(Trinidad Guardian) There are people in this country who are hoarding foreign currency in the hope that the Trinidad and Tobago dollar will be devalued and they will become enriched, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has said.
“If you are hoarding foreign exchange waiting for a devaluation, don’t wait no more,” Rowley said as he delivered the feature address at the People’s National Movement’s (PNM) post-Budget political meeting at Piggott’s corner in Belmont on Friday night.
Rowley said those hoarding foreign currency waiting for a devaluation were hoping to get enriched and were doing so at the expense of the wider national community.
“And on that basis the Government has not chosen that option,” he said.
Rowley said there has been a “very strong lobby” for the Trinidad and Tobago dollar to be devalued but there are different sides to that story.
“One is a genuine belief that if we devalue the currency in one fell swoop at whatever level they say devalue it to, we will get more TT dollars or some TT dollars and that will solve our problem,” Rowley said.
“But that argument has another side which the Government must be looking at and the other side is this, when you devalue the currency there is knock on into increased cost and increased inflation and who are the ones who face that the most and the worst, the poorest of the poor.”
He added: “So while you get this advice coming from certain quarters that the problems can be solved from devaluation, that is an option which this Government has not chosen to apply. We have chosen to allow pressures on the dollar to slowly or imperceptibly push the levels up so you can have time to adjust if you are seeing it affecting you in certain particular ways.”
Rowley called on citizens who are earning foreign exchange and “leaving the money outside” to be patriotic and bring it back home.