THE Prime Minister recent attack on public servants could mean that he plans to fire them.
This was the claim of Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar at the United National Congress (UNC) Monday Night Forum.
Predicting a grim future under the Rowley-led People’s National Movement (PNM), Persad-Bissessar said the government was finding it difficult to pay public servants as Rowley has shutdown Petrotrin and not found any new avenues for revenue generation.
Persad-Bissessar said, “Dr Rowley says public servants are lazy. He denigrates public service. In every crop of people, there is good, bad and indifferent. Why he comes now to say public servants lazy?
“Why would he attack the public servants? Did something happen recently? I think they don’t have the money for public servants. They cannot pay the public servants so he is setting the stage. Is it that they intend to fire public servants?”
She said, “This is the man who said the government is not going to close down Petrotrin. Today I am asking, is the government going to fire public servants?”
Persad-Bissessar said, “We used to get Foreign Exchange from Petrotrin but Forex has dried up. What do we get from the companies that replaced Petrotrin?”
She also claimed that gas stations were not getting their full quota of fuel.
“What I predict is that there is going to be a shortage of fuels at the gas station. They now have to buy the fuel to put in the pumps,” she said.
Persad-Bissessar said, “Let us hear what is the situation with funding now that we have to import fuel. They shut down Petrotrin and say it was not working.
“They put Espinet and he licks up everyone and now they lick up him.
“You are bringing people with no experience whatsoever. Tell us what experience they have in the energy sector.
“If we don’t do what we have to do, then heaven help our children. There will be no future for the young people of our country.”
Speaking on last Wednesday at the handing over of 200 motorcycles from the Chinese government at the St James Barracks, Rowley said, “Many of them (public servants) produce absolutely nothing when the day comes, collect a salary at the end of the month and make most noise when pay is late.”
President of the Public Service Watson Duke also slammed Rowley for his comments.
Duke said, “It worries all 80,000 public servants of this country. It hurts us to the core. It says that the mother, that good worker who leaves south at 4 am to come to Port of Spain for an 8 o’ clock job, that leaves work at 5-6 to get home, that your efforts are not recognised.”