Opposition Member of Parliament Senior Counsel Roysdale Forde this morning accused the government of abandoning the country’s poor as he made his contribution to the 2021 Budget Debate.
Describing the budget as weak on new ideas and lacking substance, Mr. Forde said all the recommendations that were put forward that would have benefitted the country’s poor people were rejected while those recommendations to aid the private sector were supported.
“The Guyana Trades Union Congress stated that its priorities were A reduction in national borrowing – was it granted? NO; A reduction in concessions given to the private sector – was it granted? NO; The erasure of the deficit of the National Insurance Scheme – was it granted? NO; The immediate restoration of the constitutional right to free education at the tertiary level– was it granted? NO; On the other hand, all the requests made by the Private Sector were granted”.
Mr. Forde said the budget is nothing more than a budget of no, as it rejected the needs of the ordinary Guyanese, especially those in the public sector and the rest of the working class.
He pointed out that “the increases in salary for workers whether private or public sector is not a priority for this Government. The Government simply does not care about the workers of this country. Totally insensitive. There is no increase in salaries for the soldiers; no increase in salaries for the police; no increase in salaries for the public servants; no increase in salaries for the nurses; and no increase in salaries for the teachers. The Minister of Labour has not said a word about this, but we cannot expect more from the Minister.”
Forde who is also the Opposition’s point person on legal matters accused Attorney General Anil Nandlall of staging a vicious attack against persons perceived to be supporters of the APNU+AFC.
“Mr. Speaker the Honorable Attorney General has launched a vicious attack on supporters of the apnu+afc seeking to recover lands despite this talk of oneness. This is hypocrisy”, MP Forde said.
Already, the Attorney General has given several persons an ultimatum to give up lands which were acquired under the APNU+AFC government or face legal consequences. Several contractors were also given marching orders.
Mr. Forde said if the AG wants to appear fair, he should investigate the matters surrounding the sale of lands to the National Hardware company under the previous PPP government.
Mr. Forde made reference to a 2010 transaction between NICIL and National Hardware. The Assembly was told that details of that transaction show that the National Hardware was given 103.3 acres of prime lands for just $598m and resold 16.4 acres of the same said land for $400 Million months after the acquisition.
“While officials of and appointed by the Apnu+afc are treated unfairly and harassed the country awaits the investigation of this matter and the institutional of legal proceedings.” Mr. Forde implore.
Forde said although the APNU+AFC government knew what took place prior to 2015, political neutrality was exercised.