted to clear its agenda
to deal with other matters, among them the budget.
The PP administration delivered its first budget in
2010, also on September 8.
The upcoming package will be the last budget deliv-
ery for the PP in its five-year term, now about a year
away from completion. Persad-Bissessar told the Lower
House on Monday that Parliament will be dissolved
in June 2015 and general elections can be held no later
than September 2015. She said she would run the
Government according to law.
The PP administration s budgets have ranged from
$49 billion in 2010 to last year s $61 billion package,
which was increased by $3 billion in a recent supple-
mentation bill. The last budget s income provided a
reduction in deficit.
The upcoming budget will be Finance Minister Larry
Howai s third. The first two budgets were delivered
by former Finance Minister Winston Dookeran.
Howai told the T&T Guardian recently that his
framework was almost ready. His most recent report
on the economy noted continuing stability and progress
in various sectors.
Up to July, issues being finalised in the 2015 budget
included whether it would be a deficit package and
if it would exceed the $61 billion of 2014.
T&T must be a team
player society, says
Prime Minister Kamla
She did so in winding
up debate on Constitu-
tional (Amendment) Bill
2014 early yesterday.
Saying some had nega-
tive regard in the situa-
tion, she added that the
electorate will be the final
arbiters of the controver-
sial legislation and the
only time Government
will face a reckoning is
when it faces a general
"I have no fear, they
(electorate) will judge
when the time comes...at
the end of the day the
people will decide," she
She said while some
urged people to "rise up"
against the bills, she felt
the public was wise and
would make the correct
decision. She said some
MPs would not return to
Parliament after 2015, or
some will or none might
return, but that was the
majority s decision.
Her amendments to
the bills, she said, would
cut off claims that a
defeated government or
MPs might remain in
office while runoff polls
are done and that oppor-
tunities for mischief or
misuse can creep into
She said the legislation
was discussed by Cabinet
and its subcommittee
and the changes made
The PM clarified con-
cerns, especially from
COP MPs .
had been doing consti-
tutional reform for more
than 50 years, she asked
rhetorically if the People s
Partnership should have
folded up its legislation
in favour of the COP s
joint select committee
She differed from COP
claims that the system
would be directly counter
to proportional represen-
tation, saying the former
didn t conflict with or
violate the latter.
On COP calls for PR
and referenda, she said
one could not bring
everything at once, but
it would come over time,
and PR hadn t been
brought yet as the PNM
and cynicism" on the
bills, the PM said one
group had said: "Delay,
delay, delay," others
called for withdrawal of
the bills and another set
said: "Go full speed
She said if the Consti-
tution s framers hadn t
wanted sections to be
changed, they wouldn t
have instituted a simple
majority for those areas.
Electorate will make
final call on reform---PM
Howai on September 8 budget
PP priorities unchanged
Yesterday, Finance Ministry officials continued
meetings to tie up final loose ends, including the Public
Sector Investment Programme (PSIP).
Howai said the recent claim by People's National
Movement (PNM) senator Faris Al-Rawi that the
Government had spent $400 billion in the last four years
He said: "Assuming that the entire budgeted amount
is spent this year, including the mid-year appropriation
(which is probably not going to happen), the total
expenditure over the four years to September 30, 2014,
will be $226 billion---pretty far from $400 billion."
He added: "Going forward, we need to do what we can
to preserve the sustainability of our fiscal position, but
we do have some fiscal room. I don't expect any changes
in priorities, which are poverty reduction, education, food
production, crime and health care."
Howai had said National Security had sought an
increased allocation for equipment and had received
some in the mid-year review. On the land and building
tax, Howai said the supporting infrastructure to
implement it is still not in place.
While Government's package is not expected to begin
exploring the longstanding concern about removal of the
fuel subsidy, Government sources also said the package
will have to be balanced in the context of the upcoming
election year, as well as recent advice from the
International Monetary Fund to tighten policies.
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar shows a
copy of her party's manifesto during her winding up
of the bill in Parliament early yesterday.
PHOTO: CLYDE LEWIS
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