Tancoo: $70b 'could easily' address all Trinidad and Tobago's problems

Oropouche West MP Davendranath Tancoo. - File photo
Oropouche West MP Davendranath Tancoo. - File photo

OPPOSITION MP Davendranath Tancoo says $70.7 billion the Government intends to spend in fiscal 2024, "could easily address every single problem this country is facing."

Tancoo spoke at an Opposition media briefing on June 2, ahead of June 3's meeting of the standing Finance Committee of the House of Representatives which will be asked to consider an increase of $2,328,099,600 to the 2023/2024 budget.

Tancoo said he cannot understand why the government was seeking an additional $2.3 billion, "having failed to account for $1 billion spent last year."

Recalling his time as financial advisor to the prime minister under the People's Partnership government, he said he was aware of "the multitude of projects for national growth, economic transformation and human development which was achieved with a fraction of what this government is spending.

"As someone with knowledge of economics, finance and business, I can tell you that $70.7 billion could easily address every single problem this country is facing – from unemployment, school violence, falling standard of living, poor water supply, flooding and yes, even crime."

However, he added, it requires vision and people-centred governance to make this work.

He believes Trinidad and Tobago's socio-economic health is "the worst it has ever been" as the country's finances are "in a complete mess" because of the PNM.

"Every sector is spiralling uncontrollably downwards into deepening failure, crisis and collapse. And if you thought that giving this government billions more would have made a difference, you would be wrong."

He added the extra money is being sought to clear outstanding bills, and will bring no new projects.

"No vision...Every single expenditure that is to be funded by the increase was known by the minister when he delivered the budget speech in October.

"Not one red cent of this additional money will be spent to create a single new project which can earn an income to repay the billions in borrowing that this government is doing. This is all to pay debts, and every one of those debts as I said was known at the time the minister read the budget."

He said Finance Minister Colm Imbert cannot be trusted.

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"Tancoo: $70b ‘could easily’ address all Trinidad and Tobago’s problems"

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