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We are not stopping any programmes that are good, meaningful – Eustace

We are not stopping any programmes that are good, meaningful – Eustace


Leader of the New Democratic Party (NDP) Arnhim Eustace has rubbished claims by ruling Unity Labour Party (ULP) leader Ralph Gonsalves, that if the NDP is elected to office, a number of programmes will be cut and civil servants sent home.

Eustace, who has been critical of some of the government’s programmes and policies, said on Tuesday, at a public meeting in Redemption Sharpes,{{more}} that it bothers him when Gonsalves says he (Eustace) will stop some programmes if elected to office.

“One of the ones that bothers me, in the sense that I know is an outright lie, is far removed from anything that we in the NDP are thinking, and that is the home help for the elderly,” Eustace said.

“Let me tell you something; that to me is one of the best programmes that the ULP ever did. And the position of the NDP is not that we will stop that, we going to improve it. We going to enlarge it, put more people to work in home help for the elderly, not stop it. Why would we stop something like that?” Eustace questioned.

Furthermore, Eustace said if the NDP takes office, they will increase the current stipend of nurses in the student nurses programme from $1,000 to $1,250 monthly.

“We [are] not stopping any programmes that are good and meaningful and that can make a contribution to people’s lives, so we not going to stop them.

“They say we are going to send home civil servants. We have no intention. We know what is involved in the civil service. I was a permanent secretary myself. I know what is involved.

“You don’t just send home people.

“Somebody got to do something wrong to go home,” Eustace said, adding that a lot more training needs to be done and that party politics must come out of the civil service.

In fact, Eustace said whatever has been negotiated between civil servants and the Government for increase in salaries, which are to be paid on December 18, the NDP will be the ones who will honour that commitment after the December 9 general elections.

“And we have committed ourselves that we will meet the expenditure required, whatever has been negotiated between the Government and the public service. We will pay what we have to pay… So all this talk about the things that we not going to do, it’s not true. It’s bare-faced lies by Ralph Gonsalves and he tells a lot of them and tells them without thinking.

“We have no interest in cutting the public service. What we want is for the public service to be more efficient. People must do their jobs to the best of their ability and keep their mouth out of party politics…,” Eustace said.(KW)