Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar says citizens who have been renting Housing Development Corporation’s (HDC) units for more than 30 years will be allowed to purchase those houses for a mere $100 if the People’s Partnership gets a second term in office.
She also promised to regularise some 30,000 squatters as she unveiled what she said would be some of the party’s policy plans for the future during the United National Congress’ Monday Night Forum at the Diego Martin North Secondary School last night.
Noting that she may be attacked by the Opposition for the policies, she said: “And they will say Kamla come here with election promise to give away but I tell you, I know what it is like.”
Persad-Bissessar also reiterated that there would be no cuts in jobs and wages and said her Government had big plans for the northwest region, which included job security and the planned Chaguaramas development.
She also explained why she lived at her private Phillipines, San Fernando, residence and not at the official PM’s residence in St Ann’s, pointing out it had been raised recently by those opposing her. She said the official residence meant nothing to her and she went to her private home to be with her family.
Speaking just before the PM, Housing Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal once again tore into Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley for going to Parliament in 2013 “with fake e-mails" as he named Government officials in a conspiracy to murder a journalist and to bug the office of the DPP.
He dared the police and the Integrity Commission, which are investigating the Emailgate issue independently, to say if their information on the e-mails was different from that of Google and the US State Department, which have both indicated that the e-mail address from which the e-mails were purported to have been sent does not exist.
Moonilal said while Rowley did not take the matter to the police and Integrity Commission for investigation, he was now “hiding behind the police and the Integrity Commission.”
“We have the evidence to show the e-mails were all false,” Moonilal told supporters.
He said it was also the PP Government which had reported the National Energy Corporation/FCB fraud matter and not Rowley, adding it was still being investigated by Interpol.
He said the Government was moving to get the remainder of the $60 million retrieved.
On the People’s National Movement MPs’ absence from the House of Representatives, Moonilal said: “No work, no pay.”
He said the Parliament paid each constituency $50,000 for workers in the constituency office but the MPs were paid to be in Parliament.
Speaking earlier, Anastasia Daly, a constituent of Diego Martin Northeast, said a vote for the PNM would be a vote for punishment but a vote for the PP was a vote for nourishment. She and other community representatives criticised the former PNM government for failing to develop the community, including basic infrastructure.
The crowd was entertained by Valley Harps Seel Orchestra during the three-hour meeting.