Speaking with Newsday at the United National Congress’ (UNC’s) Monday Night Forum at North Eastern College, Sangre Grande, where candidates for the upcoming Local Government election for the Arima and Sangre Grande Regional Corporations were presented, Persad-Bissessar claimed that the money would be used for spying.
“Budget 2016 already allocated over $10 billion for National Security for the fight against crime.
Pelting more money behind crime fighting is not the answer.
I think that money is really for spying and those are the issues we had raised when they passed the SSA (Strategic Services Agency) legislation. So, it’s really money for spying, not for fighting crime,” she said.
The Opposition leader also said that the legislation in the Domestic Violence Act needed to be improved and strengthened.
She made this statement in light of vicious acts of violence against women and children in recent times which ended in gruesome deaths. She said while legislation was not the answer to everything, some more work needed to be done with the legislation.
“Abusive relationships are issues we can deal with, there is the whole counselling and mentoring.
The way in which the Government has collapsed the social safety net, I think that is impacting on what is happening in homes and levels of violence we are seeing in homes. Of course, economic issues always impact on relationships. It is really heart rending in terms of the murders of women and children,” Persad-Bissessar said. Addressing hundreds of UNC supporters at the meeting, Persad-Bissessar said the Opposition could not support the Bail Amendment Bill as there was room to change parts of the law without the other side knowing.
She added that the Bill would wipe out any judicial review and take away parliamentary scrutiny.
Persad-Bissessar also slammed Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley’s address to the nation on Sunday night, saying that while he attempted to “explain away his failure as Prime Minister”, all the citizenry heard was “shameless propaganda, blaming, no vision, no plan.” She shot down Rowley’s claims that his Government met an empty Treasury when they came into office in 2015.
Saying that the People’s Partnership government inherited 135 outstanding wage negotiations, she asked what did this Government do with the $60 billion they received in revenue since they came into office.