Projects that have political patronage written all over them

first_imgDear Editor,Recently, the President was seen assisting a toddler in the cutting of a ribbon to hand over a bus which is to be used for transportation of school children.While this is a somewhat nice gesture, I can forthwith tell the President of a better way to help the poor; that is: the reinstatement of the $10,000 grant for each child in school. That gift by the previous PPP/C Administration was more lasting, and was of more economic benefit to the children of this great country. It made sense for this country’s peoples that are now going through the most depressing and pauperised days.You cannot tell me that ministers of this Government could have almost instantly filled their pockets with a 50% pay rise then, in their typical hypocritical reply, give out buses – yes, buses — in other instances boats and bicycles, to its hapless citizens. If this does not reek of corruption and heartlessness by a sick regime, then what does?But before I get carried away, let me get back to my main topic: Prior to the Coalition APNU/AFC taking office, the PPP/C had a programme of furnishing the family with a $10,000 gift for every child at school. It was a gift to families, especially those single-parent families or families with delinquent fathers. Those families, most of them with large households, welcomed this gesture with open arms because it represented income or hard currency for those struggling to make ends meet. Further, that $10,000 would have seen an increase of up to $50,000 per child had the PPP been in power.That is a representation of a Government that has great care and concern for its peoples; not passing a bus or bicycle or boat when I do not have a meal on the table.We were taught that, to get to the root causes of a child’s seeming boredom or lack of interest in learning, that child may be having inherent problems, like being hungry or not having enough sleep at nights, because that child has to toil like a normal adult to earn a few hundred dollars (speaking in Guyanese terms) to exist. This is the reality of the situation in Guyana today — the dire circumstances in eking out a living in the daily grind. So try telling me about learning and education when I am hungry.The point I am making is boats, buses and bicycles are meaningless when the reality is I am too weak to enjoy these.So, what Minister Amna Ally said is pointless also: that the nation’s children’s education is enhanced by the free buses to take them to school. Utterly pointless in the idea I have put forward: that children cannot learn if there is nothing on the table at home to eat. A further indictment on their part is her sarcastic remarks that others would like to see these “free buses” transportation gesture fail; meaning that the Opposition would like this to happen. May I remind Minister Ally that she has exposed her Government by uttering those words, because those buses are “free gifts” given to them by party hacks? Those buses were not paid for by the national treasury, but were “freebies” from party supporters who are likely to be earmarked for huge kickbacks.And may I add that political patronage will come from taxpayers’ hard earned taxes? So, I must say to this PNC-led Coalition that these gestures reek of corruption from the very start. We would rather have $10,000 than free buses.In fact with thousands losing their jobs every month, those buses are meaningless to those households with many mouths to feed. Try telling a sugar worker that a free bus is all this Government can offer when I do not know where the next income is coming from. That retrenched sugar worker having three, sometimes six, minor children to take care of: try convincing him that he should be satisfied with a free bus system and nothing else. Try convincing him that his existence would not be a miserable one. Try! Substituting free buses for direct income is indicative of an uncaring and vindictive regime.Finally, my Bible tells me that anyone — nay, any Government — that would deny those little ones their right to lead a comfortable life would never experience success. The good book states it is better for you to tie a millstone around your neck and jump overboard. In Guyanese parlance, “if you rob children or take food out of their mouths”, you will not be blessed.Members of this Government love to make scriptural quotes. I hope they take heed to the above terse warnings.Respectfully,Neil Adamslast_img

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