APNU+AFC Administration has become a cautionary tale

first_imgDear Editor,It could not have escaped attention that I have been critical of the APNU+AFC’s administration from almost the inception; after reading PNC Chairwoman Volda Lawrence’s recent statements, I took the weekend to examine my own writings for signs that I may be displaying unconscious bias based on my ethnicity. What I was looking for, was empirical evidence of bias; suffice to say that I am satisfied to say my writings are based on logic and my penchant for pragmatism. Interestingly, what I found as a by-product of this introspective was that the APNU+AFC relies on anecdotal evidence for its formation of policy and actions, this approach would seem to be the reason for their characteristically incomprehensible decisions.Editor, I will offer a few examples to support my theory expressed above: In one of its first acts, APNU/AFC granted its top brass a hefty 50 per cent salary increase, the reason given by Minister of the Presidency Joseph Harmon was that this was done to avoid corrupt practices by Ministers of Government. What was absent in his explanation was empirical evidence that this was true. In fact, numerous studies have shown the opposite to be true; “Rather than decrease petty corruption, the salary policy significantly increased the police efforts to collect bribes” (Foltz, J and Opoku-Agyemang K 2015). Logic would dictate that corruption is a character flaw not driven by economics; personal integrity is the solution to greed, not higher salaries. The introduction of a 2am curfew ostensibly “in the interest of citizens’ security and safety with the aim of suppressing criminal and other offences.” (MPS) was done without release of a single study or statistic to support the reasoning; three years on, and no evidence has been provided for or against the policy, instead we are told it has “support from women’s groups, religious groups and a number of other organisations”. In presenting a $300.7 billion budget for 2019, one that is double the amount of the largest PPP Administration budget, Minister Jordan made an assumption of increased 9 per cent revenue collection to predict a deficit of $42 billion. Editor, the tax base has shrunk by loss of 30,000 jobs so far under the APNU+AFC Administration, and every single growth prediction by Jordan has failed to materialise to date. Based on this I would suggest the evidence points to an even larger deficit, we cannot plan for our nation’s future well-being by way of political rhetoric. Editor, we examine election results by every imaginable voter demographic, have we ever done the same for the taxpayer? Is it not time we examine who pays for the follies of these ever increasing ‘Good Life’ budgets?Editor, the APNU+AFC Administration has become a cautionary tale, critical for all Guyanese; that while on opposition benches in parliament , MP’s should be doing the work of critical oversight of Government policy, action and expenditure, and in so doing learn the business of Government and Administration; APNU+AFC squandered their time on those benches, choosing instead to make outlandish claims and wild accusations; given the opportunity to govern, they were bereft of a sensible basis for policy and action, the haphazard unscientific approach to governance is a direct result of the success they had with their loud lies, they never learned the difference of politics and policy. Monies spent on Commissions of Inquiry would have been better allocated to a scientific study for solutions to our problems.Respectfully,Robin Singhlast_img

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