Thursday 23 November, 2017

Stuart Young to casino workers: Don’t let them use you

Minister in the Ministry of the Attorney General, Stuart Young referred to Friday's anti-budget protest outside of Parliament as casino workers and union members for the gambling sector protested what they said are unfair tax increases.

Young said however that the tax is not aimed at the workers, but at those who live ‘lavish lifestyles’.

“I’ve heard it said and they came and lined up outside (Parliament), the casino workers etc., we are not against casino workers and I plead, don’t let those few who are living the lavish lifestyles, use you,” he said.

Union members and casino workers protested against increased taxes within the gambling industry, which they said were too extreme. 

Related Article

Young also defended increased taxes of 35 percent against commercial banks.

“They’re making over a billion dollars a year in net profit consistently and I’d like to remind them that their biggest shareholders now are the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago.”

He also stood by government's proposed increased 12.5 percent royalty rate, which would now be applicable across the board on the extraction of all gas, condensate, and oil.

“No corporation will hold a gun to the head of this government of Trinidad and Tobago,” he said.

Young also said that soon government would be able to ‘follow the money’ regarding billions of dollars which the former UNC government allegedly spent months before leaving office.

“I’ll explain to the country how you bankrupted it…when we came into office within a few days it became apparent when the Central Bank came to the Minister of Finance and told him that the overdraft is at its limit and if those on the other side don’t understand, when an overdraft is at its limit and you’ve spent $16 billion from NGC and left it with no money and you’ve drained every other state enterprise and indebted them…they mortgaged the Green Fund…EMBD, $400 million in short-term loans, T&TEC $1.6 billion in a six-month rollover debt…that is how you bankrupt a country,” he said.

“Don’t let them fool a single person in Trinidad and Tobago, they spent all of the cash that was available, they leveraged all of the savings they could get their hands on. I think in that last two months they pushed about five to six billion and we will hear very shortly in the next coming weeks how some of that was distributed. For the first time the country will be told through the following of the money where that money went,” he said.