Tue, 27 Oct 2020 14:47:54 +0000
‘2020 budget deficit $23b, not $16.8b’: Kamla wants answers
OPPOSITION Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar said the budget deficit which Finance Minister Colm Imbert estimated to be $16.8 billion for 2020 is really more than $23 billion.
From a virtual platform at the United National Congress (UNC) Monday Night Forum, Persad-Bissesar challenged Imbert to say why he made the deficit to be less than it really is and explain where the extra $23 billion went.
“Since they (People’s National Movement Government) came in, they have been running deficits higher and higher and higher. Always overspending, squandermania, spending on contracts for wives and families.”
Referring to page 183 of the Review of the Economy, she said Imbert clearly stated it was $16.8 billion.
However, she said, page 5 of the Estimates of Revenue 2021, under Heads 10 and 11, which tells about how much money was needed to finance the budget also told what was the deficit.
“And in there it was, over $23 billion in deficit for fiscal 2019/2020, not the $16.8 billion Imbert said with his own mouth.”
“He lied. Minister Imbert, I ask you to tell us why you lied to the country, why you tried to hide the depth of the hole we are in in terms of deficit.
“And even more important, what did you do with this extra $23