‒ The choice is ours to stand up – We must have the courage
Daily, we are bombarded by the scandals, corruption and plain dictatorial decisions by the APNU+AFC Government. We have experienced over the last 30 months, exorbitant salary increases for Ministers, while public servants this year will receive no bonuses at Christmas. The sadness in many families can be felt all across our land. We have seen the $10,000 grant taken away from our families that the PPP administration had instituted. There is a massive slump in our economy, where real jobs in the sugar industry are being eliminated with catastrophic consequences for those directly affected and scant regard for their welfare by those currently running the show.
The decision to unilaterally appoint the GECOM Chairman, with the support of the AFC, is the latest glaring example of ‘we don’t carry a damn philosophy, we will just do what we like with no care for the enormous damage that is being done to all sections of society’.
To add insult to injury, the AFC said that they were not involved in the decision-making process only to find out later that they were up to their necks in it. As evidence of how this coalition’s duplicity is unfolding, we are finding that the bitterness of those who have ‘jumped ship’, seduced by disproportionately high ministerial office, are now willing to heed the master’s call even though they have spent years fighting with us to restore true democracy after the horrors of rigged elections.
Their reward is to continue to hold ministries in which they have failed the nation, the most prominent example being the prison escapes saga. In other countries, the Minister responsible for such crass inefficiency would be fired, But not in Guyana where corrective action is shackled by holding together a flimsy coalition.
As the PPP Motion on the 2018 budget emphasizes, the almost 200 new tax measures increased government revenues by approximately G$11.2 Billion to G$97.1 Billion by mid- 2017, of this total, tax represents G$85.8 Billion, G$10.7 Billion more when compared to 2016, thus costing the people of this country an additional
There is a saying that what goes around comes around and those in power need to take heed of this. We all have to stay focused on what will be needed to retake our nation back to prosperity. Although we may sometimes feel depressed and worried that our nation is falling apart, we should regard this as a passing phase; unfortunate, but under every cloud there is a silver lining.
We must continue to have courage to stand up to what we believe in - a truly democratic nation, where all ethnic groups work together for a better life (not the bogus ‘good life’ promised by this government), one where we have economic stability and prosperity, where our children can be nurtured to work together for a better and happier Guyana.
As we walk our streets, sit with our families, speak to the party leaders, talk with the business people and ponder our young people’s future, remember, they are our today, this should give us the fortitude to withstand this government’s drive to stagnate our lives and country.
Our economic vision has to be adjusted. We will once again be required to fix the system; the debt has skyrocketed as it did in 1992. Once again, we will have to rebuild our financial system.
We are ready to do this.
As our motion in Parliament on the 2018 Budget indicated, we will reverse all the VAT items that were instituted since 2015. We have submitted proposals to stimulate the economy. We all know they do not understand how to manage our economy.
Many of our projects that we have given to them will need very careful monitoring over the next two years and if they have not been processed we will need to take radical steps to get them going when we return to government. Some are:
● The implementation of major capital projects to stimulate spending in accordance with the Procurement Act and regulations; ● Re-commence the Amaila Falls Hydro project as recommended by the independent Norwegian consultancy firm;
● Improve the implementation of capital projects, particularly Government loan projects;
● Hold an open and fair procurement process for the pre-feasibility/feasibility studies and implementation of the Corentyne- Suriname Bridge, Linden- Lethem Road and the new Demerara Harbour Bridge and all major roads projects;
The 2018 budget motion by the PPP/C comprehensively outlines the vision for the next few years on what is needed.
This government’s spiteful and vindictive actions across a range of issues are hurting the people. They are compounded by blatant disregard for the constitution and an arrogance for all to see.
Be optimistic, remember that that they are only in power by a one seat majority in Parliament and their strategy seems to be focusing on the negative, cause as much discord as possible and hope that the electorate will not give them the punishment they deserve.
We need drive, energy and a desire to genuinely work together to bring our nation back to an integrated society and respect for each and everyone.
The PPP/C continues to offer these on our platform We are readjusting all our plans to fit what Guyana 2020 and beyond will need to ensure our children have that bright future that we all want. The courage is for all of us to stand firm and be engaged in every aspect of our nation to ensure democracy survives.