Tuesday 23 July, 2019

Kamla blames Gov't 'mismanagement' for S&P downgrade

Opposition leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar speaks at a media conference on July 11, 2019.

Opposition leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar speaks at a media conference on July 11, 2019.

Despite the optimism from the Government following a downgrade of the country's sovereign credit ratings by Standard & Poor's, this shows the current administration's "incompetence and mismanagement" of Trinidad and Tobago's economy.  

That was the assessment by Opposition leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar at a media conference on Thursday as she accused the Dr Keith Rowley-led administration of attempting to ‘spin’ the recent downgrade, instead of telling the country what will be done to address it.

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Persad-Bissessar said she warned in 2017 that another downgrade on the way unless Government adjusted its "failing policies", another downgrade was coming.    

"S&P’s downgrade to ‘BBB’ from ‘BBB +’ has serious implications for our economy, particularly in our ability to attract Foreign Direct Investment. It also adversely affects our banking sector.  S&P’s rating serves as a damning indictment on the Government’s false narrative that our economy is growing.

There is also now a danger that Trinidad and Tobago may be in a downward spiral towards speculative or junk rating status," she said.

The Opposition leader said the downgrade signals that the country's debt repayment capacity is now more challenging, and we will face increased difficulty in accessing loans from foreign countries, as well as increased uncertainty and reduced confidence in the economy. 

She said in spite of all the warning signs from respected international agencies and economists that the Rowley government’s economic policies are taking the nation down a dangerous path, the Government "continues to bury their heads in the sand".

She noted that her party has crafted a National Economic Transformation MasterPlan 2020-2025, in which the concerns raised by S&P are addressed and solutions provided, together with a roadmap towards economic growth.

"Unlike the Government, the UNC is ready to put Trinidad and Tobago back on the road towards prosperity and sustainable development, and get our country working again," Persad-Bissessar concluded.

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