Finance Minister Winston Jordan ended the five days of heated budget debates on Friday in the absence of opposition Members of Parliament who refused to return to the Chambers following the contribution of Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo.
The absence of the People’s Progressive Party Members of Parliament did not stop the Minister from defending the $230 billion budget ahead of another week of consideration of the estimates of expenditure.
Mr. Jordan said the comments and statements by the opposition members over the last five days were “jaded and worn out” and left much to be desired.
He said the opposition spent the last five days conjuring up doom, gloom and scare tactics.
According to the Minister, the opposition, in his view, seemed to be going through the motion, for the sake of their constituencies. He referenced Jagdeo’s absence from the House during his Budget Speech and said such disrespect should not be continence in the Assembly.
He refused to respond to the Opposition Leader contribution to the House saying “it is not out of disrespect but I find it difficult and impossible at times to respond.”
In spite of this, Jordan took time to respond to the heckles of the opposition which attacked the age of several members on the government side. The opposition had referred to the government on several occasions as an administration of geriatrics. “It seems to me that some honorable members of the Opposition have a problem with growing old…how else should one interpret their disparaging use of the word geriatrics when referring to honorable members of cabinet and members of the government side of the house,” Jordan said.
“This government consists of people who are not ashamed of ages, we are not scared of growing old, we are not afraid of going gray. We are a government of grown-ups who bring experience and knowledge,” he added.
The Minister recognized the hard work of his budget team and thanked his colleague MPs on the government side for their steadfastness support. He singled out Minister Dawn Hastings for her dynamic presentation during the debates and thanked the Speaker for his patience.
He made several references to government projects which are to be undertaken, pointing out to his colleague Ministers that they must ensure the job is done for the people of Guyana.
Jordan pointed out that while the PPP likes to boasts of a number of projects that started under its watch, it was important to note that many of those projects were badly managed and ended up with taxpayers having to deal with billions of dollars in losses.
He said the coalition government will get the job done because at the end of five years, citizens will not be concerned about who won a debate but rather about how their lives have been improved.
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