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Opposition tells government to set up fund for families hit by crime

Dr. Vindya Persaud.

Opposition member Vindya Persaud has advised the government to set up a fund to help the survivors of violent crimes committed against their families.

Persaud, during her budget debate presentation Thursday August 20 told the government that from their hefty budget, they have $800million to spend for the remainder of the year and urged them to set some aside for the relatives of those breadwinners who would have lost their lives through violent robberies or other forms of attacks.

“I’m asking that a fund be set up for the women, children, widows and family members so they can survive after losing their bread winners.”

She had earlier elaborated on the growing threat of increased crime and indicated that daily, families and businesses are being robbed. Men, women and children she indicated, are not spared from the wrath of criminals.

Prior to this, Persuad grilled the government on shorten the time for the perusal of the budget allocations. According to the House, the norm has been that five to seven days has always been given for the grilling of the estimates.

The opposition is claiming that to reduce that time will not permit them the time to meaningfully question the allocations for the various sectors. They say too that the work has doubled up given the change of names of the State agencies and their allocations and thus every second would be needed for the questions.

Persuad asked the government, “What are you afraid of…what are you hiding?” She said, “If you prevent people from asking questions, where is the transparency, where is democracy that you preached?”

Persaud urged citizens to bring their questions to the opposition so that it could be asked in Parliament “to see if they would neglect the concerns of the people.”

Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo also asked the government what it is that the government is hiding to cut their question time short. There is also an issue as to when the Opposition Leader should speak as his colleagues deemed that the government does not want his presentation in the same time span as their Finance Minister. They said the government is “afraid” of the Opposition Leader.

However to the issue of a fund for affected families, Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan told the former government that they should first return all the money they stole while in office and it can be given to these affected families. “If ya’ll give back all the money ya’ll tief I will set it up.”