Rowley tells UNC: Hands off UTC / NIB

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley. -
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley. -

THE Prime Minister is warning voters against “playing fast and loose” with the UNC's plans to tap into the cash reserves of the Unit Trust Corporation (UTC) and the National Insurance Board (NIB).

Dr Rowley, political leader of the PNM, made the comment at an election campaign meeting at the San Fernando city auditorium on Monday night. The meeting was held in support of candidates for San Fernando East and West, Brian Manning and Faris Al-Rawi, Pointe-a-Pierre Daniel Dookie and Fyzabad, Solange De Souza..

"The Opposition Leader has put out a document where she has spoken about tapping into the cash reserves and mobilising the cash reserves of the NIB and the UTC.

“The money at the UTC are your private savings. I don’t know what role the government has for any access or what plan they have so they could tap into and mobilise UTC cash reserves.”

Rowley said the only way the UTC reserves could be made available to government is if government is trying to raise a bond and UTC decides to buy some of those bonds.

“Not too much, because UTC has to be very careful. It may buy some bonds, but you can’t come and tell the country the way you will treat with the country’s financial situation is to tap into the cash reserves of the UTC.

“And the NIB is your pension you have been contributing to, and they invest very frugally because their investment has to pay to earn a dividend so, for those who work now, when you retire there would be an NIB there in a system that could pay your pension.

”Don’t put God out of your thoughts and let the UNC come into office and play fast and loose with the UTC and the NIB. UTC has over 800,000 accounts, mainly of little people’s savings. You don’t want the UNC to be tapping into UTC cash reserves.”

The UNC has outlined ways to stimulate the economy post covid19 in a national economic transformation masterplan should it get into government.

Among the proposals are, "The National Infrastructure Fund will support strategic investments in public transport, solar, water and wastewater facilities, climate-resilient infrastructure, and green housing. The National Infrastructure Fund will be capitalised using the idle cash balances of state-controlled institutional investors like the National Insurance Board and the Unit Trust Corporation. This will mobilise an initial $4 billion in capital for the National Infrastructure Fund.

“Life insurance companies and private pension funds can be encouraged to become either shareholders or investors in the National Infrastructure Fund, thereby substantially boosting its pool of capital."


"Rowley tells UNC: Hands off UTC / NIB"

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