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– MP Sears says more than half of the $4B allocation will go to employment cost
In his maiden speech in the National Assembly, Opposition Member of Parliament Devin Sears, graded the 2020 budget with five Ds as he deemed it defective, deceptive, destructive and deformed.
With a lot of fire in his presentation, he urged the government to go back and do their homework and not use the excuse of only having 21 days to present what he described as a ‘lego building blocks budget’, since it is built on the legacy of the APNU/AFC’s vision. For the people of Region Ten, all that was basically included are current projects that were to be completed if APNU/AFC had taken office. He alluded to the Mackenzie/Wismar Bridge, the Linden/Soesdyke Highway and the first phase of the Linden to Lethem highway. “Mr, Speaker I humbly ask that the intellectual authors of the budget to review the Region 10’s Plan of Action for Regional Development, which focuses on Enhanced Environmentally-Sustainable Economic and Social Development.” He said the residents of Region 10 are disappointed with the budget even though $4.2 B has been allocated to the region. More than 50% of this will be expended on employment cost. “It reveals that this bauxite mining community has been sidelined from real economic development, this budget does not cater for new investments, no new transformational infrastructural work, nor job creation. This is far from what was promised to the people of Region Ten during the campaign, where plans to plug millions in industrial development, youth empowerment and job creation were unveiled,” Sears said.
In the area of health, he said the health workers and residents of Region Ten have very little to look forward to. It was anticipated that a new water ambulance would have been provided for the Demerara River as the APNU/AFC would have delivered for the Berbice River, while in government, Sears said. No risk allowance he claims, is being given to the medical staff of the Linden Hospital Complex, which he deemed as unacceptable.
In the area of agriculture, Sears boasted of the advent of a Regional Agricultural Department that was formed under the Coalition in the Region and the execution of its major project: the farm to market all-weather roadway spanning from Millie’s Hide Out to the Berbice River. He is calling for the maintenance of the Takama Savannah road that will service parts of Ibini, Calcuni and Lower Berbice River.
In his general analysis, the MP said the budget is that of many broken promises and alluded to the unfulfilled campaign promise of $40,000 for pensioners, 50 per cent increase in salary for public servants amongst others. He reiterated that the people of Region Ten are grossly disappointed with the budget and urge the Government that promised them inclusiveness in national development to go back and do their homework.