Wednesday 25 November, 2020

Kamla calls for wage subsidy, lowering of taxes ahead of 2021 Budget

Photo: Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar. Credit: Office of the President of Trinidad and Tobago.

Photo: Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar. Credit: Office of the President of Trinidad and Tobago.

Government must implement measures to protect small businesses.

The call comes from Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar, who urged the implementation of a wage subsidy and the lowering of taxes ahead of the 2021 National Budget on October 5.

She pressed the Dr Keith Rowley-led regime to put an end to the “political charades” and bring new initiatives to support businesses and citizens.

“The UNC, in its plan, committed to lowering taxes as this would give a lifeline to struggling small and medium-sized businesses. With a few weeks to go before the budget, I call on the Government to lower taxes to protect businesses.”

This, as she said the small business sector has been especially affected as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on.

She said the number of closed stores and empty spaces in malls are a clear demonstration of the toll on this sector.

Persad-Bissessar said: “Today I make a call to the Government to end their political charades, end their public relations as well as gimmicks and focus on the measures needed to protect small and medium-sized businesses as well as the thousands employed by them.”

The Opposition Leader called on the People’s National Movement-led administration to look at innovative ways to bring relief to citizens.

“Ever so often we get a tweet from the Minister of Finance on the number of Salary Grants paid out but these grants are for a specific time period and our citizens need more sustainable support so they can remain employed with the ability to earn a regular income.”

She said too many citizens are falling into turmoil due to job losses and unable to support their families at this crucial time.

“The reality for so many families is the horror of not being able to put a meal on the table or even afford the necessary tools for their child's online schooling as breadwinners have lost their jobs.”

Persad-Bissessar said the time has come for Government become as innovative as other world governments who are working to save jobs while battling similar circumstances.

She challenged Government to institute these suggestions from the Opposition to ensure workers are supported during this time.

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