Kamla: When will businesses be allowed to reopen

Opposition leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar -
Opposition leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar -

Opposition leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar is calling on the Government to share its plans on when they are going to reopen businesses which were closed to stem the spread of covid19.

All non-essential businesses, including bars, restaurants have been shut down since mid-March.

In a statement on Saturday, Persad-Bissessar said it was clear that Government cannot provide the promised social assistance to the unemployed.

Government has promised to assist the people who were retrenched or forced to accept pay cuts as employers were unable to continue paying them. Some 38,000 people who were temporarily sacked have applied for state support through the Salary Relief Grant and many more are seeking financial assistance from the Ministry of Social Development.

Persad-Bissessar said while the UNC fully supported of the temporary shutdown of the country, the nation must be told what the next steps were, as people and businesses were uncertain as how to plan for the way forward.

"People are suffering and have no food. What is the Government’s short and medium-term plans for reopening businesses and the wider economy after the shutdown?"

She said patriotism and putting country first did not mean the people must give up their rights to ask questions and call on the Government to account.

On Thursday, Prime Minister Rowley said it was premature to say if the measures imposed by the government to close businesses would continue after April 30. He said that any decision to change it would be based on medical advice.

The Opposition Leader also claimed that people who were demanding accountability were being attacked with negative propaganda on social media masked as fake outrage and political correctness to silence them.

"Leaders should not shirk their duty for Facebook likes, leaders must make representations for the best interests of the people.The UNC will never be intimidated by anyone into not doing our duty, and this entails calling out the Government’s public relations circus which has unravelled day by day. Many citizens gave the Government the benefit of the doubt, but after weeks of talking the talk, we now see they can’t walk the walk."

She said TT still did not have testing of its own while the people could not yet access social assistance.

Persad-Bissessar said Government's response to the covid19 pandemic was causing more damage than the virus itself.

"We cannot be reckless with citizens’ physical and mental health. There must be a balance struck between protecting citizens from the virus and ensuring that they are can be provided for."


"Kamla: When will businesses be allowed to reopen"

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