One day after the $300.7B 2019 Budget was presented in the National Assembly by Finance Minister Winston Jordan, minor Coalition partner, the Alliance For Change (AFC) has stated that it is very pleased with the allocations the various sectors, being managed by its ministers, have received.
In a statement today, the AFC expressed its full support for the budget and noted its satisfaction with the over $167B allocated to the various ministries under control by the party’s top leaders.
The AFC commended the Government for the allocated $38.5B which is expected to go towards the Public Infrastructure Ministry headed by Minister David Patterson.
The party also welcomed the $35.6B proposed for the Public Security Ministry and the $21B for the Telecommunications and Agriculture Ministries.
Further, the party commended the Government for its investment in the education sector which was allocated $52.2B in this year’s budget. “The AFC commends the government once again for the continued investment in education… The measures which target small business development, growth and expansion and persons living with disability are particularly welcomed by the party… and the party is pleased that there has always been heavy investment and emphasis on the HEYS programming which is transforming the lives of hinterland youth,” the statement said.
“The AFC looks forward to the full and complete implementation of Budget 2019″, the statement added.
At the recently held Local Government Elections (LGE), AFC‘s performance was noticeably poor as the party was only able to gain 4% of the overall votes.
The AFC has also received much criticism, especially from the parliamentary Opposition, for what many describe as the submissive role it has been playing since joining forces with APNU.
Weighing in on the proposed estimates in Budget 2019, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo last evening dubbed it as “visionless and disappointing”.
The former President who recently tabled a motion of no-confidence against the APNU/AFC Coalition Administration, said that he had hoped that with that looming over their heads, the government would have paid serious attention to the cries of the citizenry and tried to address their many issues.
Jagdeo, a former Finance Minister himself, also said that Minister Jordan used his budget presentation to confirm that the economy performed badly in 2018, identifying the – 1.8 per cent growth in the fisheries industry, 0.2 per cent growth in rice, 0.9 per cent in forestry and – 2.3 per cent in the extractive industry.
“You would have noticed that the Minister at mid-year; had revised the target upwards to 3.7 per cent after they achieved 3.4 per cent in mid-year. The final outcome was 3.4 per cent and we are not sure that will be, given the history that this Minister, how often he has misled the House when he presents the figures in November in his budget and then in January when the figures drastically change for the worse,” the Opposition Leader reminded.