Beginning the 2021 budget debates was Opposition Member of Parliament Amanza Walton-Desir who reprimanded the government for the painting depicting a woman of African origin, receiving a hamper from the First Lady, Arya Ali and President Dr Irfaan Ali in the background.
However, Minister of Labour, Joseph Hamilton walloped her, questioning what the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance for Change government did for Guyanese. Hamilton claimed the opposition came “primed” to make racist statements and not debate on the 2021 budget.
He labelled her comment as shameful, proclaiming that nothing was done for the Afro-Guyanese in Linden, the area she represents. “The APNU/AFC did not deliver for the Guyanese people regardless of what race they belong to,” Minister Hamilton affirmed.
He assured that the “economic development train has left the station,” and it cannot be stopped. Further, the Minister in charge of Labour criticized the former government for allegedly failing to recognize the importance of Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Officers and Labour Officers.
He reminded of the numerous workplace deaths, especially in mining pits, yet only 9 OSH officers were employed. However, that has been increased to 30 under the PPPC administration, Hamilton underscored. The minister said, “we will have OSH officers placed in every region to supervise work.”
Labour Officers will also increase from 16 to 26 this year, with 2 being stationed in every region outside region 4. Minister Hamilton noted that all officers will be trained in Portuguese, Spanish and Mandarin.