Finance Minister Colm Imbert – ROGER JACOB
FINANCE Minister Colm Imbert hailed President Christine Kangaloo’s address at Monday’s ceremonial opening of Parliament as one of the best speeches he had ever heard. He later spoke to reporters in the rotunda of the Red House in Port of Spain.
“I found it one of the best speeches I’ve heard, since I’ve been a member of Parliament, that is 32 years.
“I didn’t expect her to go into that territory – to talk about the life of a member of Parliament and what we do and how difficult our job is.
“I give her 101 per cent for that speech. Fantastic speech!”
However, when asked about the date of budget day, Imbert played his cards close to his chest.
Asked by a reporter, Imbert replied, “You know you’re not going to get that out of me.”
He gave a similar response when asked about the debts of government ministries to TTEC.
“I’ve been minister for eight years now and not once has the media been able to entrap me into saying when the budget date will be or what will be in the budget. And I don’t intend to start now.”
Newsday asked when would he announce when the budget day would be.
He replied,”I am not going to answer that either.”
Newsday asked about Opposition chief whip David Lee was somewhat critical that Imbert had predicated last year’s budget on world prices for crude oil and natural gas which had not been reached thereby suggesting lower energy revenues for TT that Imbert had initially predicted.
Imbert replied, “I will address that in the budget speech.”
Asked if he had any expectations of the Cabinet retreat, he said, “Absolutely none.”
He concluded, “All I can say is I truly appreciated the president’s speech. I thought it was wonderful. It really was. As a hard working MP.
A reporter asked if Kangaloo’s speech has inspired him to communicate more with the media.
Imbert grinned and quipped, “I don’t remember that being in her speech. I don’t remember the media being mentioned in her speech.”
He added that he would address the issues when he gives his budget speech, adding, “I don’t give spoiler-alerts.’
Parliament now enters its fourth session (2023-2024) of the twelfth parliament.
Lee recently told Newsday he had calculated that budget day would likely be Monday, October 2.