There are poor people across Guyana and not just in Linden
With regard to AFC leader Khemraj Ramjattan’s prediction that unless Linden residents continue getting subsidized electricity then there might be unrest, this would neither improve the AFC’s image nor is it fair for all poor Guyanese. Obviously there are poor Indians, Africans, Chinese, Amerindians, etc, all across Guyana. Why must Linden alone get special treatment?
Calling on the PPP/C government to go back to the drawing board on its plan to increase the electricity rates for Linden may be good, but not under the warning that it could fuel national unrest. Under-standably, the AFC is concerned “there should not be an increase in tariffs in Linden… there must be a better way for that community that is suffering for such a long time.” The AFC leader was reported by SN as saying this on June 22 (‘AFC warns of unrest over Linden power tariff‘).
What good reason motivates Mr Ramjattan to portray the residents of Linden as being prepared to cause unrest is anybody’s guess. Obviously the AFC cannot be championing only Linden to get subsidised electricity, unlike other Guyanese who pay their fair share. Is the AFC trying to recapture their lost Linden African vote? Despite the capture of some thirty thousand Berbice Indian votes which keep the AFC afloat, what has it achieved for them so far? Slashing budgets and firing workers is not a good way to win future votes.
What Trinidad does is to subsidize water, house taxes, and electricity rates, which are pegged to one’s income, and not dictated by geography. Trinidad even subsidizes gasoline for everyone, regardless of race or class. Some individuals get some form of government benefits based on their income. So poor people pay less because of their income.
Certainly not everyone in Linden is poor. There are also many poorer African people all across Guyana. This type of equality has no foundation at all. Or else soon Region 6 will demand such an inspired equality. It would be very hard to deny of course.