PLEASE allow me to have my say as regards the Budget 2023 presentations that recently concluded, and say up front that contributions from the opposition MPs and I say all (except the Hon Lenox Shuman), were based on their own recklessness, bad governance, and visionless points when they were in government.
Everything under the previous government was falling apart, including their supporters. The APNU\PNC government in their five years forgot about the economic well-being of the citizens of this country and development of the various sectors, but now the current Leader of the Opposition believes he could stand in the National Assembly of this country to lecture to this nation about development and what the people deserve and what the various sectors need in order to be better off.
This is the same man who, under the previous government, had no vision to share with the PNC government to better our people and country.
This is the same Norton who allowed the PNC government (I say PNC because APNU is PNC and AFC is their shadow) to take away the cash grants from the innocent schoolchildren and give out the 5Bs, some old donated buses, school bags that can hold about five books, donated boats, etc…
This is the same Norton who allowed those 5Bs to be given mainly for the benefit of certain children in a certain area.
Today, this same man who reportedly demanded and ordered the then PNC treasurer to sign 30 blank cheques so he can use his party money how he wants as if it’s his, is telling us that our children should get more than the $40,000 “Because We Care Cash Grant”.
He tells this nation that the PPP is failing us because they are not fulfilling their 2020 manifesto promises to the nation.
But Norton fails to realize that the said manifesto is a five-year plan for the nation, just as the previous government and the PPP within the past two and a half years have already fulfilled more than 60 per cent of their promises to the people, and the previous PNC government completed only about 25 per cent of their manifesto promises in almost five and a half years and was kicked out of office by the people of Guyana.
The Leader of the Opposition stood in the Assembly and talked to us about agriculture and what he and the PNC plans to do to better this sector.
But this very man failed to tell the nation that it was his PNC government that tried to kill the agricultural sector in this country in every way they could.
Norton failed to tell the nation that thousands of sugar workers, rice farmers, and their families voted for the coalition in 2015 because the then AFC made the PNC see another government in power, and then they (PNC & AFC) stabbed those very people in their backs.
Norton failed to tell us that it was Moses Nagamootoo and Khemraj Ramjattan along with all the then AFC ministers who joined hands with the PNC to knock off thousands of sugar workers and put their families on the breadline and raise the land rates, taxes and D&I charges for farmers.
Seems like Norton wants us to forget what the PNC did to those sugar workers and farmers.
In Region Five, cash crop farmers were thrown out of their farmlands at Fort Wellington and yes, I can speak of this matter because I was made aware the next day.
I approached the then REO and started to curse him about what he did and demanded that the farmers be given lands within that very area to continue their farming; and yes, I took control of that and tried to get the farmers to occupy lands at the same area.
Over one hundred million dollars was spent to develop a model farm that saw hundreds of coconut plants and buildings going up (a certain contractor was milking the money on contracts), which was a waste of taxpayers’ dollars.
Produce was taken to Linden and those very amounts when sold could not be enough to purchase the fuel and pay the workers who took it. I rebelled against all of that and even went as far as to label the then REO a despot.
I can go on with the agricultural sector, but I want to tell Norton and the PNC that in two and a half years of the PPP government, this sector alone conquers all the works of the entire previous PNC government’s five and a half years in office.
Norton went on to talk about the housing sector and what are his and the PNC’s plans to better the sector if they get back into government, ‘LOL.’
Norton needs to stop dreaming about the PNC going back into government soon, because the PNC government will sit in the opposition for a long, long time to come.
Never again should we allow the PNC to rule this country and in fact, now that the AFC is a ‘dead-meat’ party, the PNC stands to go further down the drain come 2025.
I can recall in Region Five under the previous government that title holders had their lands given to PNC supporters, and hardly any housing scheme developments, except for the Food For The Poor schemes at Fort Wellington and No.29 areas.
House Lots were hard to get and many could not have accessed basic facilities within the schemes.
The housing sector in the entire country was dying under the previous government. Norton should have educated himself on this sector before even speaking about bettering it when the PNC did nothing to better it in five years.
The Opposition Leader talks about bettering what should have been in the 2023 budget for social services and what our elderly deserve.
But fail once again to say that the then PNC government, which he was a part of, never even thought about bettering the lives of the elderly, but rather they were bettering the lives of the PNC pensioners that were given work under the previous government.
I know of a woman who is a pensioner in Region Five, who used to work full time as a community development officer and also did part-time work within the health sector and social service sector under the PNC government. She alone had three jobs.
That alone tells us that is why then President Granger could have told the young people of this country there are no jobs for them and they should go sell cook-up rice.
In sports, Norton should be ashamed to talk because he should have known that only certain grounds in certain areas were enhanced in Region Five for certain people.
A synthetic track was built in New Amsterdam and not in the centre of Region Six because in that area, certain people will benefit.
Today, under this government and the leadership of the Hon Charles Ramson, M.P., works are being done across the country to better the grounds and sporting facilities, regardless of race or village or who will benefit.
I can go on and on about correcting Norton on his 2023 budget presentation, but I feel as if I am just trying to educate a man who only knows to read what someone wrote for him to say and knows about racism in everything he does and speaks.
Budget 2023 has something for everyone, the young and old, the poor, single parents, etc… and moreover, those in the very opposition who have children and grandchildren going to school will have the $35,000 We Care Cash Grant and the $4,000 school uniform voucher, while many, including Granger and Nagamootoo, will be having a raise in their old-age pensions.
Budget 2023 is a people’s budget.