PNM San Fernando East candidate Brian Manning has outlined a pathway to take Trinidad and Tobago to developed-country status which includes implementing property taxes and an effective industrialisation policy.
At the opening of his campaign offfice in San Fernando on Saturday, Manning said for TT to transition from a developing country to a developed one, it needed to do several things.
“One thing is an industrialisation policy that works. One that makes sense and is in line with the competitive advantage of Trinidad and Tobago,” Manning said.
He added that “once upon a time” the country had a policy that advocated the production of iron, steel, plastics and aluminium. These were plans proposed by his father, former prime minister Patrick Manning.
“This would have set the stage for a downstream manufacturing industry. We are a country that has beneftted from low-cost energy. If we can have that kind of industrialisation policy and then have a downstream manufacturing industry, this is going to produce large amounts of foreign exchange, but more importantly ,produce jobs for the people of TT.”
Manning said when he walked through the San Fernando East constituency, people, especially young people, had been crying out for jobs and for local government reform.
Local government reform is a campaign promise made by the PNM in 2010 and sent to a joint select committee for consideration in 2019.
Manning said one of the issues holding up the reform is the source of funding: the proposal would see funding come from constituency taxes. He said property taxes would be a large contributor, but the Opposition had held up the reform, which needed to be implemented so people could get the services they deserve.
He said local government reform would lead to faster response times and improved delivery of services.
Manning said most of the impetus for national development would come from government policy, but it was necessary for people to support the government.
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