• 07 Feb, 2023

THE PPP CONTINUES TO FAIL THE PEOPLE OF GUYANA

THE PPP CONTINUES TO FAIL THE PEOPLE OF GUYANA

THE PPP CONTINUES TO FAIL THE PEOPLE OF GUYANA Press Release - Office of the Leader of the Opposition

Press Release - Office of the Leader of the Opposition
 
Two years plus of PPP rule has made it manifest that the PPP is incompetent, divisive, corrupt and is making the lives of Guyanese worse by doling out the resources of this country to its elite, friends, families and favourites while allocating crumbs to the people of Guyana thus forcing them into hardships, hopelessness and a life of poverty as they fail to create the fifty thousand jobs they promised.
As we near the end of another year, the occasion presents itself to evaluate the changes in our quality of life and our destiny as a country and as a people over these last 12 months. As citizens, we need to ask ourselves: are we better or worse off in our homes, our workplaces, our communities, and in our society? Are we more or are we less financially and economically secure and empowered? Are our concerns, grievances, and demands better addressed? Are we more confident of and hopeful in the future?
At the start of the year, the PPP government promised that 2022 would be a turning point in the destiny of Guyana. In unveiling the nation’s first oil budget (50% larger than the previous budget), the Minister responsible for finance stated that the government “is battened down in [its] resolution to serve the cause of unifying the People of Guyana and at the same time to ensure that the lives of all Guyanese are meaningfully, demonstrably, and lastingly, improved.” Clearly, these are mere words; the reality is that we are worse off.
Instead, the PPP has made 2022 one of the hardest years on record for Guyanese. On the economic front, the cost-of-living keeps surging, while the government showed no urgency, no capacity, and no genuine care to ease the burden on the people. Poverty and inequality increased. Living from paycheck to paycheck led to more misery. Many parents, especially single parents, cannot afford to feed much less clothe and house their children. Hopelessness stalks the land.
From as early as January, we in the Opposition called for a range of urgent people-centered responses, such as a comprehensive anti-poverty plan; a 25% plus salary increase for public servants, healthcare workers, teachers and other state employees; $10,000 plus increase in old age pensions; the removal of income tax for low-income earners; multi-billion dollar investments to revitalize depressed communities; and a massive grants scheme to spur the start-up and growth of micro to medium-scale businesses.
As the cost of living continued to spike during the year - and with the government still demonstrating indifference and incompetence - the opposition further called for a cap on fuel prices and for a waiver of water and electricity payments for low-income households. All of these demands were rejected. These measures would have brought direct relief to our people and would have put income in their pockets. The rejection of these proposals is a clear indication that the PPP regime does not care for the people of Guyana .
The government seems singularly focused on promoting large, most times unfeasible projects aimed at giving a significantly large portion of our nation’s resources to their elite, friends, families, and favourites while delivering the crumbs to the people who should be the real beneficiaries of our oil income.
Moreover, we noted the persistent inflow of unexpected high oil revenues occasioned by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. We pointed out that this oil windfall equated to $300,000 per household – and proposed that this money be equitably and transparently distributed in a structured and focused way to the people of our country. Again, PPP rejected this people-centered proposal.
The government instead preferred - and still prefers - to lavish its attention and the country’s bounty on its friends, families, and favorites. Whatever cash transfers it doled out to citizens were one-off, selective in coverage, inadequate in amount, and/or politicized and discriminatory in its allocation. Whatever salary increases it awarded public employees were already eaten up by high inflation and its concomitant high prices. Our people are no better off because it is “too little too late.” The real income of our people has declined since their present income is purchasing less goods compared to 2020.
The year 2022 also witnessed the unceasing erosion of the Rule of Law, democracy, good governance, and basic human rights. The list of PPP transgressions is very long. These transgressions have resulted in most people concluding that Guyana is an authoritarian society hurtling towards dictatorship. We declared months ago that, as a result, the nation faces a political crisis. We pointed to such abuses, as:
1. The continued corruption in high places, foremost among which remains the Su-gate allegations of bribery and abuse of public office swirling around Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo and the government’s refusal to investigate these allegations.
2. The use of SOCU and the entire police force for political intimidation, oppression, and the violation of human rights while protecting the police from legal challenge thus promoting and condoning lawlessness.
3. The sabotage of the Public Accounts Committee to prevent it from scrutinizing the people’s money spent by this regime is a clear indication that the PPP is bent on squandering the nation’s resources while not being accountable or transparent.
4. The continued disrespect for communities in Opposition strongholds and the practice of bribery as the sole means of obtaining political support.
5. Discrimination in the award of contracts and employment opportunities.
6. The callous demolition of homes and stalls of innocent Guyanese especially in APNU+AFC strongholds while treating their own strongholds differently in similar situations.
7. The non-invitation of opposition representation on State Boards and the non-access to the State media.
8. The obsession of the PPP with political domination and control and the concomitant rise in executive lawlessness.
9. The exclusion of civil society in making decisions on issues of national importance.
These and other abuses by the PPP have made a lie of its self-delusional One-Guyana mantra. As some have pointed out, "One Guyana, the apparent new national motto … sounds more like "One Party Rule".
As we near the year’s end and assess all the money spent and all the attacks suffered by ordinary citizens, one thing is clear: the PPP has either foiled our development or has taken us backward at all levels and in all spheres of society and economy. Guyana is worse under PPP rule. The PPP’s two years in government is a clear indication to all that the APNU+AFC did a better job at governing Guyana.
We, in the Opposition, believe that Guyana can have one of the world’s highest standards of living. We believe that Guyana can be one of the world’s happiest societies. We believe that Guyana can achieve the goal of zero poverty and zero misery. Unfortunately, we are experiencing zero transparency and zero accountability. We believe that Guyana can be a model of democracy and good governance and the only obstacle that stands in our way is the incompetent, divisive, corrupt and secretive PPP regime. Guyana could only achieve the ideals we espouse if there is a caring and competent administration. We intend to be that administration.