Wednesday 14 November, 2018

Kamla slams 'pie in the sky' budget: Can only work on Fantasy Island

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar has described the 2018/2018 budget as a “pie in the sky budget,” that can only work on “Fantasy Island.”

Persad-Bissessar made the comment in an immediate response to the budget.

“This is a pie in the sky budget, it can only work in Fantasy Island, where only he alone and his government live,” the Opposition Leader said referring to Minister of Finance Colm Imbert, who delivered Monday’s budget presentation.

She said no one feels any growth or feels any recovery.

Persad-Bissessar said everyday citizens are living through high crime, low jobs, a stagnant economy and hardships brought on by the People’s National Movement (PNM) administration.

On Imbert, she continued, “He engaged in statistical conmanship. It is as though he is living on Fantasy Island. Further, some may say he was delusional in his comments. But he believes everyone in this country is living on fantasy island, some might say la la land. The only thing he forgot to say is ‘Hashtag, Trinidad and Tobago is not a real place.’ No one in this country feels any growth. No one in this country feels any recovery. No one in this country feels any turnaround in their pockets, in their pockets and in their homes and in the quality of their lifestyle,” she said.

The Opposition Leader also disputed the unemployment figures provided by the Finance Minister, claiming that some 30,000 people lost their jobs since 2015.

“The Minister did not tell the truth in my respectful view,” she said.

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On the issue of the closure of Petrotrin’s refinery, Persad-Bissessar said Finance Minister failed to provide any valuable information on the way forward.

“Further, this reading of this budget was a reading of the funeral rites of the Petrotrin workers and their families and their communities. The minister shamelessly refused to give details about the closure of the refinery and details of the separation plans,” she said.

During the budget presentation, the Finance Minister revealed that severance packages for retrenched Petrotrin workers are expected to cost the state in the region of $2.6 billion.

The transition process is expected to be completed on November 30.



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