The Opposition has the locations and times for a series of meetings it will hold on Property Tax.
The UNC will begin meeting from tonight.
The following is a statement issued by the Opposition:
"Political Leader of the United National Congress, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, SC, MP, is deeply concerned about the government’s rush to implement the Property Tax, and the damaging impact that this tax is likely to have on citizens.
In keeping with Mrs Persad-Bissessar’s policy of “listening and then leading” the United National Congress will hold a series of meetings in the coming weeks to start the dialogue on the impact of the Property Tax and to give citizens an opportunity to voice their concerns.
The UNC Leader and Member of Parliament for Siparia will host a consultation on Wednesday 26th April, 2017 at the Constituency Office, Penal Junction, Penal from 6:00 p.m. Former Central Bank Governor Jwala Rambarran will speak at this event.
Mrs Persad-Bissessar noted that the move to effect this tax is causing great concern among citizens, who are already reeling from rising crime levels, increasing food prices, job losses and inadequate health services.
“The Rowley-led Government continues to disregard the voices of the people - many of whom are already struggling to survive - and remains adamant that the Property Tax in its current form must be applied,” she stated.
“Under the government which I led, I was steadfast in my position that the People’s Partnership would not introduce a property tax, but a tax regime based on the old land and building taxes before 2010.”
She noted that the introduction of the Property Tax at this time raises several concerns, including:
* The failure of the PNM Government to complete the process of local government reform, and as a result no mechanisms are in place to ensure that property tax is spent on local projects.
* The introduction of yet another tax will cause further hardship for unemployed persons, pensioners, the poor and vulnerable in our society.
* The lack of information regarding the calculation of the Annual Rental Values (ARV) for properties.
“After just over 18 months of a PNM government, the country’s economy continues to decline, unemployment levels are rising, and the Prime Minister seems to have no clue, no vision, or strategy to fix the crisis which they have created” Mrs Persad-Bissessar said. “The Government should focus on raising revenue through economic diversification, curbing crime, reducing unemployment, and improving the health and education systems.”
The schedule of upcoming consultations is listed below, and members of the media are invited to attend and provide coverage.
*Arima 28/4/2017 6.00pm To Be Confirmed
Caroni Central 25/4/2017 6.30pm Constituency Office, Lot B, Corner Nelson and Mission Road, Freeport
Caroni East 26/4/2017 6.00pm Constituency Office Lot 54 Dyette Estate, Southern Main Road, Cunupia
Chaguanas East 27/4/2017 6.30pm Chaguanas South Secondary School Helen Street, Lange Park, Chaguanas
Chaguanas West 03/5/2017 7:00pm Constituency Sub-Office LP#111, Munroe Road, Cunupia, Chaguanas 04/5/2017 7:00pm Felicity Hindu School, 139c, Cacandee Road, Felicity, Chaguanas
Couva North 27/4/2017 6.00pm Waterloo Community Centre Waterloo Road, Carapichaima
Couva South 27/4/2017 6.30.pm Couva South Multipurpose Hall
Cumuto/Manzanilla 27/4/2017 6.00pm Grosvenor Presbyterian Primary School Cunapo S.M.R., Coalmine, Sangre Grande
Fyzabad 27/4/2017 6.30pm Fyzabad Community Centre Guapo Road, Fyzabad
Mayaro 27/4/2017 7.00pm Rio Claro Presbyterian School 25-27 Rio Claro Guayaguayare Road, Rio Claro
*Moruga/Tableland To Be Confirmed
Naparima 27/4/2017 6.00pm Lothians Road Recreation Ground, Princes Town
Oropouche East 03/5/2017 6.00pm Constituency Office Debe Junction, S.S. Erin Road, Debe
Oropouche West 27/4/2017 6.00pm Constituency Office S.S. Erin Road, Batchiya Village, Debe
Point a Pierre & Tabaquite (joint) 27/4/2017 6.30pm Macaulay Community Centre Macaulay Road, Claxton Bay
Princes Town 27/4/2017 6.00pm St Julien Presbyterian School Sancho Road, New Grant Post Office
*Barataria/San Juan To Be Confirmed
Siparia 26/4/2017 6.00pm Siparia Constituency Office Penal Junction, Penal
St. Joseph 28/4/2017 6.00pm Aranguez Community School
St. Augustine 25/4/17 6:00pm St. Augustine Community Centre Freeman Road, St Augustine
Tunapuna 28/4/2017 6.00pm El Dorado North Hindu School Mc Seveny Street, El Dorado Village, El Dorado
*Dates will be announced for the constituencies of Arima, Barataria/San Juan and Moruga/Tableland in a subsequent media release."