Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has bashed the A Partnership for National Unity/ Alliance For Change
(APNU+AFC) coalition Government, saying that it remains clueless and hapless, even as the country’s economy continues on a downward spiral.
The former President also called out the Government for refusing to concede to advice and recommendations, which could in effect help to put the country back on the road to recovery.
Jagdeo was at the time addressing journalists at his Party’s head office on Wednesday. “This Government lives in a make believe world and cocoon. They believe that if they don’t know about something, it has not happened. And there are so shut out from the rest of society and other voices of reason and so arrogant about it even when confronted by good advice from civil society and everywhere else,” Jagdeo told journalists.
He said the Administration, which has recently completed a year in office, has embraced a laid back approach, while Guyanese continue to feel the brunt of a dilapidated economical structure.
“We heard recently that the economy has slowed down because drug proceeds are not flowing freely through the economy and the Minister of Finance holds on to this excuse, repeating it. If they do believe this, then they are missing the opportunity to address the real issue surrounding the economy.”
Jagdeo said Government has embraced the concept that drug money is flowing less through the economy and that is the reason things have not been going well.
“So why should I do anything about it, everything else is perfect and so he misses this huge opportunity,” Jagdeo said, speaking of Finance Minister Winston Jordan.
He recalled statements made by economist, Professor Clive Thomas, who had related that at least 30 per cent of the monies was being siphoned off and going abroad. He said with all the blockages of things allegedly enjoyed by his Party while in office, Government should now have more money to spend, and hence, see a rise in the economy. He said even as Government moves to reduce the high incidences of alleged gold smuggling and other “illegal” activites, more money should be around to help build the economy.
“So why are we talking about a reduction in flow. Infact, you should have been talking about an increase of the economy. This is all fake. Because they make this whole case of drug flow. He (Finance Minister) is saying in effect that if you cannot pay your loans now, you are losing your jobs, people are not buying in the stores anymore, that your hardships are determined and in the economy because you did not get the drug proceeds,” he lashed out.
Jagdeo said Government does not understand the reality of what is happening, adding that Guyanese have lost all confidence in the Administration and every day, they continue to do things to erode the little confidence that is left.
He made mention of Government’s harsh attack on citizens with private property, noting that when things like these are done, going after private people, taking back leases and titles for land, confidence is eroded.
“You are saying that private property is not important. The precipitous drop is due to the fact that people do not have confidence in this Government and every day they do things to erode confidence further.” He further added that it is obvious that Government has no plans to fix the economy, noting that it is fixable but the Administration has no vision.
“People are worse off after one year of the coalition in office and I see no improvement given the direction of the Government. Now why are we in economic decline? Is it possible that even with the world situation where there is a slowdown in demand is it possible that for a country like Guyana to prosper?”