The 2018 Throne Speech outlining the ABLP administration’s new policy agenda was a blatant re-tread of unrealized promises, the main opposition United Progressive Party has said.
In the statement today the party lamented “the repeated litany of undelivered projects and the continued excuses for the non-delivery of the promised 500 homes in 500 days underpinned what was a pathetic display of stale ideas.”
“The UPP is of the view that timelines matter. It is totally unacceptable to expect the public to place their faith in a government who returns with the same project announcements for 3 successive years. The continued defence of the non-performing $2 billion US dollar YIDA project is an especially egregious and disrespectful example,” observed Senator Harold Lovell.
In its statement, the UPP said notably absent is any measure to tackle the cost of living issues that affect every single Antiguan and Barbudan citizen and resident.
The party said there were no measures to bring relief from the rapidly rising cost of goods and no timelines specified on the COLA (Cost of Living Allowance) for pensioners, promised in the 2014 ABLP manifesto, which pegs pensions to inflation.
“No relief from the job-killing Unincorporated Business Tax (UBT). No relief from the high cost of fuel at the pump, despite a low oil price for the last 3 years. No reduction in the artificially high APUA variation despite the persistent low global oil price. no plans to address the 35% and growing youth unemployment rate and no plans to address the growing spate of workers’ protests over deplorable conditions, low wages and unpaid back pay.”
“While there were some laudable announcements within the Throne Speech, the failure to disclose credible investments, new jobs and cost of living relief renders this policy statement meaningless to the vast majority of citizens and residents,” Senator Lovell summarized.
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