THE EDITOR: Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has demonstrated his ability to lead in a manner which is both visionary and transformational.
As the most experienced parliamentarian in the House of Representatives, a higher call has been placed on him as Prime Minister. To date it must be noted that Rowley, while unorthodox in some of his actions, continues to show that he is getting the job done.
This time around we can no longer call election time “silly season” because our electorate is more educated and mature. Citizens are able to recognise, to a larger extent, fact from fiction and truth from fake news.
Consequently, citizens know the last couple years were difficult because our country was earning significantly less revenue. This is where a responsible government had to act in the best short, medium and long-term interest of the citizens.
Doing more with less is the mantra Rowley placed on the Government in order to keep the economy going. There is therefore a commendable culture shift in government spending in ministries and state agencies as a result. No more lavish events that blow valuable and significant taxpayers’ money to satisfy the appetite of a few.
One example of this is the drastic reduction, by 50 per cent in some cases, in the budget for events held at the Prime Minister’s residence. Another is the rejection of the National Lotteries Control Board’s request for $3 million to host a 50th anniversary celebration. The country is now witnessing a leaner government and a more efficient cabinet.
Rowley’s leadership has kept the country and its citizens out of the undesirable hands of the IMF. This accomplishment is one only the PNM Government can boast of because the opposition members and those in other political parties in fact took the country to the IMF in the past. This never happened under a PNM government because of its extensive experience in fiscal and monetary policies and its ability to attract the best economic minds in the country.
The job of prime minister in tough economic times requires a higher calibre of talent. Although progress may seem slow in achieving a complete turnaround due to the extensive circumstances, the Government has made significant progress in the economy. Because we were able to put “our house in order” we are now better prepared for opportunities and challenges in the future.
From tough economic times in 2015 to relative stability and growth with better projections in the near future, Rowley and the Government have definitely been on the job.