As the Member of Parliament for Point a Pierre I am deeply concerned by the Minister of Trade and Industry’s Response that she is not legally bound to undertake consultation as it relates to the Policy Change on the importation of Foreign used vehicles.
In accordance with standing order 16 of the House of Representatives I filed the following ” The failure of Government to engage in consultation with the relevant stakeholders prior to the imposition of a punitive policy on foreign used vehicles ” hoping that the nation would be informed as to the reasons for the absence of consultation on such an important policy change.
One respects the Powers and decision making process of the Minister. However given the major policy change of reducing the import age from 6 years to 4 years it would have been critical and ethical to consult with the stakeholders of the industry to assess the viability of such a decision especially as there is an ongoing Policy which became operational in 2015.
The Minister has informed the nation of an audit which will conclude on March 31st. Given this fact, why wasn’t this Policy Change or any change to the Policy made after the audit was concluded as well as what was the criteria used to implement such a change ?
The Minister must also inform the nation if at the conclusion of the audit the stakeholders can expect either of the following;
1) Reversion to the Previous Policy (2015-2018)
2) More Radical and Detrimental Changes.
The Government noted the significance of the industry in its media release as well as the contributions to our national economic growth , employment and as an asset to lower income families. Therefore it is quite bewildering that they would impose such measures that pose detrimental repercussions not only on the dealers but on the thousands who are employed and thousands of families who are given the opportunity to own a vehicle via this industry.
Therefore is it the view or intent of the current administration to prevent lower income families from having the opportunity to purchase a vehicle as is the reality if the Policy Change is allowed?
These Policy Changes pose a threat to thousands of workers who are employed within the Foreign Used Car Industry and find it difficult to obtain sustainable employment in other industries to be placed on the bread line during these tough economic times
With National Interest being the denominator and underlying factor I am hopeful the Honourable Minister and current Administration in their wisdom would see it fit to undertake proper consultation with stakeholders in an effort to establish an equitable policy for all those involved in the motor vehicle industry.