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SN’s “Minority Report” of June 3 very logically argued that (one-off) Cash Grants ‘should not be done in an ad hoc manner’. Rather there should be ‘a sustainable plan or policy to tackle issues of income equality’.
On page 6 the point is very well made that the ‘One-off cash grant (of $150,000) to fisherfolk solves nothing’. The question is posed as to how this inadequate gesture will restore the ability of fisherfolk to earn future livelihoods and sustain families.
The foregoing scenarios constitute a most fundamental question about the capacity of cash grants to sustain the lives of families, not just one member.
Neither fisherfolk nor other under-employed can survive in this explicit state of dependency. ‘Downpresser man – where you gonna run to?’ a question that the decision-makers must contemplate – how they will structure a facility that the various categories of ‘grant’ dependents could access on a more assured basis; and importantly retrieve their self-respect and that of their families.
Perhaps a version of the IPED model could be considered, to include at the same time other more self-confident ‘small’ entrepreneurs. So that the ‘bowl’ of dependence can be replaced by a ‘credit-able’ future.
Experience of cane farmers of the late Skeldon Estate with commercial banks would likely remind decision-makers of the need to be more creative in funding lives by more practical and motivational means than ‘grants’, which in fact undermines the acclaimed objective of ‘human development’.
But the foregoing irrationality is compounded in the case of Region Six Berbicians being assured of ‘jobs……developed to better regional services’ – presumably after a joint assessment with the Regional Administration (not reported as present).
No specific prior training was reported, but the expectation was to utilise these unskilled groups to upgrade the productivity in:
Libraries (no literacy test)
It is not clear whether representatives of the prospective employers were present or were previously alerted. (En passant it would be useful to learn how many libraries exist in Region 6). Whatever the case the assurance was given that the only qualification necessary was proof of being Guyanese.
The further assurance given was that the part-time jobs being provided were not ‘temporary’…’this can go on for many, many years…’? In this regard one must wonder what provision there could be for leave (including maternity leave), relevant eligibility for membership of NIS, promotability, salary increases, pension – all components of ‘human development’. But the other components actually promised were: ‘on-line scholarships’ for which the government will pay – which raises curiosity about budgeting arrangements – for transportation for example. But then there is the future employment in hotel, a stadium and a mall.
In the milieu it might have been an incentive to the audience to learn of the successes emerging from the GOAL online scholarships, particularly in those programmes which last:
2 months; 4 months, 6 months; and up to one year.
It might therefore be useful to arrange a related follow-up interaction that could confirm promises made.
In the final analysis where does the Regional Administration fit into all this activity? Who, What, Where is the centre of coordination over ‘the many, many years’?
In all the circumstances a copy of the presentation should be forwarded to the Chief Regional Executive Officer.