MP Lee - Is Government going to cut 3 billion from public salaries ?

MP Lee - Does Government plan to cut 3 Billion from Public Salaries this year ?

As the Member of Parliament for Pointe a Pierre which is a constituency with a very high number of Public servants I am quite bothered and worried over the recently published statements within a Moody's report issued on June 30th 2017 on the agency's website which says " Further spending reductions could materialize during the rest of the year as Government plans to cut 3 billion from Public Salaries this year. "

What does this statement mean for public sector workers in Trinidad and Tobago ? This statement printed on the agency's website essentially says that Public servants will receive a 3 billion salary reduction which will possibly result in significant job losses .

It is quite interesting that this statement is part of a report that was compiled bya team of Moody’s analysts led by Ariane Ortiz-Bollin showing that Government's expenditure will exceed it's revenue. The report states that "In May, Trinidad and Tobago’s Ministry of Finance published the mid-year budget review that showed the energy sector was providing an unexpected boost to Government revenues. In spite of this, we maintain our fiscal deficit estimate of 5.8 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2017 fiscal year, above the Government’s target of 3.9 per cent of GDP, due to lower-than-expected asset sales,”

The question must now be asked ; " Has Government secretly indicated to the Rating Agency that in an effort to restore it's credit ratings and compensate for it's expenditure exceeding revenues that it intends to undertake a 3 billion dollar cut to public salaries ?"

Our nation has already witnessed tremendous job losses in the past 2 years while our citizens continue to endure increasing food prices cause by Government's change to the tax regime as well as a Foreign Exchange shortage, therefore any further loss of jobs within our national economy will be quite disastrous to many families, disastrous to our social system as it could lead to an increase in crime while Poverty throughout our nation will continue to increase at a rapid rate.

The Government needs to be honest with the nation on these developments while if these statements become reality they will reflect failure on this Administration to create sustainable revenue streams in an effort to rejuvenate our nation economy while choosing to burden the citizens of our nation.

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