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Friday 14 August, 2020

PM: Devaluing TT dollar will cause food, transport costs to skyrocket

Pictured: Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley speaks at a political meeting in St James on July 29, 2020.

Pictured: Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley speaks at a political meeting in St James on July 29, 2020.

Devaluing the Trinidad and Tobago dollar is a last resort option.

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley speaking at a People’s National Movement meeting on Wednesday made the comment as he said this would not only weaken the TT dollar, but would also put a financial strain on households.

“You women, who manage households and manage men and who raise children you would know exactly what that means for you.

It would mean the minute you do that, the dollar in your pocket can do far less.”

He said this would see an increase in costs across the board, in transportation, basic food items and other crucial services.

“It is those people who are least able to look after themselves on whom the pressure will fall. The taxi driver will raise the fare because he buying parts... so fare has to go up.

Those in the grocery will say we are importing goods… the minute you devalue the currency you will see immediately a huge rise in staple foods, even with basic food being zero rated for VAT the price will skyrocket.”

Dr Rowley stressed that any devaluation of the TT dollar to balance the budget would leave citizens in an impoverished state.

He made it clear it would be a disaster in the making to go that route.

However, the Prime Minister said while it was a less than desirable measure, it would be considered in a last resort scenario and a common sense approach, rather than one for political expediency.

“I’m not here saying devaluations ought not to happen or cannot happen but it must be as a last resort.”

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