Opposition parties give gov’t a failing grade in New Year’s Day messages

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The political leaders of two opposition parties in the country have painted a very bleak picture of the year 2018, and a lack of optimism forthe year ahead in their New Year’s Day messages to the nation. In a recorded statement, Political Leader of the National Democratic Alliance (DNA) Joanne Massiah stated that notwithstanding the government’s repeated boasting of economic growth and low unemployment, 2018 was a disastrous yearfor the majority of citizens.
She explained that people have become more anxious, stressed, tense and fearful as a result of the moribund economy, escalating cost of living, rising unemployment, deteriorating infrastructure, corresponding social dislocations, and disempowerment of the most vulnerable in the society. “Sadly, it has become more evident that the government is operating without either chart or compass, but appears to be content to continue to meander aimlessly without policies or prescriptions to reactivate sectors which are poised to contribute more meaningfully to our economic growth,” Massiah said.
“This hit-and-miss approach by the administration must be rejected by the population, along with a tyrannical, autocratic and dictatorial behaviour, which, sadly, has come to characterise the preferred method of governance of the Gaston Browne administration.” Meanwhile, Political Leader of the main opposition United Progressive Party (UPP) Harold Lovell provided a similar picture of the past year.
In his address, he pointed out that the global ranking for ease of doing business continues to slide downward and the economy, with its average to under-performance, continues to challenge both established businesses and start-ups alike; tax revenues have dipped and tax compliance has dropped; government borrowing and the cost of living have increased to a frightening level, and — despite an additional $1 billion generated by the Citizenship by Investment Programme — the quality of life has not improved.
“We are plagued by: extremely bad roads; an unreliable public health system; deteriorating sanitation services; continuing water woes and the lack of other basic services. That we are NOT doing well as a country is borne out by: the plight of the Social Security pensioners; the residents of the Fiennes Institute; the staff at the Clare Vue Hospital; the workers at the Government Housing Project and at ABS Radio and TV; the inmates of Her Majesty’s Prison; even the police officers, whose stations are crumbling around them,” Lovell said.
Massiah has called on the government to re-order its priorities and to begin to put systems in place to address critical issues, while Lovell said that the UPP is readying itself for “the rescue that this country surely, certainly and undoubtedly needs”

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