Far from being informed of immediate measures that the Government intends to take to curb the out of control refugee crisis, Minister Young instead showed his complete lack of preparedness, ideas or leadership when he stated that the Government will consider a possible policy for Venezuelans to work in TT for a year.
This possible policy idea seems to have appeared out of nowhere. It is as if PM Rowley and his Ministers wake up one morning “ketch ah vaps” and ‘out of the blue”, announce policy measures. Such was the case with National Security Minister Young, who announced last week that the Government has intentions to begin registering Venezuelans in TT who will then be allowed to work for one year.
In usual PNM fashion, he did not present a well thought out policy but rather another ad hoc idea, without consultation or considerations of the possible implications. It is too late in the day to be presenting a possible option. What is needed is a decisive plan of action.
The UN estimates the number of Venezuelans currently in T&T to be over 40000.
Without knowledge of the actual figures, how can a policy be developed to provide jobs for them? We have no accurate data of numbers, age groups, education or health needs of these refugees to begin to form the basis of any assistance needed.
With the unemployment rate of TT nationals increasing, how does this clueless, incompetent Government hope to provide jobs for 40000 refugees for an entire year? In Naparima unemployment rates are around 25 percent. Minister Young is in no position to tell us whether this policy will incentivize Venezuelans to seek refuge here and therefore overwhelm our health facilities, our schools and our housing situation. What would be the long term plan?
This Government is running the country by trial and error.
Minister Young’s statements on the matter are vague and non-committal. It seems to be another PR attempt to appear to international parties, who are following events in Venezuela closely, that the PNM is doing something to address the humanitarian crisis. He has reverted to his usual role of PNM propagandist.
We hope that this will not be another Income Tax scenario where they bring legislation, tell us the heavens will fall if we do not pass this immediately and then try to hoodwink us to pass inadequate legislation.
It is typical of the PNM to do things in reverse. Before putting in effect a policy to create jobs for the Venezuelans, we should focus on immediately implementing a refugee policy to treat with the upsurge in illegal immigrants entering Trinidad and Tobago. But this clueless National Security Minister is clearly living in a delusion as he once said that, “there is no refugee crisis, it’s a situation.”
Minister Young is evidently not equipped to deal with this ever-worsening state of affairs. He can no longer be taken seriously as National Security Minister, it is a role which requires a sensible and logical approach, not someone prone to all talk and no action. It is clear that Minister Young is out of his depth in his Ministry, he has joined Moses as being bereft of Ministerial competence. The fact remains that no one in this PNM administration has a plan to deal with any of the many crises facing this country.
MP for Naparima.