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Imbert to debate ‘budget arithmetic’
Diego Martin North/East Constituency MP Colm Imbert plans to deal with “budget arithmetic” and the price of premium gas in his contribution on the budget debate which resumes tomorrow. “I will be looking at the Budget arithmetic. The figures were changed from last year to give an illusion of growth,” said Imbert who claimed Finance Minister Larry Howai tried to make the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) look smaller.
“I have never seen a Minister of Finance do that. Not from the time I have been involved in politics... I have never seen a minister manipulate budget figures in order to give a false sense of security, not even with Robinson, Manning, Enill, Kuei Tung, Yetming...right up to Tesheira. This has been the largest budget ever. I will say no more.”
Imbert, who was speaking at the Diego Martin North/East Constituency conference in Maraval, accused the People’s Partnership led by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, of squandermania. “They accused the PNM of squandermania but at least the country could see what the PNM did. There is the Waterfront, Hyatt, Government Complex, Chancery Lane Building, two water taxis, new buses. You can see what we have accomplished.”
Imbert was also critical of the increase in premium gas: “I will deal with misinformation. $5.75 is not the cost price of gasoline. When gas is subsidised, government pays the difference between cost price and what you get at the pump.”