The Opposition is urging the government to put out a plan for non-essential workers to return to work as early as next week.
In a statement, the Opposition’s leader reminded government of the significant hardship that has gripped many families as a result of not being able to earn an income.
“There is too much suffering in this country. Citizens are desperately worried about where they will get food, how they will pay rent, electricity bills, loan payments, and are distressed over their depleted life savings.
Over three hundred thousand citizens and thousands of Venezuelan migrants cannot legally work. Many of these people live pay cheque to pay cheque and have already lost five weeks in wages,” said Kamla Persad-Bissessar.
Meanwhile, the release said government, some business owners, and Chambers appear to be living in an alternate reality. “They have the luxury of staying at home, receiving an income, and having their meals prepared for them. These people clearly do not have an iota of care for the poor.”
Persad-Bissessar said “Keith Rowley should have used the past five weeks to work with stakeholders to formulate an actual plan. Instead, he has misused these lockdown measures to promote deceptive PNM propaganda to give an impression to the population that he is doing something to fix the crisis.”
“It is obvious that he is totally lost. Rowley has used this lockdown as a gimmick to give the appearance of strength and control, but has done nothing proactive to get us back to normalcy. He is just buying time hoping this crisis will just go away. The population is yet to be informed on what the government’s next step would be.”
The UNC leader says “Based on an analysis of the Ministry of Health’s statistics, I have found the following:
Lockdown On Non-Essential Workers – April 30th
Total New Cases from April 30th to June 2 – 14,228
Total Deaths from April 30th to June 2 – 358
Total tests were done from April 30th to June 2 – 63,200
State of Emergency – May 16th
Total New Cases from May 16th to June 2 – 8,827
Total deaths from May 16th to June 2 – 247
Total tests done from May 16th to June 2 – 41,533
According to the Opposition, “Clearly from the numbers the lockdown appears to be merely a show of force, to be seen to be doing something, while masking incompetence. Citizens are threatened with arrests for stepping outside of their doors to earn an income to feed their children, while we see boats from Venezuela freely entering and leaving our shores during curfew hours, in broad daylight.”
“The Government placed unqualified administrators in charge of managing our health system, possibly resulting in the unnecessary deaths of our fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, grandparents.
The anger of the population is growing and if people are not allowed to get back to work, chaos may occur.
She said the Opposition is willing to help the Government formulate a plan if it so wishes and businesses, trade unions, and all other interested stakeholders should also be invited.
“Whatever the case, our so-called non-essential workers have disproportionately carried the burden during this lockdown. They must be allowed to earn an income to feed their families!”