Thursday, July, 23, 2015
Good morning, and welcome to Super Quality supermarket.
There are now 46 days until the general election, and in that election the people of Trinidad and Tobago will have a clear choice…
… between Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar … the woman with a track record of delivering for the people of Trinidad and Tobago … and a plan to lead our country to prosperity…
… or Keith Rowley, who has no plan and no vision for the future of Trinidad and Tobago.
Yesterday, we exposed the staggering wastefulness of Keith Rowley’s only stated commitment – a vanity rail project that Trinidad and Tobago does not need and cannot afford. And as I said yesterday, Keith Rowley has promised to build this entirely unnecessary railway … while all the time refusing to say how he would pay for it.
We know how much it will cost – an unbelievable $60 billion dollars – but Keith Rowley is keeping his plans to finance it a secret.
That’s because he knows – and we know – that to pay for his pointless project, Keith Rowley is going to have to cut spending and put up taxes. He’s going to cut funding for important public services … and increase taxes on every family in Trinidad and Tobago. And the tax he wants to increase is VAT.
Today a typical family in Trinidad and Tobago spends $1886.94 per month on groceries alone. Under Keith Rowley’s VAT increase those same groceries will cost the same family $2,358.68. That is an increase of $471.74 per month or $5,660.82 per year – just to do the family food shop. These numbers don’t even include clothing, household furniture, kitchen appliances, electrical goods, utility bills, or the family car. So when you take into account these goods, the cost to families is even higher – and they are costs that working families cannot afford to pay.
This is why we are here today, with the Cupidore family, at the Super Quality supermarket. Because Keith Rowley’s VAT hike will hurt working families – just like the Cupidores – the length and breadth of our country.
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar is clear. She will not increase VAT – because her plans are costed, funded, and thought through, and because she doesn’t believe in hitting working people with taxes to pay for politicians’ vanity projects.
Keith Rowley, on the other hand, has shown he doesn’t care about taxing working families and small businesses. These are the very people who need help from government, yet all Keith Rowley has to offer them is higher taxes. He wants to pick the pockets of hard-working Trinbagonians – because he believes he can spend your money better than you can.
To make this point clear, we are today launching a new poster campaign [unveil poster] – because we want to demonstrate that while Kamla Persad-Bissessar is on the side of working families and small businesses, Keith Rowley just wants to hit them not just with spending cuts … but with a secret plan to increase VAT.
So, with VAT as with everything else, the public have an important choice to make on 7th September.
There is a choice between two very different leaders:
Kamla Persad-Bissessar, who as Prime Minister has delivered for families and workers, and has the vision to lead our country to prosperity…
… or Keith Rowley, a man who has no new ideas, who is regurgitating the rejected policies of the past, and who wants to put up taxes on every family and small business in Trinidad and Tobago.