To: All Editors
Date: 21st December 2023
From: The Office of the Leader of the Opposition
CHRISTMAS HEARTLESSNESS BY THE ROWLEY GOVERNMENT TO THE NATION’S POOR
The disastrous Rowley Government is displaying even more heartlessness at this Christmas time by its woeful handling of food cards to deserving nationals. 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. 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. 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. 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. My 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.
Kamla Persad-Bissessar, SC, MP
Leader of the Opposition
21st December 2023