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Rowley paints grim economic picture

...tells supporters ‘ram the X by the balisier’
Published: 
Sunday, September 6, 2015
UNC supporters display a placard which bears two snakes and takes jabs at former UNC minister and MP Winston “Gypsy” Peters and former UNC activist Dave Persad, yesterday, at the UNC rally at Aranguez Savannah. PHOTO: RISHI RAGOONATH

People’s National Movement (PNM) leader Dr Keith Rowley is concerned that by Tuesday, the incoming government will face a wasted treasury.

Speaking to the massive crowd gathered at the party’s last rally, at Eddie Hart Grounds, Tacarigua, yesterday, Rowley, who painted a somewhat gloomy economic outlook for T&T, said the PNM did not have a clear picture of the country’s statistics.

“The Government has deliberately, deliberately ensured that the statistics of the country are not available to the public and no vestige of information exists,” he said.

Rowley said the Government was also giving instructions to staff to prevent too much information from being made public.

“The only people right now who know exactly what they have done and how bad it is is the Government,” Rowley said.

“Any government that comes in on Tuesday morning will meet a mountain of recent debt incurred by this Government. They knew the economy was contracting and they were still spending like mad,” he said.

Rowley said the UNC/ PP Government felt that if they won Monday's election, “too bad for you, they done win already...

“And if they lose on Monday, too bad for the next government, they gone and they leave it for the next government.” 

Rowley called on supporters to go out and bring home the votes to the PNM in tomorrow’s election.

The ultimate speaker at the entertainment-packed rally, a fiery Rowley encouraged PNM supporters to “ram the X by the balisier” and ensure a landslide victory for the PNM.

He also urged the young voters to be involved in the election process as the future of the country was dependent on them.

“I appeal to the people to reject out of hand what this Government is holding out to us as the country we want, as against the country we have,” he said.

He bashed the United National Congress (UNC) and the whole People’s Partnership administration, but singled out Finance Minister Larry Howai for lying to the country about the state of the nation’s deficit.

“The Minister of Finance just last week, in response to our concerns for the economy and ministers not speaking the truth to the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago on very serious matters, Minister Howai said this to us, he said we expected a deficit of $4 billion but we only recorded a deficit of $1 billion."

But, Rowley said, the latest bulletin by the Central Bank proved that Howai was not being accurate with those figures.

“What the minister was telling us two days ago, that the deficit was $1 billion, the Central Bank is saying that the country’s overall deficit has doubled from $1 billion to $2.17 billion. So the Minister of Finance was telling us that the deficit has been reduced, but while he was telling us that, the real deficit was known to him to be $2.17 billion,” Rowley said.

“These people have been lying to us,” Rowley added.

He also criticised UNC leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s recent apology over the Reshmi Ramnarine matter, asking if she apologised only because she was held to account.

“Well, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, I am sorry too, I am sorry for you.”

Rowley promised a reformed government and state agencies which would not seek only to “enrich themselves.”

He said the major issues that were ventilated during this election were about corruption, competence and crime.

He said in the last five years there was no significant change in the country, and once the PNM formed the next government, his first job would be to bolster the country’s security.

“That will be the number one priority of the government of Trinidad and Tobago: securing the people of Trinidad and Tobago and it starts with the appointment of a new minister of national security,” Rowley said.

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