More political mischief by Opposition MPs distorting, misquoting and twisting statements made in Parliament by the Minister of Finance

11 March, 2021, Port of Spain: For two days in a row now, the Minister of Finance has observed Opposition MPs spreading false, inaccurate and misleading information, designed to create mischief. 

Following his outrageous and preposterous lie about the World Bank instructing the Government to retrench public sector workers, the MP for Couva South, Rudranath Indarsingh, has now fabricated another story that the Minister allegedly misled the country by indicating that a collective agreement between the NIB and the PSA for the 2014-2016 period was signed under the People's Partnership (UNC) Government.

This allegation by Indarsingh is completely untrue and the public video record of the statements made by the Minister in the Senate on Tuesday of this week on this matter will bear this out and prove that Indarsingh has made up yet another Anansi story in an effort to create confusion.

What the Minister said was that an instruction was sent to the NIB on March 25, 2011 by the then Minister of Finance, under the UNC Government, regarding the role of a Ministerial Committee set up to monitor the conduct of wage and salary negotiations and to issue guidelines for collective agreements, which is an indisputable fact.

However, the Minister NEVER SAID that the collective agreement between the NIB and the PSA for the 2014-2016 period was signed under the UNC Government, or anything even remotely close to that. In fact, in his answer to the question posed by Senator Mark on Tuesday about the collective agreement in question, the Minister confirmed that it was a RECENTLY CONCLUDED agreement.

In his ill-advised press release, MP Indarsingh also made up another story about the Minister’s previous statements about an Industrial Court decision regarding the award of Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) to workers at NP.

In that ruling, (Trade Dispute No. GSD-TD 510/2018) the Court DENIED the application by NP that the OWTU’s application for COLA be dismissed. There was no negotiated agreement at NP for COLA, as falsely alleged by Indarsingh.

This is the ruling that the Minister of Finance has always accurately referred to, which has been the subject of constant misinformation and distortion.

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