THE EDITOR: Recent incidents indicate that indeed the people are hurting, as stated by President Paula-Mae Weekes. There is a level of frustration and stress within the population and it is growing.
The deaths of 11 people in one day, four killed by police, protests by residents, trade unions and workers, the cries for help of many for their loved ones and sick relatives who cannot get medical attention, missing people and the growing number of homeless are clear indications that instead of moving forward the country is drowning.
Many of these maladies can and should be remedied by the leaders who were put there to tackle them but it seems, in retrospect, that the authorities are instead exacerbating the problems.
Within the past few months the price increases in food, gas and diesel fuel, transport and building materials have added to the frustration of the ordinary citizen, more so those in the middle and lower income brackets.
These added to beating deadlines to meet legal and other challenges posed by the Government, such as vehicle stickers, change-over to machine-readable passports, polymer birth, marriage and death certificates, and the switch to polymer $100 bills all increase stress of the citizenry.
Some of these measures have certainly increased the cash available to the Government for use in improving lives. But is the new-found money being used for the people as promised?
It seems now as though the vehicle sticker fiasco was just another ploy to raise funds in the form of another tax. No one now speaks of the stickers and all cars, with or without them, are back on the road, unhindered.
Now with the increase in fines for traffic offences – some were raised by more than 1,000 per cent for minor offences – and new legislation to bar people from driving via a demerit system, there seems to be more frustration and stress to come.
Despite all of the above, there appears to be a very big gap between the people running the country and the citizenry. Several trade unions, the representatives of workers of the country, are claiming disrespect and neglect. Members of TTUTA, PSA, PTSC, MTS and sanitation workers of the city corporations are all disgruntled by Government’s total disrespect.
Every week we see residents blocking roadways to protest the neglect of roads and basic infrastructure.
These are indicators that clearly show the population is disgruntled. People are being neglected. The reality is, indeed, that the people are hurting.