David Lee: PNM lies, neglect stifling TT

David Lee speaks at a UNC pavement report. PHOTO BY VASHTI SINGH
David Lee speaks at a UNC pavement report. PHOTO BY VASHTI SINGH

THE nation has been shackled to the lies, failures, deception and neglect of the Rowley-led administration leading to the talent as well as beauty of its people being stifled.

At a UNC pavement report at St Julien, Princess Town, last Friday, Pointe a Pierre MP, David Lee said the meetings sought to present the raw politics breaking the shackles of the most incompetent government the country had ever seen.

He denied claims by the Prime Minister and Fitzgerald Hinds that TT was not a failed state.

“When you look at the headlines of the past few days, it is clear that it is not the people who have failed but rather Rowley and his team.”

The government, Lee said, has been brought into disrepute and become a laughing stock throughout the Commonwealth because of its poor judgement, inept decision making, and narrow-minded vision. Only recently, the Jamaican Prime Minister, he said, was hailed for the most houses built in his nation and the Barbadian Prime Minister is being hailed for that country's economic recovery.

"Here in TT the PM is being touted as having to fire a minister he appointed twice before, while firing one he was yet to appoint."

He quoted from the PNM's manifesto in 2015, it said: "As is our practice when in Opposition, we have spent the last five years developing the necessary policies and programmes to rebuild our country and our economy."

Lee said that was one of the biggest lies the PNM ever told the country.

“Where are those policies and plans?” he asked.

He said the PNM had stagnated the economy, killed off small businesses and had starved TT of economic growth. He said owing to the absence of support programmes for businesses by the current government TT was at its all-time low in the ease of doing business index, falling to 105 in the global rankings in 2018.

Lee said Finance Minister Colm Imbert was hiding from the truth, as ten months after his budget statement for 2019, he was struggling to achieve the budgeted prices of oil and gas. Lee said oil and gas prices remained lower than expected and production levels were also decreasing.

“The only way for the minister to offset some of his expenditure due to decreasing revenues would be more loans. Throwing this country into further debt.”

He said, last Tuesday, Imbert had signed a US$200 million (TT $1.36 billion) loan agreement with the Development Bank of Latin America.

“They will try to fool the population to say it’s for roads and development but do not be fooled. This is to hide the fact that they have done nothing to generate growth in the economy and need to offset their falling revenues.”

Lee named six "game-changers" that had failed: The Dragon Gas deal, Sandals Tobago, La Brea Dry Dock and revitalisation of the southwest peninsula; the National Investment Fund; Fast ferries to improve Tobago’s economy and Petrotrin's restructuring which Lee said delivered the biggest betrayal on the people of TT.

On the sale or lease of the Guaracara Refinery (formerly Petrotrin’s refinery at Point a Pierre), he said the shocking revelation stated that a Lisa Ali confirmed the assets of Paria Fuel Trading were part of the integrated oil company and anyone operating the refinery would need access to Paria’s terminal to bring crude into TT and export finished product.

“Earlier this year when they told us that Paria would not be for sale, we saw that was a lie.

"And once Paria goes, it means that the new company will supply fuel to this country,” he said.


"David Lee: PNM lies, neglect stifling TT"

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