COP emerges to criticise budget debate


Minister of Finance Colm Imbert talks with Minister of Planning and Development Camille Robinson-Regis during the debate on the 2021/2022 budget in Parliament on Saturday. – Jeff Mayers

CONGRESS of the People political leader Kirt Sinnette described the recently concluded budget debate on the 2021-2022 budget read last Monday as a “debacle” in a release sent to the media.

“With our national debt now standing at a mind-boggling $137 billion and an expected current budget deficit of $13.74 billion, one would have thought that this was a good time to allow the general public to understand where we are and where we are heading.

“This is too much to ask of this current Government whose dictatorial tendencies continue to be showcased. It is indeed a sad day for a country when those in Government would inexplicably refuse to account to its employers (the public) for monies spent and to be spent in the fiscal year 2020-2021 and the upcoming 2021-2022 periods.”

The COP leader also had strong words for the Opposition whom he said failed to present a better alternative to the budget propositions.

“It is indeed even more astonishing that the members of the Opposition would not be adequately prepared to use this opportunity to showcase to the nation that it was ready to outline a better way forward, to identify the many areas where the budget was failing the citizens of this nation and where monies could have been better allocated.”

Minister of Finance Colm Imbert presented the $52 billion budget on October 4, promising tax incentives for businesses and removal of taxes on foodstuffs.

Imbert concluded the budget debate on Saturday after no UNC MP rose to speak when Arima MP Lisa Morris-Julian’s contribution ended. UNC MP David Lee at the UNC press conference on Sunday said it would have been a waste to call out its “heavy hitters” to respond to Morris-Julian on Saturday.

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