The 2021 budget was passed in Parliament thisevening, but the Opposition did not support it.
When the vote for the Appropriation (Financial Year 2021) Bill, 2020 was held, all 22 government members voted for, but all opposition MPs 19 abstained.
Moments after the vote, Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar issued a statement which explained their stance.
“As a matter of principle, we cannot in good conscience vote for a budget that will inflict pain on the most vulnerable in our society,” said the United National Congress leader who added,”the government has refused to account to the people over the billions of dollars spent in the last fiscal year. This is in complete contradiction to the responsibility of the government to be transparent in how public funds are used. “
She said the government has made “hardships for the ordinary citizens while making life easier for their three F’s – Friends, Families, and Financiers. “
She pointed to measures to introduce property tax and motor vehicle taxes as well as measures she said, “would lead to more job losses and loss of income for people,” as further reasons the opposition could not support the budget.