THE EDITOR: In the midst of all the fake news being peddled by the Opposition United National Congress (UNC), especially on social media in terms of what they term as government’s non-performance, it is good to see a real Prime Minister in action. The political climate is ripe and Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has started the new year by accounting to the population on the country’s real state of affairs with his address to the nation on Sunday.
Dr Rowley’s address was definitely a message of hope and direction. It was noted that 2018 will see some economic growth by new revenue generating mechanisms and additional revenue from CLICO assets. The UNC deflects from the facts surrounding their tenure which saw the public debt increase by 70 per cent.
It was reported that during 2010 to 2015 the debt figure rose from $45 billion to $75 billion.
The real story is that the government has had a challenging term thus far which caused the necessary adjustments which took place. Admitting that the government is aware of the effects of the revised taxation policies on the citizens and the economy at large, the Prime Minister advised that these were the best of more painful options available to the government.
The Prime Minister advised that the medicine administered will bring the solutions the country needs in the medium term. However there are stimulus initiatives such as $100,000 for private sector construction of low income housing, $100,000 grants in entrepreneurship and agriculture and the availability of foreign exchange at US$100 Million for the manufacturing sector.
The struggle is real and the Prime Minister has kept it real with the population also highlighting the global challenges experienced by other petrochemical dependent economies. In the midst of it all the government has moved to reduce wastage and inefficiencies in public spending. Government Expenditure has been reduced by 20 per cent in various areas but has maintained payment of Public Servants salaries, education, national security, pensions, social services etc.
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has demonstrated real leadership and his commitment to the principles of good governance in terms of transparency, accountability and the commitment to a balanced approach to managing the economy in challenging times.
We look forward to the better future for all as titled with his address, in 2018 and beyond. In the words of the Prime Minister, “Together we are stronger, strong enough to get it done.”
Ronald Huggins, St Joseph