THE Opposition yesterday accused the Government of letting the budget debate collapse prematurely last night in the House of Representatives, but this was flatly denied by the Prime Minister.
In a statement, Opposition Whip David Lee said the debate fell apart, even as the Government had failed to spell out its plans in several vital areas, leaving key questions unanswered.
“The 2019 Budget presented by the Rowley-led Government has collapsed under the weight of no plan, no policy and no way to move TT forward.”
Lee said the budget was a con job and a blatant attack on the hard-working taxpayers.
“This rush to wind up the debate without explanation is like so many other government actions, such as Petrotrin, the Venezuelan gas deal and the procurement of boats, all of which have been done without public scrutiny.
“Just think, the Minister of National Security, the Attorney General and the Prime Minister himself did not take the opportunity to address the people of TT.”
Other front-line speakers who did not address the debate were the ministers of Housing, Education, Public Utilities, Foreign Affairs, and Agriculture, Lee lamented.
“This confirms what the Opposition has been saying, and what the population has come to see: that they have no idea or plan to fix the economic mess in which they’ve put our country.
“What is the plan for national security, agriculture, education? What is their focus? What is their priority?
“The budget debate was the opportune time for ministers to address the people of TT, but instead, in a move characteristic of this Rowley Government, the plans, policies, even how the money will be spent remains a big secret.”
Lee said questions over an alleged link between a sitting MP and the fake oil scandal remain unanswered because of the Government’s haste to wind up the debate.
“Are they running scared?
“The Prime Minister must either come forward and answer the questions which were placed on the Hansard or meet the citizens inside the voting booths as soon as possible so that they can decide his fate. Come clean, answer the questions or call an election immediately.”
At a news briefing yesterday morning, Dr Rowley denied the debate had collapsed. He said that after Minister in the Office of the Attorney General Fitzgerald Hinds had spoken on Tuesday, the Opposition had failed to put forward a speaker, after which Finance Minister Colm Imbert had risen to conclude the debate.