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….as opposition MPs walk out during his presentation
Though the APNU+AFC Opposition walked out of the National Assembly when he rose to speak, Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister, Kwame McCoy represented his party at Monday’s budget debate pitching that Budget 2021 will undoubtedly transform the lives of Guyanese.
Three days ago, Minister McCoy had stated on television that he hoped the APNU+AFC Opposition would turn out to the 2021 Budget debates and would not disappoint its support base by failing to properly represent them. He also criticized the APNU+AFC Opposition as being Guyana’s most corrupt Government and of gradually losing its support base.
Then, on Monday, as the Speaker of the National Assembly announced that it was McCoy’s turn to address the House, Members of the APNU+AFC took up their belongings and left. As the exited the House, McCoy stated: “I am aware, Mr. Speaker, from my own intelligence gathering, that the APNU+AFC section across there intended two things to target me this afternoon: heckle me out or walk out…so my intelligence gathering must be commended Mr. Speaker and I’m happy this afternoon that it is really a demonstration from the Opposition side that the powerhouses on this side will be the powerhouses and they will have to run continually for the remainder of these debates.”
McCoy said that the absence of the APNU+AFC would not prevent him from highlighting their shortcomings and outlining the PPP/C’s budgetary plans for 2021. One of the issues he addressed was the COVID-19 cash grant ‘pink slips’ which have been handed out to Guyanese who were unsuccessful in receiving the grant for one reason or the other. While criticism on the matter has come from the main Opposition, McCoy assured that those with the ‘pink slips’ will receive their grant.
Meanwhile, he criticised the Opposition for speaking at length on the matter of racism in Guyana, stating that the MPs were using it as a card to score political points. He told the House: “It’s nothing of substance, nothing that contributes to intellectual stability, nothing that will be able to say that it could be another shade or some other variable of a particular subject. It’s totally upsetting. Absolutely. And we in this country must let this Opposition know that we will take away the last card that they have which is the card of racism.”
On the matter raised during the debates of the PPP/C failing to consult the Opposition on the development of the budget, McCoy contended that there was input from persons beyond the PPP/C such as stakeholders in civil society.
He said that the Government has worked hard along with stakeholders to craft Budget 2021 which will continue the upward climb in development the country has witnessed under the PPP/C. Throwing his support behind the financial plan, he said: “Budget 2021 offers a transformative path for Guyana and all its citizens. Like the rest of the country that have been inspired and energized by the positive prospect of significant renewal, growth and transformation in Budget 2021, Members of the Opposition in this honourable House could somersault from their folly and join the rest of us on this path.”