Last update: 05-Dec-2013 3:41 am
Thursday, December 05, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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PM: No return to property tax
Prime Minister Kamla Persad- Bissessar has accused the Opposition of deliberately misleading and misinforming the public during the budget debate. During her remarks yesterday in the budget debate in Parliament, Tower D, Waterfront Centre, Wrightson Road, Port of Spain, Persad-Bissessar rebutted two points made by the PNM: She reiterated that Government was not returning the property tax and she cleared the air on the T&T/Venezuela Loran Manatee gas field.
The PM said that T&T had not “given everything to Venezuela” and held the right to veto the project once sovereign interests were threatened. She said the project was a standard production- sharing agreement which allocated 16.9 per cent control to T&T and 14.6 per cent control to Venezuela. Persad-Bissessar added that private company — Chevron T&T Ltd and British Gas T&T Ltd — also had a share in the project which amounted to approximately five per cent each.
“T&T does have the 27 per cent. So we didn’t give away anything,” she said. Another point of contention for the PM was the property tax. The PM said Government would not be reintroducing the Property Tax but a land and building tax. She said the property tax and the land and building tax were not the same and added that the land and building tax would revert to the law before a 2010 PNM change.
Persad-Bissessar said the People’s Partnership Government had campaigned against the property tax and would not seek to bring it back. She said tax regimes were necessary, however. “As the Government we will continue to keep citizens informed and maintain a high standard of accountability,” she said. She added that the PP would not repeat the failures of the past.
The bill was eventually passed at 7.52 pm after it was read a third time. Twenty-five government MPs voted for it and ten Opposition MPs voted against. The debate will move to the Senate tomorrow.
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