Law & Politics
by Lloyd Noel
The total NNP control of the nation’s affairs is into its second year since its unanimous victory in February 2013 — and from all reports and appearances coming through the grape-vine, the waiting game for the promises of programs that brought them the victory is continuing all over the tri-island state.
We are into the third month of the New Year — and not even the roads maintenance and debushing gangs have been re-hired, since after they were sent home two weeks before Xmas last year.
And for that category of workers — who depend more than most others for their regular short-term daily hire to care for their families — such a long delay without any income to meet their weekly needs must be causing serious concerns.
There are also growing concerns among the monthly paid public workers, who have been waiting for months for retroactive payments due to them by the government — and so far nothing seems to be forthcoming.
It is also very well publicized, that the government treasury is having very serious problems- in meeting its monthly payments for sometime now, and in getting the IMF or any other organisation to come to its rescue, with loans or any other means for satisfying its overheads.
The very much talked-about Structural Adjustment Program (SAP) with the IMF, and the many trips to the USA by the Permanent Secretary in the Treasury — Mr Timothy Antoine — to sort out the details with the world body — have not succeeded thus far.
So that as things stand — from the financial grapevine to date, nothing much is in anyway happening that can ease the shortage of money pressure anytime soon.
The increased taxes — those on salaries and on properties — will not be making all that difference in the very near future. The property taxes are not due until the end of June, and even then many house-owners who are unemployed will have problems meeting that deadline — and there is very little the controllers can do to collect by then.
All the foregoing must mean, therefore, that the road ahead — as far as the financial situation is concerned, is going to be very rough in the coming months of this year — and if some of the promised investors, who were expected to come on board and provide those so very urgently needed jobs, are not here sooner than later then many could be in for very hard times down the road.
And it would follow as a matter of simple logic — that if the government cannot collect the taxes and duties and other revenue budgeted for, to run the nation’s affairs and pay all its bills and other overheads — then a lot more government employees will be sent home without jobs and no other source of finding any.
So the waiting game continues — as the many thousands wait and hope and pray, that things would change in the not–too–distant future.
And because the needs and hardships affect people of all political colours and preferences — it is hoped that as any help or job-openings crop up, those in control do not only see or favour the people who were wearing green jerseys, or they felt voted for them alone rather than the losers.
The problems facing our people are colourless and stretch across the many political party lines — and when the opportunities present themselves, all the needy must be attended to and not just those wearing green.
While the long waiting game continues, five families of Gouyave on the Lance had the terrible experience of losing their homes and all their belongings — in a terrible fire on the night of Saturday 8 March, but fortunately no one got hurt.
The public in general have been very responsive in coming to their assistance, and the Orphans and Elderly Organisation of the St. George’s University, have been particularly responsive in meeting some immediate needs of the families. Beds and other appliances and foodstuffs have been delivered to the families in their temporary accommodation, and much more would be forthcoming in the weeks ahead.
Six adults and twelve children have been made homeless and also lost all their belongings in the fire.
Anyone who wishes to contribute whatever to the families — can contact Sister Francis Nelson, of the Orphans and Elderly Organisation, on 444-3770 to arrange delivery or collection.