Tancoo: the government fails on the economy


Oropouche West MP Davendranath Tancoo on his way to a session of Parliament. File photo / Sureash Cholai –

OROPOUCHE WEST MP Davendranath Tancoo said the government was doing a very poor job in managing the economy as businesses and citizens had suffered, speaking on Friday on the budget bill at the House of Representatives. He said that instead of helping new business activities to generate income, the government was seeking income in the form of taxes, fines and loans.

Tancoo said that under Finance Minister Colm Imbert, the small and microenterprise sector collapsed, even as private citizens suffered severe personal distress and economic trauma.

“The finance minister should have come here with a plan to help people in this country, but he didn’t.” He accused Imbert of six years of financial mismanagement.

Tancoo said that Imbert was only offering “tax, fine and loan” as the only way to finance his “extravagant expenses.”

He said the government was bankrupt of ideas. “They are unable to find new ways to create jobs, new ways to create investment, new ways to generate income streams so that they can pay back the money they borrowed so easily.”

Tancoo said the government had failed to create an enabling environment for existing businesses, let alone for potential new businesses. He said a World Bank report said TT was now at its lowest for ease of doing business. He called for a restart of the entire construction industry (not just government construction), so people can repair their homes for the rainy season.

“Instead, in everything this minister has done, he has created a kind of dependency. He has created a situation where they want people to be in disadvantaged positions. They want citizens to side with.

“When he’s not in line for pensions, he is in line for vaccines, he is in line to change money, he is in line for food, Madam President.

“They forced us to become dependent on the state.

Tancoo called for more support for agriculture which he said is a very viable sector.

He asked for details on how much money Imbert was looking for in the tax amnesty and what he intended to use it for.

“This government has mismanaged the economy so badly that we are now in a position where the government is in desperate need of money, looking to raise money, absorb money, mop up money, everywhere. where he can, as he can.

“It is a dangerous and desperate state to be in.”

Tancoo accused the government of maximizing its funds because it noted the increase in its borrowing limit under the Development Loans Act from $ 55 billion to $ 65 billion now, after an increase in 2019 from $ 45 billion to $ 55 billion, and an increase from 2016 from $ 30 billion to $ 45 billion.

He asked why the government was not taking a tough approach to tackling the illegal exploitation of quarries which he said was easy fruit.

From liberalizing the retail sale of gasoline, he warned that the new policy could create a monopoly at the pump which could lead to very high prices for drivers.

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