This is a particularly reflective time for Trinidad and Tobago having just observed our 56th year of Independence. This week, on September 7, Keith Rowley will begin his fourth year as Prime Minister of this country. I saw many comments from citizens who have been plunged into hardship because of the mismanagement and incompetence of the Government that they felt we have nothing to celebrate on August 31, so I know there will be no one celebrating on September 7.
Usually at a time like this the Government of the day will spend some time to highlight what they have achieved and how the work that they have done has improved the lives of the people they are meant to serve. We started this week, with a stoic looking Prime Minister, who spent almost a week pretending the issue did not loom over heads coming to tell us nothing new, nothing revolutionary, nothing inspiring, just rehashing rhetoric and telling us that leadership meant presiding over massive job losses and calling yourself strong.
Trinidad and Tobago looked in awe because as a country we all expected more substance from the Prime Minister as he addressed the country on this critical issue. But as Prime Minister, Keith Rowley has remained silent on a number of issues over the past three years. He looked on as crime spiraled out of control, as his Government embarked on policies that exponentially increased the cost of living, and all he to offer the population were blame and excuses. He came to power with a narrative that the country was bankrupt but managed to find money for a number of boats, painting and of course his now famous golf courses.
He has presided over a Government that gets increasingly arrogant when asked to account for their actions and spending. They treat questions from the media and the Opposition with contempt rather than as opportunity to inform the public. They try to claim transparency by giving half the story, none of the details and covering it all in public relations fluff. No matter the strategies they employ their record stands and speaks for itself, they have accomplished nothing.
Rowley’s Government cut GATE in a manner that clearly showed that they have no idea how to invest in a population to ensure long term survivability. As he tried to justify hitting the nuclear option on Petrotrin, he did not tell us what his Government had done to create new sectors or where opportunities would lie for the thousands of persons to be affected. With the cuts to the GATE programme what opportunities are there now for them to retrain and get back on their feet?
So as he addressed the nation on beginning of the last week of his third year in charge, he told us exactly what they have done for the people of this country, nothing. This year we were promised an economic turnaround, because they needed to stick to their preplanned narrative starve the nation for the first half then begin to spend to win the next election. But was we prepare to end 2018 who is feeling the effects of this economic turnaround.? So this Friday, we must all ask ourselves who is better off after three years of Keith Rowley’s rule? What we have so far is three years no accomplishments, only destruction.
In year four and five we will feel the impact of this Petrotrin decision, as well as the property tax. We are led by a Government that is completely out of touch with how hard life has gotten in Trinidad and Tobago as result of their decision making. They are still toasting themselves, and building their Balisier House while the rest of us wonder, when will this end.
Senator Anita Haynes