The dream of owning a home will be easier to achieve as Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar announced last night a Cabinet-approved mortgage plan for people earning less than $8,000.
Speaking at the United National Congress (UNC) public meeting at the Barataria community centre last night, Persad-Bissessar said that Cabinet decided to make it possible for citizens earning less than $8,000 a month to buy their first home, with zero down payment and at a two per cent interest rate for homes up to $450,000.
The PM said that in this country, citizens have dreams of owning their first home and her Government shares this dream with the people.
“It means that every individual that has a dream of owning a home for their family can now be realised,” said Persad-Bissessar.
The People’s Partnership Government, she said, is one that listens.
“I hear many citizens complaining that buying a home as a middle or low income person has almost become the impossible dream. But I say tonight that this Government is working to put those dreams within your grasp,” said the Prime Minister.
Persad-Bissessar noted that Martin Luther King Jr had said “I have a dream”.
“Do not lose sight of your dreams…My Government is here to help make your dreams a reality,” she said.
The Prime Minister also expressed confidence last night that when debate resumes on April 23 on the controversial Bill to give members of the Defence Force police powers, her Government will be successful.
She added that her Government will also come back with the Capital Punishment Bill, geared at resuming hangings in this country.
Persad-Bissessar said when debate was adjourned on the Defence Amendment Bill, the Opposition said her Government had lost.
“That reveals their real agenda, which is to look the other way and let criminals flourish so that you would have to live in fear,” she said, adding that the PNM knew who “Mr Big” was but never took him down.
“…We will go back to the Senate and we will win…because we know I believe that good sense will prevail and our Independent Senators–who represent you–would heed your concerns and stand up for you.”
The Prime Minister further assured that relations between the United States and this country were not strained.
“They want you to be afraid that you will not be able to acquire a visa to visit the US. They are trying to bring us down in the eyes of the world,” she said.
Persad-Bissessar noted that last week, Doreen Alexander was extradited to the US on the request of the law enforcement agencies in the United States.
The PM read a release from the US Embassy in Port of Spain, issued last week, which stated that the extradition underscores the continuing diplomatic and law enforcement co-operation between both countries.
“Does that sound to you like strained diplomatic relations? Do not let the campaign of fear take root in our beloved country,” said Persad-Bissessar.
And the Prime Minister announced that she will be visiting Washington DC next week for meetings with US officials.