The trinidad Guardian / National Solidarity Assembly (NSA) political leader Nirvan Maharaj is calling on Finance Minister Colm Imbert to apologise to the nation for unleashing further hardship on citizens.

In the NSA’s budget response, Maharaj said a budget was simply a fiscal proposal and was not cast in stone. Therefore, he called for several aspects of the budget to be changed if further analysis showed an increase in the suffering of the ordinary man.

“The 2017 budget seems to have resurrected the days of the aristocracy, turning the masses of people in Trinidad and Tobago into peasants and this serves the interest of the selected few corporations and individuals who controlled the economy before 1838 and still do so today.

“There is doubt with regard to agriculture, the Finance Minister has spoken with a forked tongue, claiming to be giving incentives to the agricultural sector, while allocating the sector the least amount of money in the budget and in fact, less than last year,” Maharaj said.

In their budget wish list, the NSA had called for the allocation of proper subsidies for the continued development of residential and agricultural sites owed to ex-Caroni (1975) Ltd workers among other items. However, he said Imbert failed to even address the lack of access road, crossings, water supply, irrigation and other issues.

He said the increased price of fuel, tyres, and motor vehicle inspections will lead to further suffering for the man on the street as the cost of goods and services will be passed on.

“Truly a disappointing budget, weighed heavily against the ordinary man, designed to fool the citizens of T&T with superficial platitudes, while the burden of adjustment and austerity fall squarely on the shoulders of the working class.

He described the Finance Minister’s proposals as “a domino budget with the pieces quickly falling apart one after the other and the working class man being the last piece, bearing the full weight of all others, suffocating under the weight of harsh economic times.”


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