Political Leader of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Nazim Burke wants Grenadians to hold the New National Party (NNP) administration of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell accountable for all of its actions in office.
Burke was speaking to Congress supporters during a party rally held last Sunday at the Tempe Playing Field to highlight the mass increases in taxes by the 16-month old government, as well as the high unemployment rate in the country.
The former Finance Minister in the 2008-13 NDC government charged that the Mitchell regime is only peddling a sense of false hope to the Grenadian people.
According to Burke, the NNP’s tenure in office so far is no more than a colossal act of betrayal, with promises of more jobs but instead the people are getting a nightmare with unemployment.
He said that the string of increased taxes by the government in little more than a year in office, hangs like a noose around the necks of Grenadians and that stakeholders have lost confidence in the leadership of the country.
He added that instead of lifting the cloud of darkness that hangs over the country, the Mitchell-led government is sinking the country deeper into a sense of despair with an economic plan built around taxes.
Burke said the “reign of economic power” of the current Prime Minister has borne 23 increases in taxes, notable increases in fees for government services, as well as a reduction in concessions granted to all and sundry.
The Congress leader pointed out that the austerity measures taken by the NNP administration since winning all 15 seats following the February 19, 2013 General Election resulted in higher cost of living and lowering of people’s standard of living and forcing the population to struggle to make a basic living.
Burke called on Prime Minister Mitchell to stop telling the Grenadian people “Bear Anansi Stories” in his attempt to convince the nation that the country’s economic problems will stop after the three year homegrown Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
He is warning the Grenadian leader that this kind of “spider trick” will not work with the Grenadian people, as the programme would not be completed within 36 weeks.
Burke charged that the SAP as implemented by the Mitchell administration is not a quick fix to Grenada’s economic and financial problems and called on the Prime Minister to stop playing politics with the people.
The Political Leader of Congress also addressed the 50-60% “hair cut” request made by Government to the National Insurance Scheme on millions owed to the institution by the State.
Burke warns the government that workers’ contributions to the NIS is a “sacred cow and must be a no-fly zone to the NNP.”
He expressed concern that the NIS is already stressed financially and that the decline in contributions could result in a collapse of the Scheme by 2041.
“There is no room to take monies from the fund, it would be criminal to take workers money,” Burke told party supporters.
The NDC Political Leader called on Prime Minister Mitchell to provide the thousands of jobs that he promised the Grenadian youths in the campaign leading up to the 2013 general elections in light of the fact that thousands of school leavers are about to enter the job market with the closing of the school year.
An advertisement being run by government in the World Cup Games is boasting of a 3% reduction in unemployment, and a massive upsurge in construction activities since PM Mitchell came to power.