“Don’t gripe, come to the table” – Harmon tells PPP

Last Updated on Friday, 12 February 2016, 14:29 by Writer

State Minister Joseph Harmon called on the Opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) to come to the table with workable solutions rather than just coming to point out problems.

Harmon made the statement as he presented his take on the 2016 Budget debate on Friday in the National Assembly.

He accused the Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo of “pandering” in front of the camera’s when that time could have been used doing other constructive things.

 “Don’t just gripe, come to the table and let’s talk. Where are the recommendations?” the State Minister questioned.

Harmon stated that the Government is still waiting on Jagdeo to come to the table on the closure of Wales sugar factory as he had stated while on a visit to the estate.

 “While some gripe, we have a nation to build and in a global environment where there are serious competition for investment funds for development we have to be clear about the message we are sending to the world,” Harmon noted.

Harmon further told the House that one of the primary aims of the government is the promulgation of a public service sector that is profession, politically impartial and addresses the needs of the people.

“We believe that public service has to be reformed so that it understands its role of being servants to the people,” adding that the Report from the Commission of Inquiry into the sector “will point the way forward for the public sector.”

To accomplish this, Harmon stated that the Public Sector Training College will soon be commissioned.

There persons will undergo six months of theoretical work and six months of practical work while being attached to a public service department.

“Every public servant must become computer literate,” Harmon declared.

Turning his attention to the increases in salaries and wages for public servants which is subject to the negotiations with Unions, Harmon noted that under the PPP, the Government drove a hard bargain with the unions.

“The point to be noted here is the [PPP] administration has a record a track record of not negotiating with the unions in good faith and then arbitrarily increasing by a figure they decide on,” he stated.