Dear UNC Members and Supporters,
On Thursday I will be in Parliament to lead the Opposition’s response to the 2016-17 Budget. It will be based on a thorough analysis of what the Government has presented, with inputs from many of our members and supporters like you, who attended our post-Budget consultations at venues across the country.
Please tune in to our presentation on the Parliament Channel or on radio at 105.5 fm. Or even better, attend the sitting in Parliament in Port of Spain to show your personal support.
You know when you first elected me to lead our great party in 2010, I said that I would listen and then lead. We embraced everyone who wanted to work with us and began a process of healing that united our party and gave it renewed vigour. I pledged to involve you in everything and to serve you because politics is not only about holding office; it’s primarily about service to create a better, more prosperous country for all of us.
Through my journey thus far I have been faithful to that promise. I dedicated my five years in government to making your lives better, to providing opportunities for all and to strengthening our economy. We worked hard to reduce crime to make our communities safer.
Much of our focus in government was on helping the poor and underprivileged by providing a strong social safety net to protect the most vulnerable as was our duty as a compassionate government. This Rowley PNM administration has taken away all of that.
In the past year we have had to endure and continue to cope with some of our worst trials and tribulations under an uncaring Rowley administration, which has been governing with an unprecedented measure of recklessness.
The result is rising unemployment, a failing economy, a loss of confidence and a general feeling of hopelessness instead of the optimism that existed when your PP government under my leadership guided the ship of State.
Keith Rowley’s manner of governing is to blame everyone for his shortcomings, pick fights with all – including the His Excellency the President while callously telling us that we should not expect his Government to provide basic facilities and services, as is the obligation of any responsible government.
That is the hallmark of the Budget his Finance Minister presented. And that is what our MPs and I will address starting on Thursday.
There is nothing in the 2016-17 Budget that provides hope or a way forward for our young people, our seniors and for the population in general. There is nothing to take us forward – no vision and no plan – only measures to push us into becoming a failed state.
But I ask you to never be despondent. Your party remains committed to you. We will continue our work as the alternative Government and hold this incompetent regime to account. We will make sure your voices are heard when we respond to the Government’s Budget.
A government is elected to serve the people and it is answerable to the people. Our duty as a responsible opposition is to demand that they do that. We will continue to stay connected with you to ensure that we keep your most important issues on the forefront.
I have traversed our country, met with you and explained our values, our vision and our commitment.
We have a strong national party where ethnicity or how you pray and where you live are of no consequence; we are one strong, united family committed to creating a better society for all.
You are our greatest and most valuable asset. Your party needs your support to undertake and succeed in the mammoth task ahead.
I urge you to contact your MPs, and volunteer to be a part of our winning team. I have always said that after the darkest night the sun will rise again. Support your MPs and our party.
And together we will rise again to provide good governance and accountability as we steer our country back toward prosperity.