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Rowley warns of IMF threat
Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley is warning that if Government is unable to balance its expenditures with revenue soon, Trinidad and Tobago will have to go to multilateral lending agencies, like the International Monetary Fund, for assistance. He said so during an address at a luncheon hosted yesterday by the Port-of-Spain Rotary Club, at Cascadia Hotel, St Ann’s.
Rowley later told reporters T&T had to make an effort to strengthen its revenues. “If that is not done, and we continue to expand on the expenditure side, we are going to end up in a situation where we will need help,” he said. He said the People’s Partnership Government, now in mid-term, was yet to introduce any new measure to expand the economy.
Rowley told guests T&T was a significant loser because the PP Government failed to invest in an energy initiative with the Government of Ghana. He said it was an initiative in which the former PNM Government was committed to participating. He said Ghana was interested in the way T&T monetised its gas “and we were on the inside track to provide technical support and investment possibilities” as it moved to develop its energy sector.
He added if nothing changed shortly the Government might not be able to pay its bills, and if the people of T&T failed to make the necessary adjustments in a changing economic situation, others might be called on to make those adjustments. Rowley said if T&T had to borrow from a lender of last resort, such as the IMF, it would dictate the pace of that role.
“If we think we have problems now dealing with crime and criminality and social dislocation, cast your mind forward to five years’ time,” he added. Rowley said the PP Government was borrowing money with a five-year moratorium. He reiterated the need to balance spending with revenue.
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