By: Spokesman Newsroom
BASSETERRE, St.Kitts (DECEMBER,2017)– Opposition Member of Parliament for Constituency Two (Central Basseterre) Hon. Marcella Liburd has likened the management of the nation’s affairs under the Harris-led administration to that of a category six hurricane.
She was at the time giving her comments on the government’s 2018 budget in the House of Assembly, on Monday 11th December, while assessing the performance of the Harris-led administration in general.
“This government had a golden opportunity leading up to the 2015 General Elections and they got a country and an economy on a platter. I don’t know where else you know Mr. Speaker where any place where you have a change of government and you’re left with more than 700 million in the treasury….the debt was totally under control.”
Liburd, who is the Chairperson of the opposition St.Kitts-Nevis Labour Party, added: “We were growing at a rate of at least 6 per cent at that time. We were first in foreign direct investment.”
Lashing out at the government, she said: “Can’t see nothing for three years….and they are hoping into their fourth year and so they’re scrambling now.”
Liburd exampled two programmes that were implemented under the former Labour administration which were stopped following the change of government namely the One to One Laptop programmes for students entering high school and the REACH (Recognizing Everyone’s Ability to Climb Higher programme geared towards assisting post-secondary students.
“And dey (the government) tek it back at a time Mr. Speaker when the exams are now online. So (they) take back the ability our children have… access to the internet when the CXC is now saying we going online.”
She went on to say: “All children had access to the REACH programme because we figured we needed to educate our young people at tertiary level because we had set out to make this country the first small island sustainable state and so our programmes and plans were in keeping with that agenda including the REACH programme that has been stopped Mr. Speaker and now they are picking out who to give the REACH programme to at this particular point and time.”
Additionally, she touched on plans the former administration had to improve the health sector of the country.
“Mr. Speaker we were in advanced stage plans for a new hospital to complement the JNF, plans in advance Mr. Speaker “because we know unlike this government that health come first, not by talk.”
In summing of the government’s performance level and fiscal outlook for the new year, Liburd remarked: “This category six hurricane led by Timothy Harris, Mr. Speaker, the member for Number 7 devastated all of those plans, dashed the hopes of our young people and our women and the people are saying they had enough and so this budget is really more evidence that this government is bereft of ideas; just a lot of meaningless talk and so I want to join my colleagues Mr. Speaker on this side of the House in saying that the budget is still born and it lacks credibility.”