2017: A YEAR OF JOB LOSSES, POOR LEADERSHIP- JAGDEO

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…roasts Govt for lack of vision, clear development plan

BY MICHAEL YOUNGE

Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo on Friday roasted the A Partnership for National Unity and Alliance for  Change coalition Government for what he said was poor socio-economic management of the affairs of the country.

Jagdeo wasted no time in criticising the Government on several front as he insisted that the Government was presiding and directly responsible for the recessionary conditions being experienced by most Guyanese because of the decline of the economy.

Jagdeo speaking at a press conference hosted at Freedom House in Georgetown, 2017 was among other things characterised by job losses, corruption and poor leadership.

According to the Opposition Leader, the year 2017 was also an unprecedented one in some respects. Zeroing in on the economy, Jagdeo said that government has missed its economic growth target.

“We have missed our growth target twice in the year…even a lower than budgeted growth target was not met. The Government in 2017 failed to unveil an economic plan for the country…a plan that was promised since 2015”, Jagdeo reported.

 He said, “All we have today are promises… new promises that they will continue to work on a so called Green strategy for the future which will be the economic plan for Guyana…In the entire 2017, we are adrift once again. No leadership from the Government in the economic sphere and no coherent set of policies.”

Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo

He pointed out that due to the measures in the 2017 budget, a number of businesses and sectors were devastated. According to Jagdeo, 2017 is the year in which Guyana lost the most jobs in a single year.

“It is the year that we have lost the most jobs in Guyana in our entire history…so you can characterize it as a year of significant loss of jobs. In the sugar sector, people were devastated (as) nearly 5000 sugar workers were sent home…and in almost all the other sectors, people have been losing jobs. And the promises again made by the Government that it will continue to create thousands of new jobs has not been kept. In fact out country has gone backward”, the Opposition Leader insisted.

The former President also spoke of the various controversies that rocked the country during the year while alluding to the controversial US$18M signing bonus.

Sugar workers participating in Tuesday’s protest march traversed several streets of Enmore and Foulis on the East Coast of Demerara

“We have seen several scandals emerging from procurement of drugs via single sourcing to the infamous bridge contract….to the $18M US dollars that still remain in an account not provided for by our Constitution or our financial laws…huge set of scandals and corrupt practices.

Jagdeo did not forget the appointment of the GECOM Chairman. He pointed out that this act threw away decades of practise in which the two political sides worked together to fill the post.

In summing up the year, Jagdeo said that these occurrences combine to put Guyana’s democracy on a more tenuous footing than before.