By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Alliance For Change (AFC) Executive Member Moses Nagamootoo during his contribution to the ongoing budget debate said it is disappointing that whilst making allocations of ‘slush funds’ for jobs, the government cannot say upon what scientific or rational data job creation is planned and areas targeted.
He told the House that the Government provides no statistics in this regard but pointed to a report by Trading Economics which stated that the “unemployment rate in Guyana remained unchanged at 21 percent in 2011” since 1980.
“If this is true, it is a damning indictment on this government, and a betrayal of our working people, especially the educated jobless youth of Guyana,” Nagamootoo stated.
He added that it was in this context that the AFC again sees the need of the government to fool Guyanese into believing that it has a scheme to create jobs.
“I refer to the billion-dollar slush fund in the so-called rural enterprise fund. The people of Leguan are waiting to get the $100 million investment this year. They are waiting for the $121,000 per household and the 352 new jobs for Leguan this year. We are watching you on this!”
On the contrary Housing and Water Minister Irfaan Ali during his budget presentation had argued that unlike other Caricom countries that are forced to lay off hundreds of workers, Guyana has done well in creating jobs for its people.
“The Amaila Falls Hydro Project would create thousands of new jobs. It would allow for the establishment of thousands of businesses and industries in the manufacturing sector. But guess what happened, this Opposition that cries so bitterly that they care about job creation has blocked this project. This same Opposition which is speaking about job creation is blocking this project,” Ali had said.
Meanwhile, turning his attention to Essequibo, the AFC MP said the Party wishes to place on record its deepest appreciation for the hard work and dedication of the country’s gold miners and rice farmers.
“Gold miners took a knock from falling prices, but they are bouncing back.”
Nagamootoo said over the last two years Essequibo paddy producers have earned the AFC’s admiration for protesting for affordable fertilizer and for fair and prompt prices for their paddy.
He said there is no doubt that the “hands of rice farmers feed us all” and they give life to the economy, adding that government must not take the kudos.