Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley on the set of The Morning Brew show with Natalee Legore, today, Tuesday 1 December 2020. (Image: NICOLE DRAYTON)
JOEL JULIEN

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has doubled down and defended his, “we have to allow the rich to get richer” comment, saying people in this country can sometimes be too “thin-skinned”.

“The last time you were here with me on August 12th, I asked you a question; I honestly cannot remember what the exact question was, but your response to me was ‘we have to allow the rich to get richer to provide jobs for the poor’ and people took offense to that and asked me to ask you to clarify what exactly you meant,” Natalee Legore said to Rowley during an interview on the Morning Brew today.

“I thought that was simple English,” Rowley said.

‘If people have to be employed, somebody has to employ them; they don’t employ themselves and pay themselves.  We asked the private sector and even the government—but put the government aside—the private sector to invest and spend money,” he said.

“A lot of the money in the bank belongs to private people. Many of them are entrepreneurs, they will invest that money if they feel comfortable that if they invested, they will make some more,” the PM elaborated.

“Nobody will go and invest their money to get less or to get nothing.  They do things, open a business, they do things to get some more money and if you think you’re rich, you have some money and you invest it doing something to get more, invariably you need some other people to help you.  Those are the employees.  So, if there are rich people, meaning people who have money, and they want to put that money out there to do something with it, that automatically creates opportunities for other people,” he said.

Dr Rowley had faced some social media backlash for his comments in August.

“It was not an ideological statement in defence of the rich or saying that some should be rich, and some should be poor.  But you know we are so thin-skinned in this place,” Rowley said.