PM says Kamla’s budget response was filled with “misrepresentation, misinformation and lies”

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PM says Kamla’s budget response was filled with “misrepresentation, misinformation and lies”

In spite of the current hard times and the even harder and unpopular decisions Government must make now, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley is calling on citizens to “stay the course” and keep their trust in a PNM government.

He made the comment on Friday evening, while speaking at the PNM’s post budget public meeting at the Mt Hope/Mt Lambert community centre.

The PM chastised Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s budget response in the House of Representatives earlier on Friday, by describing it as the worst response he had ever heard.

“Today the Opposition Leader stumbled through one of the worst performances I have ever heard from an opposition leader in this country,” Rowley said.

He said Persad-Bissessar spoke about how wonderful her government was and how much money they left in the treasury on demitting office. “So at the end of your government, you had 29 seats in Parliament and the people (still) voted you out of office,” Rowley said.

Rowley said: “ninety per cent of what Kamla said today was misrepresentation, misinformation and lies.”

He then spoke of deals the then UNC government made with foreign oil companies which, he had to renegotiate new deals when the PNM came into office in 2015.

According to Rowley, had those deals not been renegotiated by him, TT stood to gain not one cent of oil and gas revenue from 2015 to 2024.

During his response to the Budget, Persad-Bissessar promised that if returned to power, she would restart the Petrotrin refiner.
However, Rowley said the profitability of the refinery was tied to the amount of crude oil TT was producing from its wells. When oilfields became mature and oil production started to fall, the Government decided to get out of the crude oil refining business since it was no longer profitable.

Rowley said his government was able to dodge a US$850m debt which had to be repaid in 2018, by reorganising Petrotrin into specific entities which are now operating with a profit, and whose profits are being used to service that particular debt.