I wasn’t sure whether to laugh, giggle or yawn upon reading Dr. Thomas’ recommendation of $1 million per household every year.
You see, I know this old Indian couple on the West Coast of Demerara, who are probably surviving by the Grace of God. I advised the husband to apply for Old Age Pension. He said he did last year. At the Ministry he was asked whether he is the owner of the house which he is living in. He answered yes and that he has a transport to prove it. Oh, says the lady at the Ministry, then you are not eligible for Old Age Pension. I know that this is not true but if the policy has changed towards some citizens then they should be advised through the various media houses so that they do not waste the little hope they have pursuing a pipe dream.
My part-time maid is an Amerindian woman from Pomeroon. Her husband died seven months ago leaving her with five children. I called the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs and the Ministry of Social Protection to inquire what help can be offered to this struggling woman. At the Ministry of Social Protection she was told by the lady there that she is young and should go out there and find a job. At the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs she filled out a form. That’s it.
My point is “if you can’t give them two cents you will give them a dollar?” To those who believe in this myth it is time to rejoice, but please do not forget other promises that were dangled before your shiny eyes and are yet to be fulfilled. To others I say listen to what the government is telling its supporters and follow suit as best you can, for you will have to grab and scramble for the crumbs from the oil money; it will not be given to you on a platter.