(TRINIDAD EXPRESS) — LEGISLATION for the decriminalisation of marijuana, 50,000 new jobs by 2025, a solution to the country’s troubling crime problem and the restoration of the economy to some level of normalcy.
All of this and more will take place should the United National Congress (UNC) be voted back into office in next year’s general election, said Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar.
And even though that election is still months away, the journey of the UNC reclaiming office begins with the December 2 local government election, said Persad-Bissessar.
“We are ready to govern. We are ready to hit the ground running,” said the Opposition Leader as she addressed the crowd yesterday during the political party’s local government rally at the Couva South Multi-Purpose Hall.
She said that, in the first 90 days of being voted back into office, the UNC would embark on a number of initiatives to stabilise the economy, provide better health care and pump more resources into the Police Service.
These are just some of the areas on which the UNC intends to focus its attention, she said, adding that the “broken” sea and air bridges between Trinidad and Tobago would be fixed, all outstanding issues for ex-Caroni workers, cane farmers and Petrotrin employees would be settled and citizens would be able to benefit from the quality health care that would be available at the Couva Children’s Hospital.
“We will work with the Central Bank, the Ministry of Finance and the Central Statistical Office to determine the true state of the economy, the country’s finances and capital projects, and share that information with citizens. Unlike the ‘conman stats’ we have been receiving,” she stated.
All one-use plastic straws would be banned and the Solid Waste Management Company Ltd (SWMCOL) would be mandated to develop a new national recycling education programme, said Persad-Bissessar.
She said part of the UNC’s job creation plan was the diversification of the economy and that for far too long the country’s economic fortunes have been too closely linked to the energy sector.
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“Of the many interventions, we have identified and singled out 12 prosperity engines spread across communities in Trinidad and Tobago. These prosperity engines will mobilise and engage the private sector, both local and international, and their implementation will have large positive multiplier effects in kick-starting the economic recovery, fostering growth and supporting diversification,” she stated.
She said the UNC had been working for well over a year “with the best economists and minds across the country” and has formulated a National Economic Transformation Master Plan.
It is a plan that is built on five interconnected guiding principles: getting people back to work; allowing the private sector to drive growth and development; deepen economic reforms; give people a sense of ownership and independence and promoting environmental stewardship.
Taking control of crime
On the crime front, Persad-Bissessar said daily citizens are bombarded with reports of incidents of violence, murder, robbery and other serious crimes. She said what was noticeable, under the present administration, criminal activities have increased.
Persad-Bissessar said there is evidence that, under the People’s National Movement, two major regional corporations had funded about six million dollars to criminal gangs.
The Opposition Leader said when she was prime minister murders were down, kidnappings were drastically reduced, robberies were declining, people could have stayed out late. “We had fun, we enjoyed ourselves, we worked hard, businesses were thriving, and citizens felt safer.”
All the current administration has done over the past four years in office, she said, was to play the “Blame Kamla” game and hope that citizens would forget all that the UNC had achieved between 2010 and 2015.
“On December 2, 2019, we can begin that journey of rebuilding our nation and putting the dreams of people back on track by sending the Rowley regime a message at the polls.
“On December 2, 2019, we can work to break the yoke of underdevelopment, neglect, hardship and economic burdens of our citizens by standing up to the Rowley regime. Together we will begin a journey to save our nation, a journey which you can be assured that my team and I have the experience, youthful innovation, intellect, grassroots determination, patriotic commitment and national love to successfully traverse,” she said