By Kamla Persad-Bissessar, SC
When you compare the terms in office of the People’s Partnership which I led 2010-2015, and the Dr Keith Rowley administration, it’s like chalk and cheese.
Now, let us have a brief look at the two administrations. The Dr Rowley regime did nothing in the five years they have been in office. They blanked you all. All they have held on to is their blame Kamla campaign in the hope that people will forget the work we did.
We created more than 55,000 jobs
Under Dr Rowley close to 100,000 jobs have been lost. But they do not want you to focus on that. These are families that are now struggling to cope, who cannot put food on their table.
We stabilized the economy and returned to a growth path
Under Dr Rowley, our economy contracted. Official statistics from the Central Statistical Office (CSO) show that real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Trinidad and Tobago declined by a cumulative 8.8 percent between 2016 and 2018. That is the sharpest contraction in more than three decades. But they do not want you to focus on that!
We brought serious crimes down to the lowest levels in over three decades
Under Dr Rowley crime continues to spiral out of control. More than 2,000 citizens have been killed during their term in office.
They try a thing by appointing a former UNC minister Gary Griffith to help but try as hard as he can if Dr Rowley does not have the political will and competence to support the commissioner of police his hands are tied. But all that will change when we return to office in a few weeks.
We established the Children’s Life Fund to give critically ill children a chance to access life-saving medical care
Under heartless, hapless Dr Rowley, sick children have been denied life-saving aid.
We built over 100 new schools
Under Dr Rowley, schools that were almost complete were left to rot. The University of the West Indies (UWI) Debe Campus remained shut.
We delivered clean water to 70 percent of the population.
Communities across Trinidad complain of dry taps for months on end, under this Rowley regime. But, to hear Dr Rowley tell it – it is sabotage. What rubbish. They have done nothing to fix the problems affecting water distribution and now water not flowing what does ‘Mr Blank’ do?
Blame Kamla and the United National Congress (UNC) saying we turning off the taps. How more ridiculous can ‘Mr Blank’ get?
You know I have to say that from Eric Williams to Manning, Dr Rowley has to be the worst prime minister this country has ever been saddled with. Manning was right when he said Dr Rowley only knows to attack and destroy but he has never built anything in his life.
We constructed hundreds of kilometers of new roads and drains which Dr Rowley labelled us the “box drain” government
This Dr Rowley administration has done little in terms of fixing or building drains, or roads. The country’s road infrastructure has deteriorated significantly.
I promise we will prioritize infrastructure development – roads, drains and bridges across Trinidad and Tobago
We built thousands of new homes, Dr Keith Rowley is busy handing out keys to housing units constructed under the administration I led.
We built the Couva Children’s Hospital, the San Fernando Teaching Hospital, the Carenage Health facility, completed the Hospital in Tobago and started the Arima and Point Fortin Hospitals.
‘Mr Blank’ has tried to take credit for all of these.
We built several police stations
While we worked to ensure the police have the tools to do their jobs, this Dr Rowley’s government has starved the Trinidad and Tobago Police service (TTPS) of adequate funding, blanking their pleas for help.
We removed and lowered taxes
Dr Rowley with his sidekick the ‘Joker’ uncaring Colm Imbert increased taxes, added new taxes and is still eyeing the property tax. From the online tax, today that is squeezing small businesses and entrepreneurs to VAT on more food items. And these are just a handful – because there are too many blanks to fill in here.
I will never apologize for investing in our people because that is the simple mandate of any government – to protect, provide and invest in its people. Our greatest asset has always been and will continue to be you. Not oil, not gas, not land but you the people of Trinidad and Tobago.
Close to $300 billion has been spent by this government, and what do they have to show for it? Can you say if your life has improved under this Dr Rowley government?
Compare your life today to how it was in 2015
Do you feel safer? NO! He blank you on that. Do you have more money in your pockets for your children? NO! He blank you on that.
Do you think your children have a brighter future today? NO! He blank even the children from getting the laptops we gave. The answer is NO to all.
The only ones who can say yes are those who collect rent money and whose wives are getting state contracts. You know who I am speaking of. There are the ones who Dr Rowley making sure they don’t get blank.
The UNC Team
Before you is the vibrancy, the strength, the diversity and the innovative spirit of the UNC. You see a team of talented, capable, energetic and committed people, ready to work for you.
In our team, we have a mix of the young and not so young, and a team truly reflective of the diversity of our beautiful nation. We issued a call for all persons interested in national development to come forward, and many answered that call. Of course, some were not successful, but I can assure you that there is only love, respect and dedication to the UNC and our country.
I thank every person who submitted their nominations for consideration as a candidate, and I congratulate the confirmed candidates of our great party. Today, we recommit to work for you, the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago to improve your lives.
We have the vision, we have a plan, and we have a strong team. Together, we can work towards a brighter, more prosperous future for our country.
The UNC’s plan for the transformation of Trinidad and Tobago
Unlike our opponents, the UNC spent several months developing our National Economic Transformation Master Plan. We have a plan to transform and move our country forward. We have built our Plan on five interconnected guiding principles that put you the people first in everything that we set out to do.