Minister of National Security contributes on The Finance Bill, 2020 in Parliament (11 Dec, 2020)

Minister of National Security, the Honourable Stuart R. Young makes his contribution on The Finance Bill, 2020 in the House of Representatives.

Thank you very much madam speaker madam speaker my intervention here this evening at this hour is ready to try and put things back in perspective to put things back in perspective for the public who may be looking on and i would assume at this stage you know at most stage of confusion as to what it is that we’re supposed to be debating here today because we

Have heard nothing but ramblings from the other side we’ve heard nothing but persons reading regurgitated speeches from the other side and it seemed at one stage to be an election platform screaming about laptops and leader of the opposition and how many laptops she gave out so just to put things very briefly madam speaker threw you back into perspective we’ve

Come here today to debate the finance bill 2020 and to deal with fiscal measures that this government took and are now implementing coming out of the budget which was only a few weeks ago so it’s not anything abnormal because i heard it being suggested by a previous speaker from the other side why the minister of finance took so long to bring this bill and then

Secondly that he chose as though there’s something wrong with him choosing what measures he would put to be implemented in this bill the last speaker talked about and tried to to water down the concept of the personal allowance going from seventy two thousand dollars a year to eighty four thousand dollars a year so what it means is anybody earning a salary of

Seven thousand dollars a month and below are not required to pay income tax and what is wrong with that absolutely nothing is wrong with that any persons who are benefiting from it the many many persons in trinidad and tobago who are benefiting from it are happy and it does mean that they will have more disposable income is it a measure that focuses on those who

May be earning three thousand dollars unless the answer is no but to try and paint it in that picture is a little less than honest one of the the measures that i wanted to talk about and spend some time because there was only one speaker on the opposition side who dealt with it that’s the spts the special petroleum tax and i understood it was not too long ago

It was on wednesday of this week when we were dealing with energy measures i sat and i listened and i observed but today the reality is startling and the population looking on can come to the irrefutable undeniable conclusion that there is no one not a single member elected member of parliament on the opposition side who has any clue about the energy sector and

The energy industry not a single one and i repeat what i said a few days ago that we can now understand why the energy sector was decimated between 2010 and 2015. the member for tabaki who was here on the last occasion give a fairly decent textbook account of the energy sector but the member for mayaro stood up here today and unfortunately attempted to mislead

The population with respect to spts he spoke about how many barrels of oil a small producer producer should have to help increase the production so just to put that specific aspect into line prior to this increase in the level of spt being driven by the mem the member of parliament for digo martin north eastern minister finance here today it was set at fifty

Dollars a barrel of oil so in other words once producers started to make over 50 dollars a barrel of oil they were required to pay this special petroleum tax in addition to royalties and other taxes the industry had been lobbying for a long time for this to be increased and by increasing it what you do is you say okay so now we’re increasing it to 75 dollars

A barrel so between 50 dollars of ireland 75 a barrel now you’re not required to pay spts but we had to set an amount because you see madam speaker despite what the member from ayaro said there are only a few oil producers in this province that cross over 2 000 barrels a day you don’t want to give this exemption this benefit to the big oil producers because

That’s where we need to earn money because you see i sit here and i listen and every finance bill it comes home to me and i wonder how do those on the other side think you run a country where do you where do they think that you get revenue from and all it does is drive home to me the point of what happened between 2010 and 2015 fill your pockets go on loot from

Ngc do those types of things but you need to have revenue the ministry of finance needs to derive revenue so what we did as a cabinet is we sat and we discussed it and we came up with any producer who is making producing less than 2000 barrels a day they will get the benefit of this and what we’re trying to do is increase the small on land and the small offshore

Producers what we call the lease operators so to listen here and to hear the member for maya talk about maybe it should be three thousand maybe it should be five thousand the minister finance was right he asked me the question who do you think has lobbied him why would you think that he would make that sort of intervention to put it at that level but what it

Shows is a complete ignorance of the industry so just for the population to be aware this measure is specifically being put in place for the small lease operators and they’re very few of those lease operators and if they want to come let them come let them go let them produce you produce your 2 000 barrels of oil you will not pay spt up to 75 and it will drive

That when we made this it is not a wake up and come to the parliament type of atmosphere we sat down the ministry of energy every month brings these statistics us just yesterday in cabinet we looked at the statistics for the month of october we looked at the production the production is broken down into the lease operators onshore offshore the big producers we

Are seeing the decline again i repeated we are mature province but there are exciting times ahead in the energy industry one of the things we’re currently negotiating that hopefully will come through very soon is something to do with that whole area the solaru area and these are the types of incentives that we’re giving to drive that up so let let your hearts not

Be worried don’t listen to the propaganda of the other side because they really have no clue about energy they have no they had no clue in 2010 to 2015 still have no clue and that is why on the 10th of august the country collectively put back in power a pnm administration to continue leading this country i also listened here today all i was hearing is laptops

Laptops laptops laptops and i know why because i see them from where i’m sitting i’m seeing the turning of the pieces of paper from the prepared speeches i see where they come out in the back room where they prepared speeches what we’re doing speaker 48 the minister of national security should know better please continue glad that my friend from kuva saw put that

On your record so it’s an admission that anyone who walks in here with a prepared speech from somebody else it is something wrong because he’s saying that i’m imputing improper motive so we make a mark of that on the answer what we’re doing here today despite all of the noise and the fluff on the other side is we’re making it easier for everyone in trinidad and

Tobago to own a cell phone tablets and and devices so here it is we know through this provision this finance bill there will be no vat on or no online purchase tax or no customs duties on laptop computers notebook computers tablets computers tablet computers mobile digital equipment cell phones software accessories and peripherals because members of the public

Were asking what about the other devices that can connect and this is not only being done for school children the prime minister as he was sworn in on this term said that we’re going to move the country digitally so this is allowing our citizens now to have cheaper access to all of these devices to have interconnectivity you see the irony of it as i stand there

Watching them hand out these speeches are watching them hand out these speeches so so madam speaker madam speaker maram speaker maram speaker so what we’re doing here is there’ll be no vat no online purchase tax no customs duty on these devices it will assist both our school children and it will assist the older citizens it will assist everyone including the cell

Phone devices i also heard a lot of noise and attempts about housing again the exemption on stamp duty is moving to two million dollars for first-time homeowners now i recognize those on the other side may be completely unconnected to this because i recall when we came in as an administration and we looked at each they see what had happened they changed and they

Moved policies i remember the stories i remember just before the 2015 election seeing a newspaper a photograph in the newspaper of the family direct family of a government minister at that time getting htc keys but you see this is a pnm administration that recognizes that by doing these things we’re helping the young professionals in society so again i applaud

The minister of finance i applaud the administration i’m a part of for making it easier for first time home owners we’re moving the the limit up to 2 million so if you’re buying a first as a first-time homeowner any property you’re purchasing up to two million dollars you don’t pay stamp duty on it great initiative it’s not a handout system it’s encouraging and

That also encourages now the housing market for private sector to build homes at below that level the vehicles i’ll leave the minister finance to deal with that another area here a level of criticism aimna is the ms smes and what we call a junior stock market this is an area that is underdeveloped in trinidad and tobago so again we sat we talked about it there are

A lot of young entrepreneurs out there they’re building up their businesses a lot of family businesses out there but you see again i sit and i listen and i recognize the first speaker remember for god the honorable member tanku i can’t remember where where he is from which one uropooch west thank you they applauded him oh he has an economist he’s talk complete

Hogwash when it came to smes they like to criticize the member of parliament federico martin northeast minnesota finance that he’s an engineer but he has done a hundred times better than anything the unc produced in 2010 to 2015 and you know they treated the economists their two ministers are financed so badly but then they put this fellow to come forward as an

Economist he did not even understand the junior stock market so what you’re looking to do is introduce and to build up the incentives to get people onto this junior stock market in trinidad so if there are only five or they only ten companies now what is wrong with our government trying to incentivize it to get more on is good for family businesses and that is

What is being done here today i didn’t hear any of them on the other side madam speaker talk about the tax allowances relating to arts culture sporting activities or events audio visual video production production companies and fashion industry and the incentive to move it the tax allowances from 6 million to 12 million and i can say that that is immediately

Sparked interest they know some small companies looking to come and invest to build that level of the industry and also the aggregate increasingly aggregate allowance of a production company up to a maximum of 8 million these are the small things that will help especially our young people who are interested in a digital economy who are interested in film and art

And creative art and production so again well done minister finance in these difficult times where kovit is also sweeping the world and we’re dealing with that pandemic finding creativity and creative ways to offer new incentives i must touch on this the first speaker again oropooch west they like to make these screams and these cries about thousands of nationals

Stranded above abroad we have repatriated over 8500 nationals we have been doing the best that we can but you see i know why they’re saying that and i’ll put it here today because there’s this little chat group and there’s a little chat group being run by the opposition the trans to and they’d tried it for months and for months and they called the names of the

Attorneys on the other side and the pro on the other side and they said contact them bring it to the attention of the media so let the population know that that is a background but it is through that very important border management that we managed to once again kudos to the minister of health and his team the cmo and their team for us bringing the numbers back

Down so in the middle of august when we saw a spike that started to go at our hospital system i’m happy to say that once again we’re back down at a manageable level of about 17 positive cases a day for the past week i also will address this because it needs to be addressed a criticism again by the first speaker the member for our pooch west about foreign exchange

And in in that conversation about forex and the management of forex true at the government well why higher unpaired lobbyists and isn’t that what you have a whole embassy in washington dc for the answer is no and again it shows the ignorance and let the people of trinidad and tobago put down the marker and understand that is unc government style they don’t even

Understand how a lobbyist works they don’t understand the benefit of having a lobbyist you know why because they were never interested they were never interested to go out there to market trinidad and tobago as opposed to just go on these trips with this one hulini handbag that one whole in his scarf this one going to the off license at night to bring back the

Drinks to the hotel room this one to meet the oil executive in the bedroom slippers and the petty coat madame speaker 48 warning what is the relevance of all this too okay so uh remember for porter spain what’s in transvest thanks for the little distraction but please give me money to make sure we’re all awake thank you very much madam speaker the answer as to

Why a lobbyist and i’ll end on this point a lobbyist gets you through doors the lobbyist is the one who organized for trinidad and tobago for the prime minister on one occasion to have meetings with the senior members of committees the foreign affairs committee the financial committee miss walters mr bernie sanders and these people and that is what a lobbyist

Does he gets you in the right doors so you can have the right conversations i accompanied three caribbean prime ministers caricom prime ministers minister of finance from jamaica first to go before the us congress to meet with the right people to tell them do not delist the region to tell them to come step forward fight the financial institutions help us with

The european the eu and where they were trying to delist and to blacklist this region so that is what our lobbyist is for so madam speaker i thank you for the opportunity to make the intervention and i thank the minister of finance even in these difficult times of finding a way to find incentives to keep the economy going and to keep it afloat and i thank the

People of trinidad and tobago for making the right decision because every time i sit here in this house becomes more and more apparent to me that they made the right decision on the 10th of august of this year thank you very much mother minister finance minister finance you have to wait for it to be cleaned or you can speak from your your with your mask on you

Can speak from your spot thank you you

Transcribed from video
Minister of National Security contributes on The Finance Bill, 2020 in Parliament (11 Dec, 2020) By Ministry of National Security T\u0026T