Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley must act now to save thousands of affected workers, farmers and small businesses from complete financial ruin during this dire period of the Covid-19 economic shutdown.
That’s the word of Mayaro MP, Rushton Paray.
Paray, in a release, said Dr. Rowley must also publicly urge manufacturers to keep their workers on their payrolls, even with reduced salaries.
He said the PM must also permit the re-opening of food establishments for delivery and curbside pick-ups in order to support hard-hit farmers, to preserve jobs and assist operators in facing their financial debts.
In addition, Paray is of the view that the Prime Minister must implore the banking community to provide meaningful concessions to homeowners and business proprietors, including genuine loan moratoriums and reduced charges.
He said “The curtailment of economic activities is having a profound negative ripple effect and would add to the high unemployment rate, financial bankruptcies, penniless farmers and insolvent Small and Medium-sized Enterprises.
Already, weak sales resulting from the Covid-19 crisis have caused the closure of hundreds of SMEs and the loss of thousands of jobs, many of them in the informal sector.”
“Dr. Rowley must provide urgent and decisive leadership with appropriate economic responses in order to save livelihoods and also avert possible social fallout.
The Board of Inland Revenue must be instructed to relax the deadlines for tax compliance.
The Prime Minister’s unthinking carte blanche approach is leading to unparalleled hardship throughout the country,” Paray added.
The MP also said that Rowley must quickly implement suitable policy initiatives, including contingency funding, in order to avert the severe knock-on effect throughout the economy.
“In doing so, he should emulate countries that have effectively managed the financial disaster caused by the pandemic.”
Paray pointed out that the current national shutdown could have detrimental effects on a society already reeling from high unemployment, shortage of foreign exchange, negative economic growth, vanishing export markets and the worst debt crisis in its history.
“The future of Trinidad and Tobago’s workers, farmers and business people depend upon the Government’s management of this unmatched economic catastrophe.”