Home Letters PPP/C’s track record debunks Aubrey Norton’s desires and fabrications
Leader of the Opposition, Aubrey Norton, in his New Year’s message, is screamed that his party “will be relentless in ensuring the fair and equitable allocation of the nation’s resources to its citizens.” He detailed that, “We believe that we need an approach that ensures our people benefit from our resources. (And) to this end, we have advocated for a people-centred development in which the allocation of resources in our society is aimed at reducing and ultimately eliminating poverty and giving our people a better quality of life.” Well! Well!
For starters, Mr. Norton’s ranting is as empty as it is loud. The very things he is claiming he will advocate for are the said ones that have been pioneered and are still being pioneered by the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) since August 2020. For example, it is well established and fresh in the mind that the PPP/C made unprecedented input and visits to places like southern Georgetown, Mocha/Arcadia, Linden, Buxton, Golden Grove, and Melanie Damishana. These, as we are seeing today, have translated into meeting community needs, such as improved roads, bridges, potable water supply, access to agricultural lands, and the resolution of long-standing land issues. In fact, so over-reaching the Government of the day has been that it comes over as though they are neglecting their traditional Indo-based enclaves. Obviously, Mr. Norton is choosing to ignore evidence debunking his intimation that there is discrimination in the practice of the PPP/C.
Another for the readers: I recall, in April last year, that Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo was forced to expose Norton’s attempt at using a lie to incite a negative reaction from residents of Region 10. This was when he, Norton, notified the residents, his erstwhile followers, that the PPP/C was planning to remove the electricity subsidy from Region 10. This was a figment of his imagination, or maybe a desire he harboured, so that he, at the time, would have been able to penetrate the minds of the people, since his attempts to wow them were and are still non-effectual.
To offset Norton’s evil, Jagdeo explained that Norton was “reeling from his rejection by the people of Linden, as evidenced by the poor turnout at his meeting, (and so) has embarked on his familiar acts of deception and desperation.” In the end, as is evident today, the PPP/C Government never planned to remove the electricity subsidy from Region Ten. Thus, like Jagdeo, I am asking that “Guyanese should therefore not fall prey to Norton’s attempt to mislead and cause panic.”
Editor, the Opposition Leader, in his 2023 message, meandered into a lot of stuff in a most cursorial manner, and I will not waste my time on his vacuous ramblings, which do not even constitute a proper accusation. However, I must address his covert accusation that is couched in his statement that “…what Guyana needs is a government with a ‘vision and a plan’ that cares for the people of Guyana. This, he said, is what the next APNU+AFC Government will offer the people of Guyana in 2025 or whenever elections are called.”
Is this an attempt to be funny?
I remind Norton that A Partnership For National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) left Guyana in ‘hell’ when they were legally forced to leave office, after failed attempts to rig the 2020 Guyana Elections. In a nutshell, where Guyana was in 2020 to where it is now reflects “…a Government with a ‘vision and a plan’ that cares for the people of Guyana”. Let me illustrate.
At the start of the current PPP/C tenure, Guyana’s General Reserves were depleted to $0, and its account was running an overdraft to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars. There was also the depleted Gold Reserve (as illustrated in the May 23 publication of the Official Gazette) that were pegged at -$290,667,332. Additionally, Public Deposits were also depleted to below $0, recording a negative balance of -$88,629,401,855. Further, Guyana’s Contingency Reserve account reflected an alarmingly low amount; that is $2.3 billion.
Now, contrast this against what obtained when APNU/AFC took office in May 2015, and which was reflected in the Bank of Guyana’s Statement of Assets and Liabilities. According to the records, when the Coalition A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance for Change took office in 2015, Guyana’s gold reserves were stocked at $15 billion, but were depleted by the APNU/AFC Administration to a mere $715 million during their five-year tenure, almost two of which were illegal. This reflected a difference of $14.3 billion spent by APNU/AFC during their time in office. In 2015, Guyana’s General Reserve had in its coffers just about $6 billion, while the Contingency Reserve held $4 billion. However, after the APNU/AFC wrecking train was forcefully ejected, those savings were shown to be below zero dollars, reflecting considerable overdrafts. Yet another area for you: The Contingency Reserve stood at $4.8 billion when APNU/AFC took office, but dwindled to a balance of just about 2.3 billion at the end of 2019.
I can rest my case and laugh now as I read that, according to the Opposition Head, “We will implement an economic development plan that allows all sectors of the economy to develop, while simultaneously improving the quality of life of the people of Guyana.”
I conclude my agreeing with him that “…Guyana can become one of the best countries to live in, and can become the envy of the world as the country where citizens have opportunities to realize their full political, social, and economic potential.”
Alas, this will only be realised under the aegis of the current PPP/C Government, under the robust leadership of President Dr. Irfaan Ali.
After all, the country’s economy is one of the fastest growing in the world, with a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of 19.9% in 2021. It got better, in spite of the burden of external shocks and domestic challenges, as Guyana was able to maintain its position as a global leader in economic growth, with its massive expansion of the economy in the first half of 2022. In fact, according to the 2022 Mid-Year Report, Guyana recorded an overall real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of 36.4 per cent. It should be noted too that Guyana did achieve this expansion in the economy even as global growth prospects were revised downwards.
I think that Mr. Aubrey Norton should accept reality, and also have someone inform him of Guyana’s ongoing and impending rise.