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Sunday 23 September 2018
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Opposition claims they were hijacked

Opposition members yesterday lashed the government, claiming they “hijacked” the Parliament sitting last Friday, where Government dealt with issues surrounding the property tax bill.

At the Office of the Opposition, on Charles Street, Port of Spain, yesterday, Dr Surij Rambachan, Bhoe Tewarie and Dr David Lee all accused government of closing off the debate on Valuation of Land and Property Tax bills in Parliament, without giving the opposition, who represent more than 300,000 citizens, an opportunity to air their concerns with the bill.

“What was displayed in Parliament on Friday is a disregard of the interest of people of Trinidad and Tobago. It was a silencing of people,” said David Lee earlier.

The opposition members accused Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, and the government, of not wanting to be held accountable for their decision making.

Lee explained that there was an agreement to debate the bills, and three speakers from each side would have contributed, and the debate would have continued the following Friday. However the sitting was ended after only two speakers from the Government spoke.

The Opposition members said, had they gotten the opportunity to stand and speak, they would have first pointed out that the Property Tax Bill was the same bill which, according to Tewarie: “led to the demise of the Manning Administration”.

“The Government brought the same bill and the only amendments are those seeking to create a tax regime higher that what was conceived 2009,” Tewarie said. Rambachan said while a raise in taxes may not affect some, it could be devastating to people who were struggling to make ends meet.

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