There is more about governance than COVID 19
Prior to the election of the new Government, we heard from the politicians so frequently which now appears to be a common practice by politicians during a campaign for election or reelection. It seems that politicians just want to get elected. At least from the outside, that is how it appears.
The people of the Turks and Caicos gave a clear mandate on February 19th that they wanted a change but has a change taken place other than a change in party.
I appreciate the fact that we get normal updates from the Ministry of Health and sometimes the Ministry of Education in regards to COVID and education respectively but this protocol was in place prior to the change in Government. It looks like COVID 19 will be around for a while and so the Government must be able to manage our country with COVID 19. Furthermore, we have a Ministry of Health that deals with managing COVID 19 and so why is the Premier and the other Ministries so quiet.
Lack of communication – you are too quiet
The new Government started off really well, keeping us informed but now it has been seven months and the Government has gone quiet. I have the greatest respect for the Premier of our country but he and the rest of the team need to be more visible. One of the reasons leaders fail is due to inadequate communication and when there is lack of communication, people start making a lot of assumptions and the assumptions become the truths for some people even though the assumptions may be inaccurate.
It is time the Government start to communicate frequently. Yes we get the cabinet updates, yes we get the press conferences from the M0inistry of Health and Ministry of Education, yes there is House of Assembly meetings but we need more. In my opinion, the Government needs to brief the people face to face on a monthly basis on what they are doing and what they plan to do. We should not be hearing about things about our country from a third party before we hear from our Government. For example, we first heard about the training for the St. Vincentians at Beaches in a Caribbean newspaper. We first heard about the Mu variant in the local media before we heard from the Ministry. You need to communicate on all matters even if they seem insignificant.
Promises made but you are quiet on these
In the citizens contract, you promised this “Our immediate focus on taking office is to turbo-change the economy, create jobs, cut the cost of living, provide healthcare and education, create a more secure TCI and invest in our future through food production, environmental protection and infrastructural development.” You use the word immediate but it is has been more than six months now since you have been in office and there is no evidence that any of aforementioned has taken place. You also promised annual quotas for PRCs and TCI Status but we see that has not taken place.
You say it is the people’s time but you are too quiet with the people
During the swearing in of this new Government, the new Government kept stressing the point that it is the people’s time. However, the people are now thinking otherwise. Turks and Caicos Islanders are still being marginalized and left behind. Turks and Caicos Islanders are being sent home at age 60 and will lose the full benefits of National Insurance because in order to get the full benefits from National Insurance, you must retire at age 65. People are being charged so much crown land leases. If it is the people’s time, then put in place, at least 50% discount on the least so that it can be affordable. You provided us with hope when you said no more first time work permit holders but you amended that and now you are issuing work permits for first time work permit holders while there are Turks and Caicos Islanders unemployed. Qualified Turks and Caicos Islanders are submitting their applications for roles but they are being ignored and rejected.
I know that everything takes time and this Government has only been in power for 7 months but 7 months is a long time and a lot can be done in 7 months. We do not need a Government that just talk the talk. We need a Government that will take action and put the people first. We don’t need to elect politicians just to sit there and give a few minutes speech in the House of Assembly. Our Government needs to be in our face and put in place the things they campaigned on. I remind you that on the front and last pages of the citizen’s contract, you stated these words “No Turks and Caicos Islander left behind.”
I know that given the health and financial crisis that have taken place as a result of COVID 19, everything is COVID 19 centric but the Government should not be quiet on other areas.