Tuesday 2 June, 2020

Kamla slams ‘Hansel and Gretel' budget

“This budget is like the bread that the devil knead.”

This is how Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar described the 2019/2020 budget presentation by Finance Minister Colm Imbert on Monday.

In an immediate response, the Opposition Leader said the ‘election budget’ provided no new initiatives.

This, as she claimed the Finance Minister repeated the promises made in previous budgets.

“I have said the economy is dead, and today the minister performed the final rites to bury the economy,” she said.

Persad-Bissessar further labelled the presentation as no more than a ‘Hansel and Gretel’ budget.

“It’s like Hansel and Gretel politics. They’re throwing crumbs with these increases when the majority don’t have jobs,” she said.

Meanwhile, the Opposition Leader added that the government should have increased the minimum wage to $20.

During his budget presentation, the Finance Minister announced that the minimum wage would be increased from $15 to $17.50 with effect from December 1.

He also announced that CEPEP and URP wages will be increased by 15% and OJT stipends by 10% effective December 1.

Persad-Bissessar said while she is glad that there has been an increase, the cost of living is too high.

“I’m glad that he has given some of these workers an increase. But I would also say, like I said before, that he should have given the workers a minimum wage of $20.”

The Opposition Leader also claimed that the minister failed to show how the government will generate jobs.

She said over 60 thousand people have lost their jobs within the last four years.

“The people want jobs, they want jobs, not bulbs and that is the brightest idea in the budget,” she said.

Debate on the budget will begin on Friday, where the Opposition Leader is expected to officially respond to the budget presentation in Parliament.

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