Opposition Chief Whip and Member of Parliament for Pointe-a-Pierre, Dr. David Lee MP. (Image: Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago)

The Opposition says it is “at a loss” to understand Finance Minister Colm Imbert’s assessment of the economy in the Mid-Year Budget Review on Friday.

“I really don’t know how Mr Imbert could say we are in a better place because overall the budget is going to be $14.5 billion [in deficit]—the largest deficit this country has ever seen,” Opposition Chief Whip Dr David Lee told Guardian Media outside the Red House, following the review.

“He talked about the credit ratings and when you look at all the credit ratings for the last couple of months that we got ratings on, it’s all been downgraded. So, I really don’t know where Minister Imbert is getting his information from… and his projections for the next 12 months are off,” he said.

Lee also took issue with Government’s decision not to revert to the pre-pandemic Standing Orders, which allowed the Opposition MPs, along with other contributors, up to 55 minutes of speaking time. The Opposition’s first responder was given an hour to match that of the Minister of Finance’s contribution, while subsequent speakers were given 10 additional minutes from their usual 20.

“We don’t know what is going on with our democracy and our speaking time,” he said.

Lee also expressed frustrations with the Prime Minister’s sidestep in announcing a date for the General Elections.

Story by RISHARD KHAN ([email protected])