People’s Partnership plan for 120 days of immediate action

LEFT: David Abdullah of the Movement for Social Justice, Congress of the People (COP) political leader Winston Dookeran, Tobago Organisation of the People (TOP) leader Ashworth Jack, United National Congress (UNC) leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar, National Joint Action Committee (NJAC) political leader Makandal Daaga, and chairman of the Movement for Social Justice Errol McLeod.
The People's Partnership
1. Every child going on to secondary school from the SEA will be provided with a laptop to begin their secondary school education.

2. We will begin addressing the issue of securing and expanding GATE.

3. We will rescind the property tax.

4. We will establish a working committee to review all programmes targeted at poverty alleviation and social support to make recommendations to:

a. Strengthen synergy, reach and impact through rationalisation and integration

b. Help households to step up to prosperity and to reduce the number of people classified as poor by 2 per cent each year.

5. We will begin an aggressive programme, to fix all leaks in WASA’s pipelines, and establish an emergency response unit for monitoring system dysfunction, unplanned disruptions and crisis management.

6. We will co-ordinate integrated action on water resources management, drainage, irrigation, flooding, water capture, conservation, sustainable food production and food security through synergistic deployment of human resources and equipment under State control in collaboration with private contractors.

7. In partnership with CBOs and NGOs our Government will release appropriate resources from the Green Fund to reforest areas that were burnt during the past dry season.

8. We will simultaneously begin the rehabilitation and paving of existing access roads and construction of new ones.

9. We will begin the process of establishing a Ministry of the People.

10. We will begin a review process for the minimum wage.

11. We will prepare an immediate action plan for containing criminal activities and reducing the number of murders. This first phase will be from June 2010 to December 2010.

12. We will begin to identify and address the fundamental challenges to the effective management of law and order.

13. We will deploy police on the streets, on the beat and in the communities and increase police presence everywhere.

14. We will initiate a process to make every police station a centre for crime containment and reduction, crime fighting, community policing, statistical information gathering and communication linked to the National Operations centre and we will establish five model stations as the pilot.

15. We will begin the process of reviewing the laws and institutions, which address white-collar crime with a view to strengthening the laws.

16. We will strengthen the National Security Council to link intelligence gathering and assessment with strategy and execution in crime fighting.

17. We will replace the Senior Citizens’ Grant with Old Age Pension and increase it to $3,000.

18. We will look at the immediate challenges of each hospital and determine what needs to be done to make an immediate difference in the lives of citizens seeking care and we will act immediately on these. Whether it is 50 more beds in a hospital, a vital piece of much-needed equipment or improving the effectiveness of delivery of emergency patient care.

19. We will establish a LIFE fund for life-saving surgery for children ($100m). This fund will be administered by an independent board in a fair, equitable, transparent and accountable manner.

20. We will begin the introduction of camera technology at traffic lights and set into motion an efficient system of ticketing offenders.

21. Each minister will be required to present a one-year action agenda for consideration and approval by Cabinet after consultation with senior ministerial staff within thirty (30) working days of swearing in. Each ministerial action agenda, once approved, will be included in the next budget.

22. Each ministry will be required to begin work on a five-year strategic plan within the first 60 days for completion by February 2011 within the framework of our manifesto.

23. We will establish an Economic Development Board which will consult with stakeholders and play an advisory role in policy formulation.

24. We will establish a Civil Society Board, to strengthen the voice and influence of NGOs and civil society organisations.

25. We will initiate consultation to develop a coherent export strategy, an industrial policy linked to knowledge formation and a national services industries competitiveness strategy with key stakeholders.

26. We will initiate a forensic audit of Petrotrin and other state bodies, where there are grounds for suspicion of misconduct similar to what transpired in UDeCOTT.

27. We will establish a legislative agenda, aligned to our one-year action plan to establish the sequence of flow of bills to Parliament in the first year.

28. We will establish a timetable for constitution reform beginning with consultations.

29. We will work with the Central Bank, CSO and the public service to determine the true condition of the country’s finances and the state of the economy and the condition of projects to share that information with our citizens.

30. Within the 120-day period, we will also share with our citizens our priorities for action during our first budgetary period.

31. We will formulate a project plan for completion of all infrastructural projects currently in train in Tobago.

32. We will establish a Ways and Means Committee to formulate a project plan on a phased basis to make all government public services more accessible to residents of Tobago.

11 thoughts on “People’s Partnership plan for 120 days of immediate action”

  1. Congrats to the people’s partnership this medication was long overdue to the politics in t&t,we’ve been sick for many years thank god the healing process has started.
    Sometimes one needs a womans touch for it to work right..

    Mr Mcloud congrats to your position this one is fit for this king please don’t forget the hotel workers in tobago,thanks in advance.

  2. I’m happy for people who suddenly feel unburdened, optimistic and healed now that the government has changed. Emotions are extremely important, I think. But could we, just for a time, save our emotions for the past government and be emotionless regardless the latest one? I think if people could momentarily put their emotions aside and let logic and calculation guide them, they might realize that:

    1. Laptops cost money, they break if you don’t know how to use them, they don’t last indefinitely (particularly crappy, cheap ones), industrious individuals make more productive use of technology than lazy persons…

    2. Free education is not free, and free education promises nothing about the quality of teaching.

    3. Taxes suck, but reducing budgetary inputs while increasing budgetary outputs sucks more. Remember, we have no idea how much money the new government is going to spend.

    4. A committee that is planning to review poverty is not likely to alleviate any poverty. History tells us that it is never that simple. Governments don’t make citizens rich, citizens make themselves rich.

    5. Words like “begin”, “review”, “identify”, “initiate”, “deploy” and “formulate” don’t really say anything. The action plan is mostly *talk* of plans to act, not actual plans of action.

    It is one thing to get emotional about how horribly the PNM government acted. It is quite another thing to get emotional about how brilliant the new party is, just for the sake of being the alternative! Naturally they have not *done* anything meaningful yet, but it seems to me that they have neither *said* anything meaningful yet to get emotional about. Please people, be smart about politics, it is not religion, it is not something to be dogmatic about. Unlike religion, there is a lot of tangible ‘truth’ out there with regards to social processes, as well as economic and political systems. Many of the issues these politicians are grappling with have already been resolved or at least thoroughly discussed by social scientists. You don’t have to put blind faith in anything politicians say and the experiments they wish to conduct in countries. Please go out and inform yourselves on how things like public education and minimum wages actually work and what consequences they may have. Please learn the history of this country and of its political parties. What you will learn will surprise you. If voting makes you feel good about yourself and part of something important, then it will blow your mind once you begin to become more informed about society and the political process. This is coming from someone who has just begun to scratch the surface.

    1. Excellent post….as we see, is more of the same. Wait till the honeymoon period is over

  3. WEll of course laptops cost money, but I dont think money is a problem in our country.yes, they can be damaged, or stolen or lost. Thats why we have insurance. Dont you think that in this world of developing technology our children deserve to go foward at a faster rate in order to compete with the changing world. Anything can be thought to a child, its the manner one uses to teach them. Teach our adults, teachere etc first to respect public/national equipment so that our children can respect the tools they are given. The need for controll and checkpoints is also necessary, and perhaps the children should not be allowed to take the laptops home untill the whole nation learn to respect public property. In certain countries, children without their own laptops are allowed to take the school property home, but we we have not reached there as yet. We can start the ball-a-rolling though. Then sell those high raise buildings, rent out the palace to foreign nations and use the money to support pensioners, keep vagrants in home under care and medication. If we can recall some of the monies wasted on vehicles fo internation seminars, udecott ect, etc, think what we can do for the nation- Proper local and foreign investing, agriculture, work ethics can save a lot. yes, we can!!!

    1. Schools should have proper IT labs, they is no need for the government to give out laptops for the kids to watch porn and do God knows what with when most schools don’t have a proper IT lab….ppl really gone clear yes

  4. Good thing I didn’t say anything about laptops being “damaged, stolen or lost.” You are quite right, insurance does take care of those events, provided that you did not purposefully cause the event.

    What I am sure I said is this: “they break if you don’t know how to use them,” which suggests that if you don’t take good care of them, in a short time you will be left without a laptop. And then what?? If the individual couldn’t afford it this year, it’s not really likely that she will be able to replace it next year.

    Then I said, “they don’t last indefinitely (particularly crappy, cheap ones”, which implies the same point as above. When they do stop functioning, which they all do, you will be left without a laptop. And as I said, if the individual couldn’t afford it this year…

    Furthermore, “industrious individuals make more productive use of technology than lazy persons.” If you give a smart, hardworking person a laptop, they will make good use of it and get a lot out of it. If you give a careless and unmotivated person a laptop, they will use it irresponsibly. If the government does not care how the laptops are used, and whether or not people are using them for educational persons or for playing games (simplistic extremes, I realize), then fine, give everyone a laptop. As long as you know that some children are responsible and smart, and some aren’t. Some will waste the laptops (i.e. the money), and some won’t. If you think that throwing laptops at all of them will help them “go forward at a faster rate in order to compete with the changing world”, you are being naive in many ways.

    As for money not being a problem, if this were true, then more Trinidadians would be able to afford their own laptops. Money is a huge problem in any country, let alone a developing country. Every dollar that the government spends needs to be justified – a lack of respect for this principle is what helped end the previous government’s term. And regarding teaching people to respect public equipment, that is a lofty dream. Disrespect for property, the environment, and others, seems to be part of our culture. You cannot ‘teach’ new culture into existence. It changes on its own despite any attempt by anyone to fix it.

    I will reiterate my earlier point – many of the ways in which public programs actually work (and not how they promise to work) are already well-known. Spend time finding out. Spend time thinking not just about benefits, but about costs. When money is spent, there are ALWAYS costs. Ask any professional economist.

    1. This is why we get government after government that does teif…because a lot of the populace think like Mr. Robinson, i.e, once I getting free thing the government could do what they want….we have money to burn

      I thought the treasury was empty???

  5. This is addressed to Sheree….
    How do you expect a child to learn about a computer – by showing a picture of it or the teacher demonstrating the operations / usage? The child must touch the computer, try it out, make mistakes, explore all the capabilities.
    I have a story for you, My sister’s husband died leaving her with two daughters – about 10 and 8, respectively. My sister, a clerk, bought a computer for them to play games as well as to become computer literate (and to keep them out of trouble!). To cut the long story short, one is a lawyer today, the other has just completed a degree in Management. Magic? They are both extremely skilled on the computer.
    If and when computers are give to SEA students, the parents will have the responsibility to ensure they are used for their children’s education. they should not be used for any other purpose. Do the children of today damage the electronic items the parents purchase for them?
    I am seeing something else in the comments of the detractors- the reason why some children perform and others do not; or is it not acceptable because the other political party is pushing it?
    I can attest to the use of the computer. In 1988, I bought my first desktop computer, long before my children were ready to do Common Entrance. Our house always had a computer since, and an updated one at that. Because my family put a high value on EDUCATION.

  6. To K.T.,

    Do you realize that not everyone is like you or your sister’s kids? I hope you are not saying that the *real* reason your sister’s children finished their degrees is because they had computers. Because THAT would be magic. Did intelligent and hardworking people exist before computers? Yes, I think so. Your family’s success probably had something to do with them being born intelligent, and being encouraged to be achievers.

    I understand the error you are making, and I hope you do too. You think that because your family always had access to computers, they turned out to be successful people. Have you considered that it is because you were successful people (hardworking, smart, responsible, able to afford things), that you had computers? Your sister purchased her children’s computers, and you purchased your own. That is completely fine and really really good.

    No one is against anyone using computers. If more people had access to computers, that would be a really great thing. But you must understand that buying your own computer and getting it from the government involves separate issues. In the most developed of economies, more people have access to computers because more people can afford their own computers. Are they rich because they have computers, or do they have computers because they are rich. I think the answer is very clearly obvious. Remember computers are a relatively recent phenomenon.

    On this:

    “I am seeing something else in the comments of the detractors- the reason why some children perform and others do not; or is it not acceptable because the other political party is pushing it?”

    Here is a perfect example of the emotions I was talking about. If you believe that the only way for someone to criticize a government policy is for them to be politically aligned, then there is no chance of a meaningful discussion between you and me.

  7. Also K.T., you said…

    “Because my family put a high value on EDUCATION.”

    Exactly. If your family did not place a high value on education, they perhaps would not have invested in computers. They would not have worked their hardest to ensure that computers were a part of your households. This is the kind of work ethic that you cannot instill in people by buying them computers. If anything, you (the government that is) are likely to reverse and destroy that work ethic when you give people the things that they should themselves be working for.

  8. I am an expatriate of Trinidad and Tobago. I am presently living in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

    I have read your intentions and I sincerely applaud them. I will be checking on the progress of all you have laid out, fully realzing that you cannot be everything to everyone, and your best intentions may be only that.

    May The Force be with you and I hope you can accomplish verything on your list or as much as possible because you do have some very sound ideas for governiing my beautiful TnT.

    Thank you

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