Tsoiafatt Angus: IDA will reduce cost of living in Tobago

Innovative Democratic Alliance leader Dr Denise Tsoiafatt-Angus -
Innovative Democratic Alliance leader Dr Denise Tsoiafatt-Angus -

Innovative Democratic Alliance (IDA) political leader Denise Tsoiafatt Angus says the party, if it wins the December 6 THA election, will implement iniatives aimed at reducing the cost of living in Tobago.

Tsoiafatt Angus said the IDA plan to relax taxation for private sector businesses that have lost money owing to the closure of the beaches.

She was speaking on Thursday during an IDA meeting in the Bon Accord/Crown Point electoral district. The party’s candidate for the area is longtime entrepreneur Kaye Trotman.

Saying the private sector must drive Tobago’s economy post-covid19, Tsoiafatt Angus said it is very difficult for young entrepreneurs to develop in an environment in which raw materials are costly “because of the unpredictability of the prices (when) bringing in stuff through customs.

“Therefore, we are going to be looking at that to see how can we help them more, whether it is we have to put a subsidy in place to assist with the raw materials purchased.”

Tsoiafatt Angus added, “What that does is actually keep our cost of living down because products that are coming from even Trinidad, we have to pay more. So, we will be doing a full study on that to see how do we subsidise persons bringing things from Trinidad to Tobago and ensure that they keep the cost of living down in Tobago.”

She again claimed the lifting of the state of emergency on November 17 was done to allow the PNM to campaign in an unrestricted manner.

Tsoiafatt Angus, who is contesting the Bethel/New Grange seat, believes this was done while Tobago’s tourism sector remains struggling.

“You lift the state of emergency to allow for the election extravaganza, the feteing that is going to go on, the congregating. But yet you leave the tourism and private sector to languish because the beaches are closed. So how are you attracting tourists to come and the beach closed?

“Don’t tell me that you are protecting us against covid19 pandemic because we all know, we all study the literature that it is closed ventilation, close proximity, or hygiene practices – those are what contribute. Open ventilation spaces are encouraged. What is more open ventilated than the beach? Therefore, why do we continue to have it closed?”

She wondered if it is the Government’s intention to “bring Tobago’s economy to its knees.

“We are already on our knees. Maybe, they want us to get flat. It cannot continue because they are suffering the Tobago economy by what they are doing. And it’s time that the central government takes its knee out of Tobago’s neck and let it breathe again.”

Tsoiafatt Angus said tourism is the lifeblood of Tobago.

“Our tourism product is what we survive on. Fifty thousand people cannot sustain businesses on this island and all of those businesses in Crown Point have depended on a tourism product that we have had for years.”

She said although the decline in tourism sector started long before covid19, the Government’s policies accelerated it.

Tsoiafatt Angus said the IDA, if elected, will ensure the beaches are reopened.

“Right now, the current administration is mum. They say nothing. They not fighting for you. But this administration of the Innovative Democratic Alliance will not be afraid to open our mouths and fight to ensure the beaches are open.”

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