In 2007, I read a newspaper report about the arrest of a poor, desperate mother. She had stolen baby formula in a grocery to feed her hungry child. It broke my heart and haunts me to this day. This is why, as Prime Minister (2010-2015), I created the Baby Grant. Mothers from households earning less than $3,000 received $500 per month for ONE YEAR to help them buy baby care supplies.
This policy was based on studies linking childhood poverty to crime and criminal behaviour among youths. It was part of a series of neo-natal and child care programs I initiated to tackle the root causes of crime in the medium and long term. But it was callously mocked and abandoned by the failed Rowley Government. Crime and violence have since spiraled to unprecedented heights.
Nevertheless, instead of feeding poor, hungry babies, they questionably spend billions of taxpayers’ dollars to rent real estate properties from, and give lucrative State loans to very close relatives of select Cabinet Ministers. This destructive Rowley regime is truly anti-people and inhumane. Our country will fall apart if they get another term in office.
My new UNC Government will reinstate such vital social programs as part of our crime and poverty eradication measures. There’ll be major checks and balances to ensure they’re not abused, but no child will be abandoned by the State and forced into a life of crime just because they are born poor.
This country’s resources belong to everyone, not just a few chosen elite friends and family of the Rowley Cabinet. It is time to return T&T to its rightful owners—its CITIZENS. Together we can rebuild our nation into a place of progress and equality for all.