Kamla: Government’s handling of Christmas food cards distribution callous and heartless

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Kamla: Government’s handling of Christmas food cards distribution callous and heartless

Opposition leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar says even in this season of cheer and goodwill, there appears to be no limit to the callousness of the Rowley regime.

She says this disastrous Rowley Government is displaying even more heartlessness at this Christmas time by its woeful handling of food cards to deserving nationals.

In a release on Thursday evening, she said the Government waited until mere days before Christmas to issue the cards for disbursement to Members of Parliament, and when it did, they were severely limited in number.

“The number of cards given to MPs offices was a long way off the total amount of people who are struggling to feed their families, including starving children.”

Persad-Bissessar said to add insult to injury, when needy recipients visit groceries, they find that the cards are not valid or are not activated. “They have to walk out of the supermarkets without the food items.”

“This is bringing further humiliation to thousands of disadvantaged nationals, who already face the embarrassment of being unable to place food on the table during this season of merriment and kindness.”

Persad-Bissessar said this scandal is yet another raw example of the cruelty and cold-bloodedness of the Rowley Administration and the inefficiency and disorganisation of the leadership of the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services.

She noted that while members of the PNM Government are living the good life, they are ignoring the destitute, whose numbers are growing each month and many of whom are suffering from starvation.

“Hundreds of such poor families are begging for alms on the streets, often with their hungry children alongside them.”

“A sensitive administration would have issued many more food cards on time, in addition to other specific measures to ease the burden of poverty, especially during the Christmas season,” said the UNC leader.

Persad-Bissessar said her Government not only provided food cards to all deserving cases but increased the number and value of social welfare benefits, and gave seasonal grants of the removal of Value Added Tax on food staples.