Not enough being done for Indigenous People says Sukhai; Allicock says no more handouts , more motivation
As the budget debates continued today in the National Assembly Opposition Member of Parliament Pauline Sukhai and Minister of Indigenous People’s Affairs, Sydney Allicock faced off over Government’s allocation for development not only in Hinterland communities but Indigenous People in general.
Sukhai called on the Coalition Government to do more for its First People, especially in the area of Youth Development. According to Sukhai monies are simply sitting in the public coffers, which could otherwise be utilized for the advancement of the Indigenous People, who are the 10 percent of the population still exposed to vulnerabilities. She criticized what she deemed as the “poor state of affairs” at the Ministry of Indigenous People’s Affairs.
Lack of implementation, slothfulness and ineffectiveness, the Opposition MP said is taking place at the premier ministry. The former Amerindian Affairs Minister told the House that the autonomy of the National Toshaos Council (NTC) is under threat and called on Government to cease its interference in the Council’s operations. She also called on Government to give the NTC the $63M which was submitted for approval, questioning why this sum should be cut to a mere $16M, since they have a “tall order” of empowering, training, developing strategic plans for titled and untitled villages, Satellites and Amerindian Settlements across the vast Hinterland areas.
The Opposition MP condemned the fact that of the $13B allocated for Hinterland Infrastructure, the majority goes to the township and will not trickle down to the Indigenous Communities; hence she called on the Government side to stop misleading the House in this regard.
However, her statements did not sit well with the Subject Minister, Sydney Allicock, who took a swipe at the Opposition claiming that under the tenure of the PPP/C, Indigenous People were not empowered but were offered handouts.
As it relates to the Community Service Officers (CSOs) Minister Allicock said these youngsters, under the PPP/C regime, were trained as politicians and were not offered any technical training.
He claimed that when the PPP/C realized it had lost the election, a cheque to pay the CSOs was cancelled, leaving those individuals “red and dread” and with no other option but to cry.
Minister Allicock noted that under the Coalition Government Indigenous People will be motivated and provided with the necessary resources to do more for themselves.
With regards to the Indigenous Youth, Allicock said some $2.5 B dollars would be allocated for Technical Vocational Education Training (TVET) in an effort to continue the building of the integrated network of training initiatives.
Major road improvement in several Amerindian Communities, care for the elderly and support for countless measures, the Minister assured would be pursued in the coming year.