To the many problems of TnT……I’m coming for you.
This is a year end message that I get no pleasure in writing because it’s tough to read but read it, you must.
If we want something we have never had before, we have to do something we have never done before.
As we close off another year and look to a new one, with a new start, new hopes and resolutions, it is worth reflecting on the year that was.
It has been a terrible year for most of us, in fact depressingly so. That is why it is critically important that we do not sugar coat the harsh realities that we face.
2023 has been a year of runaway crime….horrific murders, home invasions, brazen daylight gang warfare, increased demands for ‘protection’ taxes from the business community, kidnappings, increased adverse travel advisories to foreigners, exorbitant food prices, hundreds of businesses closing their doors with thousands of people out of work, an education system that has fallen apart with record numbers of students failing the most basic exams, and infrastructure that has crumbled to almost unrecognizable levels.
Traffic gridlock and the resulting loss of productivity and competitiveness seem inconsequential to the authorities.
Flooding and drought afflict us with the monotonous predictability of death and taxes.
Almost every institution of state has collapsed….the Judiciary, Police service, NIB, WASA, Licensing Office, Customs, Ports etc
We are currently importing almost 90% of what we eat, in a country with the most perfect weather and available arable lands. Imagine tomatoes are now $35 per pound!
Widespread social decay and bad behavior is now accepted as the norm in our schools and by many parents.
And tragically, after being one of the leading lights in the energy sector for almost 100 years, we are now reduced to depending on the rest of the world for our energy needs.
Our leaders seem content to just pass the buck, blame everyone and everything else and almost never take responsibility for their actions.
This is a snapshot of Trinidad and Tobago in December 2023……as it is, plain talk bad manners.
If you don’t see it, experience it or agree with it, then you are either a blinkered political sycophant or one of the very few, thriving and prospering off the suffering of the many.
Can it get worse? Absolutely!
With no meaningful plan to deal with crime, create employment opportunities, revamp the education curriculum (all 3 of which are linked), properly deal with agriculture and food security, incentivize foreign and local investment, deal with the ease of doing business and availability of foreign exchange, we are just a rudderless ship, on automatic pilot, waiting to hit the proverbial iceberg.
Added to the mounting difficulties, in 2024, citizens will have to bear the additional burden of Property Tax and the real fear of losing their homes, increased TnTec and WASA rates and the consequent increase in the cost of living.
The ‘economic’ policies in the last 8 years of increased taxes, increased borrowing, sale of state assets and raids on the Heritage and Stabilization Fund have failed in spectacular fashion and is now being manifested in the hardships and suffering that confront us today.
For many it will all be too much, and it will unfortunately be a case of ESCAPE or ENDURE.
Many of our brightest young minds have already chosen to make their homes and lives in other lands, unable to reach their full promise or fulfill their personal desires and professional destinies in the land of their birth. They refuse to tolerate the stench of our political environment……their potential to build and develop a strong, vibrant TnT gone forever.
These problems are not ‘unfixable’ and I am committed to fixing them.
To the problems and the people causing them, I am coming for you, I will be your worst enemy! We have a country to save.
I promise you TnT, we will have a better and brighter future.
Happy New Year to all.