The Government is displaying an absence of leadership in relation to the measures put forward in the national budget presented earlier this month by Finance Minister Colm Imbert. This was the observation of the president of the Joint Trade Union Movement (JTUM) Ancil Roget at the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) in St Clair yesterday.
A large crowd of JTUM members gathered in the scorching heat yesterday to express their dissatisfaction with the budget through the handing over of a letter addressed to the Prime Minister.
Before delivering the letter to the OPM, it was signed by Roget, National Trade Union Centre General Secretary, Michael Anisette and The Federation of Independent Trade Unions and NGOs General Secretary, Ashton Cunningham.
Maurice Suite, the permanent secretary of the PM accepted the letter on his behalf.
The letter addressed several critical measures including the fuel subsidy, the removal of the restrictions on banded maxi taxis, the increase in corporate tax for businesses and banks along with the inadequate allocation of a mere $544 million to agriculture.
“The painful reality is that these increases will result in excruciating pain and suffering of unimaginable proportions for ordinary people. It is common knowledge that increases in fuel prices is always swiftly accompanied with an increase in the cost of living,” said Roget.
He said that the action taken in the budget is going to affect the vulnerable people in society the most. “We are deeply concerned about pensioners/retirees, people living on a fixed income, minimum wage earners, low income families especially single parents, the unemployed, the poor, our farmers, our fishermen, our youth and people on the lowest end of the economic ladder.”
JTUM will be mobilising their efforts and going through main areas in TT to make them aware of the deception that was given to them in this budget. “As the conscience of the people, the trade union is compelled to provide a decisive response to the budget, which is not the letter, but the action coming behind it.”