By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Opposition Member of Parliament Volda Lawrence has accused the government of being inhumane for failing to address, adequately so, the concerns of the elderly and differently abled.
During her presentation in the debate of the 2014 National Budget on Tuesday, April 01, Lawrence said she was not particularly impressed with the provisions in the budget to address the level of poverty and assist persons living under the poverty line.
“Nothing substantial is evident” she said, adding that “what measures are there to decrease the presently high human development index ranking? Where is the human face of the government?… teachers are migrating and the police work for pittance and are disgruntled, no wonder there are so many road side courts.”
Lawrence contended that many areas were not adequately addressed and there was much omission in the budget.
Turning her attention to the differently abled, Lawrence said the concerns of this vulnerable group continue to be ‘left by the wayside’ in the Minister’s plan each year.
She recommended that the government review its programmes rigorously and cost effectively to assist the differently abled.
“A visit to the David Rose School tells a sad story… the School for the Blind is most inappropriate for any student much less a child with disabilities, the conditions are deplorable.”
Lawrence also called on the Ministry of Education to reform its programme to educate the differently abled and allow for their integration into the regular school system.
She said it was unfortunate to see how the disabled have to compete with the able bodied at many places of business and government offices while pointing to the discrimination they endure when using public transportation.
In this regard she called on the government to provide transportation for this vulnerable group and provide tax free incentives for them.
On the issue of alcohol abuse the APNU MP said the time has come to look at those factors which can cause persons to behave and act in a violent manner.
She said alcohol has been identified as the country’s number one drug problem according to a PAHO report and recommended that steps be taken to monitor and curve high alcohol intake.
The pointed to the loss of lives through vehicular accidents and violence related activities that the intake of alcohol has engendered. Lawrence said the easy access by which children acquire this drink is worrying.