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Sunday 15 December 2019
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Government paid over $5b in backpay

Photo by Roger Jacob
Photo by Roger Jacob

Between 2015 and 2019 Government spent over $5 billion on backpay to public servants.

Finance Minister Colm Imbert delivered this figure during a political meeting at the Barataria South Secondary school on Thursday night.

Responding to comments made by Progressive Democratic Patriots leader Watson Duke questioning the payment of backpay, Imbert said he had the figures to show what the government had delivered.

Imbert, who had been credited by the speakers before him with stabilising the economy, said the amountpaid out was close to $6 billon.

He described Duke as a "disgrace” and “a UNC agent."

He said, "That's  just one of the things we did .

“In 2014 the income the government received from oil and gas was $28 billion. In 2016 that income was $8 billion – and yet we still paid out in that period over $5 billion in backpay.

“Why? ‘Cause we are PNM. We make good on our promises. That was not easy."

Imbert said recounted budget promises such as tax-free equipment for agriculture and housing initiatives as examples of the PNM "getting the job done."

 

He told the crowd not to listen to the ole talk that PNM never did anything.

 

"We building a new airport in Tobago, they vex. Go down South you will see the work on the highway. Right there in Curepe look at the interchange being vuilt there. We have two hospitals under construction.

“We are not just rebuilding the economy, we are also dealing with the infrastructure needs and healthcare needs in this country."

 

On local government, Imbert said the PNM was the only party bringing local government reform.

 

"We are giving councils the responsibility to deal with school repairs. Your councillors will have this authority.

“We are the only party talking about that. What are they talking about?"

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