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Sunday 26 January 2020
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If not crime, then what to judge you on?

MP asks Dr Rowley

Pointe-a-Pierre MP David Lee.  - FILE PHOTO
Pointe-a-Pierre MP David Lee. - FILE PHOTO

Pointe-a-Pierre MP David Lee has called on the Prime Minister to help “a confused nation” know on what basis his government’s performance must be judged, if not on the issue of crime and lawlessness.

In responding to the PM’s pre-recorded interview released over the weekend, Lee said that in the fifth year of his administration’s life, Dr Rowley’s inability to list any achievement of substance in key sectors such as education, the economy, improvement of forex supply and social services was glaring, as his government simply has nothing to show for its stewardship.

What is more concerning, Lee said, was Rowley’s perception that his administration had put the energy sector in a much better place than it was in 2015, when several experts have said otherwise.

Could the energy sector be in a better place, Lee asked, when senior economists have estimated that there has been a loss of almost 40 per cent of the employed labour force in the energy sector? In addition, CSO data shows a sharp decline in employment from 21,300 in 2014 to 12,600 as at June 2018.

Even worse, he pointed out, the energy labour force would have fallen yet again, given the closure of big employers such as YARA and Petrotrin post-June 2018.

Lee felt it was erroneous and an act of pure deception that during his interview, the Prime Minister boasted that he “has negotiated better conditions,” yet on Sunday, media reports said the crisis at Point Lisas Industrial Estate appeared to be worsening as Titan Methanol announced it may shutdown its plant owing to difficulties with natural gas negotiations, meaning even more job losses and loss of national revenue.

Never before has Point Lisas been under threat as it is now, given the recent reports in the media that many existing petrochemical companies with outstanding agreements are saying that “the terms are too difficult to live with.”

Lee said the PM’s statement “that he sees a bright future for the energy sector” was pure political fallacy, as under his administration, not only had critical initiatives such as the single bid round issued reportedly failed, but issues of incentives have not been addressed in a timely manner.

“It is clear that the narrative presented by the Prime Minister on our energy sector borders on fiction while the reality as reported publicly suggests that this nation’s energy sector is in dire jeopardy under this government,” Lee said.

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