Opposition Chief Whip – “Blatant dishonesty and Oppression from the Government at today’s Property Tax Debate”
As Opposition Chief Whip I would like to condemn the actions of the Government as being thoroughly deceitful, dishonest and tyrannical during the debate of the Valuation of Land Amendment Bill 2018 and Property Tax Amendment Bill 2018 at today’s Parliamentary Sitting of the House of Representatives.
Given the importance and impact these proposed amendments would have on our nation all Opposition Members of Parliament had prepared to speak on behalf of their constituents. However at the beginning of the sitting the leader of Government Business indicated that they would not be completing the debate today but would be sending up three speakers initially and would be obliged if the Opposition did the same.
As Chief Whip after consultation with my colleagues I agreed to these measures and informed my Parliamentary bench that we would only be having six speakers today; three on both sides as we would be returning at a later day to complete the debate.
To our surprise at the completion of our second speaker’s (MP Padarath) presentation the Minister of Finance stood to conclude the debate disregarding the agreement made between myself and the leader of Government Business therefore denying our other speakers the opportunity to contribute.
This is a form of blatant dishonesty on the part of the Government as not only did they break our agreement but they also denied 16 Opposition Members of Parliament the Opportunity to speak on behalf of their constituents. What is even more damning is the fact that earlier the Opposition had also agreed with Government’s request to debate the both bills as one given that we thought this would be in the best interest of the Parliament and more so the nation.
Given the Government’s oppressive actions today, they have yet again displayed that the Keith Rowley led administration is the most insincere, most dishonest and unpatriotic administration to govern Trinidad and Tobago. These actions have ruined the dignity of the House of Representatives and further indicate that this Government will use any means possible to silence the Opposition in an effort to violate, burden and disrespect the citizens of our country.
It is clear that the Government moved swiftly to muzzle the Opposition as both of our members who had spoken thus far had significantly highlighted how this administration is seeking to financially cripple the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago with Property tax.