Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar yesterday called on members of various trade unions to let their voices be heard and to speak for themselves as they continued their protest in front of Parliament, at the International Waterfront in Port of Spain yesterday.
During a break in a sitting of the Lower House yesterday, Persad-Bissessar spoke to protestors outside and expressed her support, she also assured those gathered that she would raise their issues before Parliament and said that she would appoint one of the protestors to come before the Senate and voice their concerns.
“When it goes to Senate they should represent themselves. The whole budget will go before the Senate, so we will appoint one of you all (protestors) to speak for us and for themselves.”
President General of the National Trade Union Centre (NATUC), Michael Annissette said Government continues to neglect the plight of its citizens and expressed his full support to the cause of the demonstrators. He criticised the 2018 budget for not being inclusive to the needs of those in lower to middle income brackets.
Maxine Gonzales, an official from the Members Club and Lottery Workers Union (MCLWU), said while they were willing to share the burden, the tax hike would cripple the gaming industry. “It feels as if the Government does not like the gaming industry. We pay our taxes and we are regulated by the Financial Investigations Unit of the TTPS, we understand this, but you cannot tax a country into prosperity.”
The protest which began outside the Works and Transport Building on London Street, drew over 200 demonstrators who spilled onto the road blocking the passage of both motorists and pedestrians before they relocated to the Parliament, where the protest ended.