By Lloyd Noel
Our economic problems are not going away anytime soon and, while the struggle continues, those in control are seeking all manner of desperate solutions to try and make distant ends meet.
Lloyd Noel is a former attorney general of Grenada, prominent attorney at law and political commentator
And it is particularly evident that the same acts and omissions that were strongly condemned by the controllers when they were in opposition are currently being relied upon as some of the means to solve their problems.
Whether they will succeed or fail only time will tell but, in the meantime and while we are all waiting to see how we getting wherever, the adoption of those condemned policies seem to be the only means being adopted by the controllers.
And the latest one of selling to the NIS to raise some $20 million to pay government workers’ salary and back pay is more or less identical to the reasons advanced by the NDC, when they sold some government buildings to the NIS to pay civil servants.
It leaves a whole lot of folks wondering how the reasons put forward by the NDC then were wrong or ill-advised, and the same reasons now adopted by the NNP are quite right.
As one chap put it to me when he sought my opinion on the matter, he voted for the NNP to replace the NDC because he felt then that the country was going the wrong way – but from what he is seeing in these past nine months, it all looks as though we have moved from the frying pan into the raging fire. I had no rebuttal for that opinion.
But I did try to reduce his grave concerns by suggesting that it is early days yet, and the powers-that-be could sooner or later wake up from the glory of their second unanimous victory at the polls, and begin to take rational decisions in the interest of the very people who put them there.
As things stand now-a-days, or as they appear on the distant horizon for those who can see that far ahead, whatever promises were made, or deals discussed with prospective investors, or other interested foreign elements, who may have expressed an interest in coming to the tri-island state for whatever reason, these prospects or possibilities are taking much longer to come on-stream, and those who are depending or looking forward to such happenings will have a much longer waiting period to cope with and survive.
How that state of affairs will play out – in time to make a difference to the good and welfare of our people in need – only more waiting time will tell in due course.
But as things stand in these days on the economic front, as well as the prospects of positive changes in the living and welfare standards of those waiting and hoping to get a job any time soon, the picture looks grim at this stage, and for the near future.
How the delayed Budget to December 10 will change that scenario, so as to bring some relief to the thousands in need in the New Year, again only time will tell.
And it is not only those who are unemployed, and waiting to get a job of some sort, who are complaining and wondering where we heading.
A whole lot of the working population are also asking questions, and expressing serious concerns about the current state of affairs, because the conditions are not improving but getting worse and we all have to live and operate under them.
And what is also disturbing is that so many in need are asking for help, but they cannot all get same from the working few – and the fear of many citizens is that when things get so bad and desperation sets in, those in that state could very well resort to taking what they need without bothering to ask for help.
We have not reached that stage thus far, but a few persons have been voicing their concerns to me on the matter, and I can very well see where they are coming from in the given circumstances, unless things change in the near future to bring some hope to the strugglers.
It is all very well to announce the many millions we will be hearing from the PM and finance minister, come next Tuesday, December 10.
But it is a totally different matter when we ask where those millions will be coming from – and even more importantly, how soon.
And even more stressing for a whole lot of families where the breadwinner is unemployed is the complete absence of any free Christmas barrels from the USA and the UK, and the many trucks that would have been taking them to needy families countrywide.
Those Xmas barrels would certainly have made a whole lot of difference to struggling households nationwide.
I can very well imagine the comments and wishes from the occupants in the circumstances.
That decision by the powers-that-be to stop the free barrels, and insist that taxes must be paid on such imports – especially at this time of the year, and in the economic conditions the majority of those usually receiving such barrels are struggling under –must be the most oppressive piece of legislation this government could have made for all time.
Maybe as we get nearer to the next polling day for re-election, the free barrels Xmas gifts will be re-instated.
Until then and in between times the struggle continues, and I can only hope that relief and some better days are not too long in coming.