(The following is an opinion piece written by former President Donald Ramotar)
The APNU/AFC coalition have so far based their politics on deception. They deliberately set out to fool people just to secure their votes. They have also misled a lot of people into believing that they would do things that they never had any intention of doing in the first place.
One would recall the many promises they made. In every area, they made promises that they never had any intention to fulfil.
They gave many assurances to the sugar workers, including that they would give them (the workers) a 20% increase in wages.
They knew the situation in sugar long before they took power. GUYSUCO’s Board and management made several appearances to the Parliamentary Standing Committee for Economic Affairs. They were given all the information, including the huge cut in price for sugar being exported to Europe (a 36% cut).
They knew, too, because the PPP/C government sought Parliamentary approval for funds to assist the sugar industry with the problems it faced.
In fact, at one time, what seems to be a Freudian slip, the then Opposition Leader, David Granger, said that the industry should be closed. Not long after, he changed his position and said GUYSUCO should not be allowed to fail. He actually said it was “too big to fail”.
Now we see that they have refused to give the sugar workers not a cent more since they came into office. Their wages have been frozen. Worst than that, they are making moves to decimate the sugar industry.
The same trick was played on rice farmers. They told the rice farmers they would pay them $9,000 per bag of paddy. They did this knowing perfectly well that such a promise could not have been honoured.
Today, farmers have been forced to take a huge cut in prices. This has resulted in some farmers being unable to commence a new crop. Some are facing ruination.
The regime also promised to cut the VAT from 16% to 10%. That was one of the ways they said would bring down cost of living. They did this knowing that the PPP/C government had zero-rated all essential items and removed VAT from machinery in the productive sector, mainly mining and agriculture.
The APNU/AFC regime has not only maintained the VAT at 16%, but they have reapplied it on machinery and equipment used by miners and farmers. also deliberately demonised companies and their personnel, for example, NICIL.
They promised to shut down the government’s holding company and to transfer the monies held there to the Consolidated Fund.
But they have kept NICIL operational. A new Board has been appointed and new management is now in place; higher salaries are being paid to these persons. At the same time, they have not transferred all the funds to the Consolidated Fund.
ANOTHER BROKEN PROMISE
Indeed, the regime, in their need to finance their excesses, have also been taxing kitchen gardeners, donkey and horse cart operators and a host of other small businesses. They seem desperate to scrape up all they can to pay for an already top heavy and growing bureaucracy.
This practice of political deception has already led to much suffering of ordinary people.
It also tells a story of the nature and character of those persons who are running this country. It is a politically immoral group bent on maximising their own personal benefits.
Thus, their slogan about ‘The Good Life…”
We see the real meaning of that slogan is really a good life for the rulers and heavy burdens for those at the bottom.
This regime came into power based on a foundation of fraud and deception and they continue to follow that line.
This is a sure recipe for destruction.