The Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) says that it continues to see an ad hoc approach by the current government in the hope of achieving structured development.
In a release on Tuesday, the GTUC stated that presenting the nation with a shopping list rather than having policies developed to address strengths and weaknesses of the society will not achieve holistic development and tackle serious areas such as poverty and health. The statement noted that the GTUC was presently studying the Budget and would issue a detailed response in due course, and its response was based only on a cursory examination.
According to the release, the GTUC said that money being allocated for the creation of jobs in the absence of stated unemployment figures deprives society of any means of measuring or determining if the resource allocated is sufficient, and whether it can effectively impact, which in “other words constitutes shooting in the dark.”
Planning has to come from existing specifics in the society, according to the GTUC statement, and the identified goals set to address these specifics and the resources needed to bring about achievements. The GTUC release noted that it is from a plan that programmes will flow, and while some of the line items in the Budget are encouraging, society would better benefit if it was aware of the specifics that inform the action and their role in helping to make it possible.
According to the GTUC release, in fifty-one years of independence, the country has seen the benefit of three structural development plans. The Self-Sufficiency Programme of the Forbes Burnham administration, the Structural Adjustment Programme of the Desmond Hoyte administration, and the National Development Strategy of the Cheddi Jagan administration, which was dismantled after his death. The GTUC stated that all of these plans had one thing in common, namely the input of stakeholders and citizens through wide consultations, which helped to shape the plans. The labour body expressed concern about the non-application of a similar approach, “given the adverse consequences likely to be borne from ad hocery.”
The GTUC stated that it was aware that within the coalition administration there are persons with the competencies to create a developmental plan anchored in the principle of inclusion. The nation hears about a green economy and is aware of the impending oil and gas industry, making our future economy more complex, the statement said.
It is therefore important the GTUC release said that there is a clear vision and plan as to where the people are going, how they are getting there, and their role in the process.