Opposition Caught in time warp – Prime Minister
DPI, Georgetown, Friday, December 8, 2017
Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo today said the opposition is caught in a time warp and must wake up and acknowledge the fact that they have placed themselves in the opposition.
The Prime Minister was at the time presenting arguments in support of Budget 2018, during which time he labelled the opposition as being obsessed over the loss of power and salivating on the eve of Guyana becoming a petroleum producing country.
“They were invited to be consulted but chose not to be consulted but instead tabled a motion in the National Assembly … as their contribution to the budget … because they believe that they are the only opposition in the world who has the right to run the government from the opposition. An opposition masquerading as government and wants to present this government with its budget,” the Prime Minister said.
Addressing the Opposition Leader’s claims of Budget 2018 having no benefits for citizens, Prime Minister Nagamootoo said the budget has something for everyone. Further, he noted that the budgetary measures are rooted in the requests made by people and “one has to be a prophet of negativity and doom to conclude otherwise.”
“This budget has something for everyone. This budget has social content. It is rooted in communities. It is rooted in our schools and our medical facilities, in our institutions that provide security for our nation. It is rooted in all the requests made by our people on the coast and in the interior for attention to their needs,” Prime Minister said.
In addition, Prime Minister Nagamootoo said the claims of the Opposition that Budget 2018 contains nothing for the ordinary man are untrue.
“It couldn’t be there is nothing for the people of Sophia who would benefit from $144M for a drop-in-centre, it couldn’t that no one would benefit in the rice cultivation sector with 14 new pumps that will be able to irrigate 50,000 acres of rice lands, it couldn’t be that the young people of this country wouldn’t benefit from the $1.7B for youth programmes, $600M for medical equipment, $160M to rehabilitate the Vreed-en-Hoop and Stabroek stellings. The commuters and vendors will not benefit. It couldn’t be that no one will benefit from the additional $6.3B that will go in support for GuySuCo in addition to the approximately $32B that had already been allocated by this government to the industry to help it to crawl out of its travail and to survive. It couldn’t be that no one will benefit from the Lethem Airstrip that would be upgraded to a Regional Hub,” the Prime Minister said.
Further, the Leader of Government’s Business in the House quoted Dr. Bheri Ramsarran as saying “politics is about continuity,” and added that “Politics cannot be abruptly constructed from minute to minute. It is what you inherited and what you continue.”
Noting that for most enlightened nations continuity means change and renewal, the PM said, “so if we inherited a situation where pensions had been $13, 000 in 2013 and we brought it to $ 17, 000 in 2016 and incrementally $19, 000 and $19, 500 in 2018 it is continuity. It is bringing a change for the better in the lives of people by giving them more and not less.”
He observed that “the Opposition is trying to prove this politics of continuity by trying to show that life started two and a half years ago and that the government, should just give everyone, everything one time. Further, he noted, “They are not holding us to the politics of continuity of what had happened before. They are holding to what they said we had promised.”
However, the Prime Minister observed, “as the Finance Minister said, we had not promised that we would do in one term. Not in the first month not in the first year not in the second year we are walking this journey to the better life and this journey will see incremental changes and incremental improvement in the lives of the Guyanese people we may not be able to see the dynamic process…. but you see qualitative developments in your society.”
Debates for Budget 2018 commenced on Monday, December 4, 2017, and concluded today Friday. The National Assembly will begin consideration of estimates on Monday, December 11, 2017.
By: Kidackie Amsterdam
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