Opposition ‘hit-and-run politicians’ – Dr Gonsalves
January 17, 2012
Opposition ‘hit-and-run politicians’ – Dr Gonsalves

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves has expressed his disappointment that the opposition parliamentary members were not present for the winding up of the 2012 Budget debate.{{more}}

Dr Gonsalves, during his three-hour wrap up speech on Friday, January 13, observed that the opposition members have made it a ritual of boycotting the House of Assembly on the final day of the budget debate, and described the missing members as ‘hit-and-run politicians’.

“I am sorry that the honourable members of the Opposition are not here. They have not afforded me the courtesy of listening to this winding up for several years now….

“This is the time when they should be here, and if I have in any way misrepresented what they say, they would have an opportunity to make interventions within the rules, so that the general public can appreciate the full extent of the issues involved in this vital exercise.”

According to the Prime Minister, the presentations of the opposition members were also disappointing, and described them as facile.

“They play fast and loose with the facts. I didn’t see cohesion of clarity in their position; they were internally inconsistent and incoherent as it came to one another.

“It’s easy to parade a lot of half-truths and, in some cases, untruths to provide faulty analysis, which very often you are not disposed to correcting…. But that kind of irresponsibility, the people of this country have gone past, the Education Revolution has taken place….”

Dr Gonsalves also stated that the opposition members did not put forward any credible solutions during their presentations, which, he said, is easy if the presenter does not have the responsibility to govern, and referred to the opposition style as ‘old and tired’.

“You cannot declare at the beginning; as the Opposition Leader would do, by saying this is a most important public policy work, and then are found wanting…. for the conclusion of the debate.

“It thus creates the impression in the public’s mind, quite correctly, that they are not too interested in having their own ideas tested; they are more interested in presenting them… to see if they can remove the government.

“But that, frankly speaking, is not the intention of this exercise. This exercise is for us to see what is the best way for us to implement the budget in a most efficacious manner and to have ideas for further shaping of other fiscal issues.”(JJ)