Minister Imbert’s almost three-year stint as Minister of Finance has been a lesson in gross incompetence and horrific financial mismanagement. No one in Trinidad and Tobago could dare accuse him of being a successful MOF.
His only achievements thus far are taxing, borrowing and buying scrap iron.
Instead of attacking persons asking questions about the proposed NIF, he should properly explain what it is that he is offering to the country. He should answer, inter alia, the following:
- Why is it that government is borrowing from the public by way of bonds, instead of selling shares to the public as was promised by the MOF?
- Are the bonds guaranteed by government and If not, why not?
- How has he calculated the profits of the companies placed in the NIF over the life of the bonds?
- Since dividends are based on profits and are determined by the directors of the companies, can he explain how he has calculated the dividends that will be paid out by these companies over the life of the bond?
- Which of the companies in the NIF have a government representative and/or control on their Board of Directors?
- Does he acknowledge that in the offering of bonds on the domestic market is really a case of borrowing on the domestic market?
- Is this akin to the government taking a four-billion-dollar unguaranteed mortgage against those companies with the lender being the unsuspecting public of T&T?
- In the event that government guarantees these bonds, will this add to our existing high national debt and, whether this will have a negative effect on our credit rating?
- Will the four billion dollars raised be used to invest in building productive capacity or will it be used for recurrent expenditure?
- Is this borrowing for today and placing the bills for re-payment on the next generation?
I reiterate that this NIF is an ill-conceived, vague, deceptive Ponzi like scheme being piloted by an equally vague, deceptive, incompetent government. This Ponzi scheme, like the Grenada stadium, will eventually collapse.