THE EDITOR: In the first 15 minutes of his national address, PM Rowley stuck at blaming the previous government for the current economic crisis. No solutions or extension of hope for the population.
This continous blame game peppered the PM address that only skirted around the real issues facing our country.
The PM indicated property tax and gaming tax denied to the government remain another tax the government is reliant on as their only economic solution. The has already presupposes that the Government will be successful in the courts in the matter of the property tax. As the litigant in the matter I disagree with the position but I am now concerned about political interference in the matter.
The PM reminded the public that restrictions in expenditure have only contracted the economy and only underscored that the PNM has no solution to the economic crisis and had no plan coming into office.
The PM agrument in attempt to persuade the population that the majority of the citizenry rang hollow as all nationals know that their spending power has declined and their job security tenuous. The singling out of Maxis and Taxis fare increases only revealed that the PM did not take the time to understand fully the issues facing the normal citizens. The PM appears to be only appreciative of the 1% rather than the rest of the country.
While the PM spent time on the issue of Oil and Gas agreements and the state of Petrotrin it was conspicuous that no mention was made of the millions reported to be lost as a result of the “fake oil” scandal. It should be worrisome for all that one of the prongs of economic recovery the government identified was an agreement with Venezuela given that country’s present instability.
While the CLICO issue was touched on but not a word was muttered about the serious adverse impact on the business community due to the unavailability of foreign exchange.
Continuous excuses littered the PM’s address only to be matched by promises of things that may come. A virtual listing and rehashing of projects to be done by various ministries and government agencies were listed in attempt to convince the country that something was or will be done.
It was amazing that the PM continued to defend the indefensible incompetence of the Port Authority and the involvement of Cabinet in the newest procurement process. The population is now aware of a vessel from Asia has been secured but no mention was made as to how it was procured. Given the history and pattern of cobduct this must be of deep concern.
Passing reference was made about crime but nothing to comfort an already scared population.
The address did not speak to the concerns of the average citizen and only reinforced the feeling of hopelessness as we can expect that under PM Rowley nothing will improve.
Former Government Minister
DR KEITH ROWLEY