Roseau, Dominica – Prime Minister of Dominica, the Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit has reiterated that his Labour Party Administration understands the struggles of the ordinary person and that it cares about the people of Dominica and is able to find financing for its popular Government programmes.
The Prime Minister said that the recent 119 graduates of the hospitality training exercise, paid for by the Government, was an example of a Labour Party specific Government programme. “I want to say to you that this programme did not come out the Public Service; there is no Government Public Officer who developed this programme. This programme came from the leadership of the Dominica Labour Party.”
PM Skerrit repeated the importance of the country establishing and maintaining healthy relationships with its allies. “So this Apprenticeship Programme, this National Employment Programme is not VAT money; it is not Income Tax money; it is not Import Duties money; it is money that came about by a programme, a project written by myself, the Prime Minister of the country, and went to Venezuela and sat with the President of Venezuela and say to the President of Venezuela, Comrade, I have a challenge in Dominica of youth unemployment and here is a proposal I would want you to finance for me to my people in Dominica. So this money is coming from our friends from Venezuela because of our extraordinary relationship that we have engendered with the Venezuelans. They have seen it fit in this very difficult economic situation.”
The Prime Minister also dismissed the allegations by the political opposition that he was a beggar. “I have been accused by many in the Opposition and some in the country of being a beggar because I go out to negotiate resources on behalf of the people of Dominica. But I say to them if I did not have to go out to get the West Coast Road how would we have financed the $125 million we spent on the West Coast Road and those of you who drove on it from Roseau today. How would we have invested in health care, to buy the mammogram and I am telling you even the mammogram and the CT Scan and the other orthopaedic equipment we are buying the Treasure could not afford it. The Prime Minister had to go out to negotiate the resources for these things.”
Other examples of Labour Party specific programmes highlighted by the Prime Minister included the Housing Revolution, the Yes We Care Programme, the fact that every Dominican citizen, 60 years and older and 7 and 18 years and younger, do not pay hospital bills in Dominica, the fact that we have universal access to secondary education, the provision of free ground transportation to almost every single high school student in Dominica paid for by the Government, the provision of washrooms to hundreds of Dominicans, and the provision of housing assistance to thousands of Dominicans.