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Government gets top marks for 20 percent subsidy

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s holiday gift of a 20 per cent subsidy on staple goods has won her government top marks according to the latest North American Caribbean Teachers Association (Nacta) poll. Based on responses from 602 interviewees, the poll found that 94 per cent fully endorsed the Government’s (National Flour Mill) 20 per cent rebate on oil, flour, and rice for the Christmas. 


The Government’s discount policy found support among people of all backgrounds and party.  However, the poll showed that the majority of respondents wanted the subsidy extended for a longer period. The people were very thankful to Persad-Bissessar, Trade Minister Vasant Bharath and Food Production Minister Devant Maharaj. Consumers said they bought extra supplies for the season and the New Year as a result of the discounted prices, adding that such incentives should be given during the year.


They said this showed that Persad-Bissessar undoubtedly cared for the poor. The survey began since December 22 and 602 people were interviewed at random. Many respondents said they were hurt by inflation over the years and that the 20 per cent discount had given them relief from high prices for the holidays. 


However, some respondents felt that the PM’s gift was late and that they did not have spare resources to acquire more of the staple goods because they had already done their shopping for the season. Also, some businessmen wished they could have had more time to plan and implement the policy directive. Shortages at some supermarkets were noted with owners saying the response was so overwhelming that they ran out of stocks.



Radhica Sookraj


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