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Abdulah: No vison in budget
Leader of the Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) David Abdulah says the $61.3 billion 2014 budget has no vision, philosophy or strategic plan. “There is nothing in this budget that suggests fundamental change,” he said. Speaking at the post-budget People’s Sector Breakfast seminar in San Fernando on Tuesday, Abdulah warned that the country was in a very serious crisis and was sitting on a ticking time bomb.
With such a huge budget, he said 15 per cent of the population ought not to be living below the poverty line, people should not have to wait 24 hours for hospital beds and crime and violence should not be so high. He disagreed with Finance Minister Larry Howai’s statement that Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s astute leadership has created conditions for higher levels of confidence in the economy and society.
“I don’t know where Mr Howai got that idea. I could tell you that the average person in the country has absolutely no confidence in the Prime Minister, her Cabinet and policy.” He said Howai spoke about a series of fiscal measures to facilitate energy companies to encourage them to engage in more drilling. However, he said Howai did not quantify the cost of loss revenue as a result of those measures.
He said there was nothing about direct sustainable jobs and job security, and although the Education Ministry got the biggest allocation, he said, “It makes no sense if young people can’t find jobs.” He said there was a tremendous amount of unhappiness in the country in terms of governance, as well as pain, anger, fear and insecurity. “In this context the country is sitting on a time bomb.” He said the only way to disarm the bomb is to have in place a government that is serious about fundamental and real change.
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