While an Opposition MP questioned the impact raising the retirement age would have on the country’s youth, Toco/Sangre Grande MP defended the Government and even likened Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley to St Michael the Archangel.
During debate on the 2022/2023 Budget yesterday, Opposition MP for Barataria/San Juan Saddam Hosein claimed raising the retirement age will stifle the chances for youths in Trinidad and Tobago, who will have to wait until someone either dies or retires to get a job,
Speaking in Parliament, he demanded the Government look after youths.
“Now (Government) wants to increase the retirement age to 65. Do you understand the effects of that? You have young people who have degrees and cannot get a job because there are no vacancies. Now, they will have to either wait until someone dies or they retire to get a job.
“Increasing the retirement age will only stifle the chances of youth in T&T. You indicated you want to increase the retirement age as the NIS fund may not be able to sustain, but why must young people suffer for your mismanagement of the NIB? You’re making it increasingly difficult for young people to want to stay in T&T - give the young people a chance!”
Hosein predicted taxi fares would raise, yet he said a Government MP said a “coal pot and bicycle are the answers. It’s cheaper to fly to Tobago than fill your gas tank now.”
Hosein also claimed health workers haven’t been told when they would get the promised bonus or exactly how much they would each receive. He slammed the Government on crime management and queried the policy for the 16,000 Venezuelans who migrated to Trinidad and Tobago and have children here.
“Will they be sent back, Government will face massive litigation on this.”
Saying Arima MP Pennelope Beckles, who is also Minister of Planning and Development, is a people’s person, Hosein added that she was seen making roti and plucking a chicken by the roadside.
“Will she vote for this budget?”
Hosein said he saw a man outside Parliament last week with a placard stating “Imbert HYMC.” Hosein added, “I’m sure it meant ‘Imbert How You Managing the Country’.”
Munroe: PM like an archangel
MP for Toco/Sangre Grande Roger Munroe said Hosein only alluded to Beckles, but other Government MPs including himself are also “people persons.”
Munroe, who accused the Opposition of inciting people to protest, said he listened to Opposition MPs and heard only negative words including “riot”, “protest” and “brutalise people.”
“But we’re not in any war or separation or division. We don’t wake up one day and decide to pressure citizens,” he said.
Munroe likened Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley to “St Michael, the defender Archangel” and said he had the country’s best interest at heart. Munroe also detailed improvements in water, road extension and other things being done in his constituency, as he called on the Opposition’s Cumuto/Manzanilla MP Dr Rai Ragbir to ensure the UNC-led Sangre Grande corporation also did the right thing.
Munroe also defended several ministers, including Minister of National Security Fitzgerald Hinds, whom he said may sometimes be a man of firm words.
“But to be a man you have to stand up firm,” Munroe added.