Sarah: Govt. needs to admit it can’t handle dump alone

PHILIPSBURG–It is time for Government to admit that it cannot handle the situation with the dump alone and it needs to call an international group to assist with the way forward, said Democratic Party (DP) leader Member of Parliament (MP) Sarah Wescot-Williams during Tuesday’s debate on the draft 2017 budget.

“Government, we need to admit we can’t handle it,” Wescot-Williams said.

She stated that the international assistance should not be any company telling the country what they can do to solve the dump situation. The assistance should be in the form of groups with expertise in this field helping the country formulate what is needed to remedy the situation quickly and effectively.

The time for more studies and research has passed, she said. It is time for definitive action to be taken to safeguard the health of the country.

She also questioned the status of the court case between Government and Windward Roads Infrastructure related to the preparation of the waste-to-energy project.

A solid waste management authority should be established to guide the project, she said.

Wescot-Williams declared that she could not begin to address the governing programme that is supposed be based on the budget, “but the budget has nothing.” This sentiment, she said, was shared with her coalition partners in a recent meeting.

The budget debates over the years are becoming “more and more depressing” and “now it like let’s get it [the budget­ – .Ed] out of our sight,” the MP said, adding that her position on the budget itself has changed since the start of the debate though she did not explain this stance further.

She urged government to see 2017 as “a turnaround year.” To make this turnaround possible, Government “must be smart … clever.”

The DP leader minced no words in chiding Government for chopping some NAf. 600,000 from the budget of Parliament for 2017. While she is in favour of curbing Parliamentary travel such a slash should have been left up to Parliament which controls its budget.

In response to the slash, she has called on all seven ministries to contribute NAf. 50,000 each to a pot “to establish English as the first and mother tongue of the country.” Government was also told to instruct all high councils of state and other councils to produce reports and advices in English.

Government’s decision to suspend talks with the French side on the development of a joint sewage treatment place came under fire from Wescot-Williams. “I can’t support this,” she told her coalition partners. “You will have to come a little better,” she said.

Source: The Daily Herald