MP David Lee – “Economists and Political Analysts endangered professions under this Rowley and Imbert led government”
Given the recent distasteful rants by the Minister of Finance against some of our nation’s most intelligent, experienced and revered economists as well as political analyst during his midyear budget review the question must be asked ; “ Are Economists and Political Analysts endangered professions under this Rowley and Imbert led government ?
Finance Minister Colm Imbert unsparingly criticized and disregarded the well-researched views of five of our top economists and political commentators namely; Dr Roger Hosein, Indera Sagewan-Alli, Marla Dukharan, Patrick Watson and former PNM minister Mariano Browne as he accused them of being unfair and biased in their criticisms towards the recent mid-year budget review.
But the question must be asked; “how were they unfair?”. All these individuals did was highlight the facts based on empirical evidence to show that our nation’s economy is still in a very fragile state as this Government through its policies has failed to produce any significant measures which would ensure economic stability and sustainable development. This trend of analysis was even reflected when Standard and Poors downgraded our national outlook to negative, so why criticize the economist when they said the same?
However the Minister of Finance mischievously made it appear that none of the aforementioned are worthy of their cadre of qualifications, credibility and extensive list of experiences. These actions were unbecoming of a member in public office as it betrays the fundamental pillars of democracy and free speech. How can we be looking to evolve into a first world nation when those in authority look to belittle, insult and degrade those who seek to offer constructive views? Are we still functioning in a democratic nation or in one of tyranny?
Given that it appears that any seemingly opposing views or critiques of Minister Imbert’s review would be shut down or slandered aimlessly in spite of its relevance, our nation must question if this is a ploy by this Government whereby experienced experts in the various fields may be forced into submission from commenting on national policy issues undertaken by this Government in fear of being embarrassed or insulted as this administration seeks to mask it’s failures from the nation.
One would have thought when the Minister said the Economy had ” turned around ” that critical issues such as the the shortage of medicine at our nation’s hospitals would have been an issue of the past. One would have hoped that given this so called economic turn around lay-offs such as those at UTT in the past week and other possible cases of retrenchment in the future would have ceased, school repairs would have been done in a more timely manner while road repair and dredging of key water ways would have been effectively completed given the start of the rainy season. One would have even envisaged that with this much boasted about economic turn around Foreign Direct Investment would have been overpowering our “economic borders” but we have seen none of these occur.
One might even question if this “turn around” in the non energy sector is accurate or is it due to the classification of growth in petrochemical production being recorded in the manufacturing sector (non energy) as opposed to the energy sector?
This recent reprimanding of the economists and commentators was ‘politricking’ at its finest and a mere attempt by Finance Minister to divert and distract the entire country from the content of his presentation which reflected the pure economic incompetence and poor economic management of the Rowley led PNM which has not led this nation to “turn around” but rather reverse further away from national prosperity and human development.