Government's press secretary Garvin Nicholas is calling Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley's attack on him an act of "desperation." Nicholas was speaking at yesterday's post-Cabinet news conference at the Office of the Prime Minister, St Clair Avenue, Port-of-Spain. When asked about Rowley accusing him of stating that campaign promises to lower the pensionable age to 60 was a "misprint" in the People's Partnership pre-election advertisements, Nicholas said it was simply an act of "desperation."
"In a closed group on Facebook, I was asked to explain my thoughts on what seemed to be a break of promise that the People's Partnership had reneged on bringing the pensionable age down to 60," Nicholas explained. "I stated that my understanding was we would change the grant back to a pension and raise it from $2,000 to $3,000. "At no time did I make the claim that lowering the pensionable age was a misprint." Nicholas said it was never a promise of the People's Partnership to lower the pensionable age. "At no time did I suggest we were going to change the pensionable age to 60... it is not a part of the People's Partnership manifesto," he said.
Nicholas said it surprised him that the People's National Movement could take a discussion on Facebook and spin it into a such an "erroneous" story. He said this was simply a case of typical PNM tactics, saying that earlier they claimed the People's Partnership was planning to end the Government Assisted Tertiary Education (Gate) grant. Nicholas said evidence had shown that since the Government took office, it had honoured its promises, using the laptops for SEA students as an example. On Wednesday, Rowley issued a press release slamming Nicholas for saying the promise to lower the pensionable age to 60 was a "misprint."