Imbert: Business hurting from T&T emergency, blacks angry

(Trinidad Express) Business is down in Trinidad and Tobago “across the board” by at least 30 per cent, and some in the restaurant and hospitality sector have suffered a 75 per cent reduction in income since the declaration of the State of Emergency.

Even banks are affected.

So said Diego Martin North/East MP Colm Imbert as he contributed to the debate on the motion to extend the State of Emergency in the House of Representatives on Saturday. He added that a number of businesses in Port of Spain had seen a 50 and 75 per cent reduction in revenue.

“People are out of jobs in certain establishments, the working hours of other persons are being reduced in hotels and restaurants because people can’t work at night anymore…there is an concomitant effect on their income and they can’t make their payments to the banks for loans for vehicles, for consumer items, for appliances. There is already a significant effect on the banking sector and I know that they (the Government) know that.”

But he said businesses were afraid to speak negatively about the State of Emergency for fear of being penalised. “From the research we have done, the consensus from the businesspeople who have been speaking to us privately, because they are afraid to talk. Remember you have imposed an emergency regulation that if one publishes anything that is critical of this government, that if someone says anything that would lead to disaffection, that they going to be locked up. That is in the Emergency Powers Regulation,” he said.

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