Kamla: “Government clueless, heartless”

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Opposition Leader, Kamla Persad-Bissessar says the present Government is heartless, clueless, and does not know what to do.

In a statement issued on Saturday, Persad-Bissessar pointed to this country’s worst economic decline in our history.

The following is her statement:

“The newspaper headlines and news stories today announcing Trinidad and Tobago’s worst economic decline in our history (-6.7 percent in the first half of 2016) is very disturbing for the welfare and well being of our citizens.
It reinforces the bad news documented in the Review of the Economy and presented in Parliament along with the 2017 budget which revealed that virtually every economic sector had declined significantly over the last fiscal year.
The current numbers forewarn, as we come to the end of the last quarter of 2016, that the decline at the end of December 2016 is likely to be even steeper than the current numbers now indicate for up to the middle of the year.
I take this opportunity to point out that the economic statistics are not just numbers. They are about an economy that is contracting; businesses that are collapsing and shrinking; workers who are losing their jobs and homes, families and citizens that are under severe and worsening economic and financial pressure.
The  last fourteen months have been abysmal in terms of Government performance. There have been no decisions made that I can recall , which have impacted positively on economic activity or business  and consumer confidence. Moreover the rhetoric of the Rowley government has been discouraging and the pronouncement of Ministers have been provocative, insensitive and disruptive of economic sustainability.
The Rowley government has failed to engage the production side of the energy sector to stimulate investment in drilling for future production. Even on the tension between upstream and downstream interests they have put decisions on the vital energy sector on hold.
The government is focused purely on revenue and expenditure when the real emphasis needs to be on investment, exports and diversification to transform the economy.
There have also been no bold decisions to stimulate investments by the local private sector to stimulate exports.
There has been no successful action to stimulate investment in agriculture, services, tourism, ICT or manufacturing.
There has been no vision for new industries that are focused on niches to tap our significant output of University graduates and skilled technicians over the last five years.
The country is reeling from the Rowley government’s incompetence.
The end result of this lack of vision, debilitating inaction and absence of decision making is a total loss of confidence by economic actors in the country, panic on the part of large numbers of citizens and a deepening of the recessionary trend in the country.

Government incompetence in the realm of economic management and it’s monumental failure in governance, is taking Trinidad and Tobago into a new era of hopelessness.

The Government’s abdication of responsibility on the murder front is making Trinidad and Tobago an even more dangerous and unpredictable place and this is having a psychological effect on both private and public sector drivers in the economic sphere.
In fourteen months, this Rowley government has dramatically shrunk the Trinidad and Tobago economy; they have slashed disposable income; they have raised prices; they have eroded consumer confidence; they have accelerated a recession; they have dramatically increased unemployment and they have secured no new investment. They are effectively pushing huge sections of our citizens including our senior citizens and single mother households into poverty with no hope of improvement in the foreseeable future.
The Rowley government is running the Trinidad and Tobago economy to the ground and their every public action appears designed to penalise ordinary citizens under economic and psychological pressure as never before.
This government came into office without a plan and now they find themselves clueless on what to do and how to do it.

The Opposition would like to make it clear that the solution to our continuing decline is a focus on stimulation of growth. This means that important decisions need to be taken now in energy, on investment generally, on the stimulation of exports, on diversification and strategic decisions in key areas of diversification, on job creation and new business creation and on psychological relief on the suffer action of our large majority of citizens.

This Rowley Government seems to be clueless, heartless, and incompetent to do what is required.”




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