Imbert: Govt response to covid19 world class

Colm Imbert
Colm Imbert

Finance Minister Colm Imbert said if Government had followed covid19 proposals from the United National Congress (UNC) the country's economy and health system could have been destroyed. 

He was responding to a private motion for Government to consider the Opposition Leader's proposals of an Economic Master Plan and a genuine bipartisan collaboration towards a national policy for recovery and growth in TT.

Imbert said: "Come on. All the Opposition has done since this covid19 crisis is to come up with proposals that would have destroyed the economy, destroyed our public health system, create a runaway crisis in terms of the virus, (and) create confusion. They are the ones who said that rum shops should be kept open (with) no rational basis, when the public health experts are telling you that you have to control the places where people congregate. It is only logical. There is no rocket science in that."

Imbert described the motion as frivolous and vexatious. 

He pointed out Oxford's Blavatnik School of Government in their lockdown roll back checklist listed TT as number one out of more than 180 countries in terms of being ready to exit the lockdown. He said that as Government has begun to ease the restrictions associated with the lockdown there has not been another case of covid19.

"We are an exception in the world. Other countries far more developed than us with far more resources are unable to make that record. We have had no cases for weeks. And as we exit the lockdown there is no evidence of any spike in cases of the virus. Which other country in the world could say that? Not one I dare say."

He also pointed out that The Economist magazine has ranked TT 15th of out 66 countries in its economic strength to cope with the problems associated with covid19. He said that the UNC could "scream and shout" but both Oxford and The Economist had told the world the PNM Government "are on the right track."

"We are best in class."

On the Opposition's economic plan Imbert dismissed it as "pie in the sky". On the plan to reduce taxes he questioned where the money would come to run the country, on the removal of VAT from basic food items he said that was already done, on utilising "idle cash" from the National Insurance System and the Unit Trust Corporation he said there was none, and on a branded hotel he said the Opposition "ran Sandals out of TT". 


"Imbert: Govt response to covid19 world class"

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