The recent outburst by Keith Rowley that the people of Trinidad and Tobago are to be blamed for the government’s inability to diversify the economy is utterly repugnant. Rowley even went so far as to label citizens, thousands of whom are currently losing their jobs and life savings, as “foolish”. This is not the conduct of a public servant elected by the people to work on their behalf. Rather Rowley’s comments are those of an egocentric dictator who believes the people of our nation exist only to serve him.
Despite presenting six budgets to the nation, Rowley cannot point to a single policy that has been aimed at fostering economic growth and diversification. Indeed his highly touted “six game-changers” centred on the ill-advised gas deal with Nicolas Maduro, all collapsed in mere months.
Despite spending $5 Billion for Covid 19 “relief”, citizens of our nation are struggling now more than ever. This is the abysmal record of economic incompetence and neglect under Keith Rowley. It is clear Rowley has abdicated his constitutional responsibilities of ensuring prosperity and development for the people of our nation.
Such is his desperation to escape responsibility for the current state of the economy, Rowley is once again hyping his failed Sandals project as a lost chance for revenue. I would like to remind Rowley that aside from lacking transparency, having no feasibility studies done and being widely condemned by environmental groups, the Tobago Sandals project would have cost taxpayers upwards of $9 Billion dollars. The Tobago Sandals project failed because of Keith Rowley, not because of the people of Trinidad and Tobago.
It is the responsibility of the Government to provide the conditions for diversification. Instead of fostering an environment for increased investment, the PNM led our nation to a fall in the ease of doing business, failed to address crime, allowed the forex crisis to worsen and failed to provide proper incentives which could have generated new industries.
This is a critical time for our nation and its people. For our economy to survive we need proactive solutions based on innovative ideas to spur economic growth and create much-needed jobs.
The people of Trinidad and Tobago deserve better, they deserve a Prime Minister who has the ability to lead us out of this crisis. Keith Rowley is clearly too foolish for the task of rebuilding our beloved country.
Kamla Persad-Bissessar, SC, MP
Leader of the Opposition