Budget 2018 debate…2018 should be called “the year of retrenchment”Amidst constant heckling from the Government side, Opposition parliamentarian, Dr Frank Anthony during his 2018 Budget Debate speech on Tuesday, described the 2018 Budget as one that is lackluster and has nothing tangible to offer Guyanese.Opposition parliamentarian,Dr Frank Anthony during his presentationThe former Culture, Youth and Sport Minister said Budget 2018 is an offensive one, telling the Parliament the budget is a representation of the tiredness of the Government.“This lackluster budget offends everyone. In just 2.5 years, four budgets latter, the (Finance) Minister seems tired and the Government seems tired. They badly need a rest and perhaps the people should put them to rest,” he said.SugarIn his emotionally charged presentation, Anthony said while the Government speaks about expanding the agriculture sector, their actions tell a different story.He alluded to the thousands of sugar workers who are now on the breadline following the decision to close a number of estates. Anthony said the workers feel betrayed by the Government after they were promised Government’s support to revive the ailing industry.Agriculture Minister Noel Holder during his presentation“The Government has adopted a narrow-minded, approach to sugar. That is to unilaterally shut major parts of the industry down. In the name of saving a few miserly dollars, thousands of workers will be sacrificed to save the industry, these innocent sugar workers and their families will become collateral damage in a spate of vindictive politics. Instead of helping by lending a hand to the industry, they prefer to the people and the industry while they are down,” Anthony added.He said he shudders when thinking about what 2018 holds, telling the Government they are following the old tradition of the People’s National Congress, and as such, should rename 2018 as “the year of retrenchment.” He questioned the Government’s plan for the thousands of workers who would be placed on the breadline following the closure of the estates.Meanwhile, during his presentation, Agriculture Minister Noel Holder said the framework governing the sugar industry needs to be re-tuned. He added that since the coalition Government took office, they have supported the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) with $32 billion and another $6.3 billion allocated for 2018.“However, capital investment of $12 billion will be required over the next three years 2018-2020 to ensure that the sugar production targets are met. Mr Speaker, despite the magnitude of subsidies, there has been no positive impact on the financial state of GuySuCo. The economy simply cannot afford this,” Holder said.At oddsGuySuCo has commenced the implementation of the plans for the sugar industry as set out in the White Paper. The plan calls for three estates –Albion, Blairmont and Uitvlugt – to continue canes and sugar operations. While Skeldon will be divested, Rose Hall and Enmore are to be divested or diversified and Wales is scheduled for diversification. In this regard, a Special Purpose Unit has been set up to handle the divestment/diversification of these estates.While the Government indicated that they would put the scheduled closure of the Rose Hall Estate on hold, GuySuCo have already issued over 400-dismissal letters to workers, giving them the required one-month notice.However, Minister of State Joseph Harmon told the media that Cabinet was surprised by GuySuCo’s move, adding that the Corporation should have dealt with the issue a bit differently.Harmon’s statement however did not find agreement with Minister Holder, who indicated that he is all supportive of the move to dismiss the workers adding that Cabinet was not surprised.Health sectorTurning his attention to the health sector, Dr Anthony related that they have been receiving a number of reports that indicate Government is spending a lot of money on procuring second hand equipment for the various hospitals. He noted that the equipment is standardized, hence providing unreadable results in some cases.He made special reference to the two Computer Tomography (CT) machines, received as donations and earmarked for Bartica and New Amsterdam Hospitals. He explained that the machines are yet to be unpacked, two years later and to be utilised, adding that the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) budgeted for the procurement of a CT scanner.While alluding to the infamous emergency drug sole-sourcing at the GPHC, he noted that the Public Health Ministry is one of the leading ministries that consistently disregards the public procurement and tendering process.The parliamentarian said there are a number of projects which the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Administration mismanaged and yet to be completed years after their stipulated completion date.He explained that in 2015, there were several projects at the Port Kaituma Hospital Complex as a part of the improvement plant and those projects were supposed to be completed within six months, but to date, they are still languishing.Those projects include the construction of a generator building and procurement of a generator, construction of an infections in-patient facility, a mortuary, a Nurses Hostel and a doctor’s quarter. All those projects totaled to over $217B and were scheduled to be completed before the end of 2016 but are yet to be completed. Additionally, the contractors are being paid for the incomplete work.He explained that there are a plethora of issues affecting the local health sector with Government turning a blind eye.Dr Anthony told the Parliament that at the West Demerara Regional Hospital (WDRH), X-rays stop working after 21:00h, anaesthetic machines are not working, leaking roofs have the drug bond in disarray and the operation theatres are none functional. While he was listing the issues plaguing the hospital, Anthony was supported by his Opposition colleagues all shouting, “Government don’t care!”Just recently, Government announced that the Diamond Diagnostic Centre would be converted into a regional hospital, while the WDRH would be fully operational on a 24-hour basis.
England’s most successful clubs of the past decade, according to trophies won 5 Boxing Day fixtures: All nine Premier League games live on talkSPORT smart causal 5 Latest Manchester United News But the pair have clearly helped solidify things as United bounced back from defeats to Brighton and Tottenham – a 3-0 loss that represented the heaviest home defeat of Mourinho’s managerial career.United return to action at Old Trafford for the first time since then when Wolves visit on Saturday.The promoted side’s manager Nuno Espirito Santo was part of Mourinho’s squad when Porto won the Champions League in 2004, while the United manager’s agent Jorge Mendes is playing a noteworthy role in a project that has a distinct Portuguese flavour.Asked if he had spoken to Mendes about Wolves, Mourinho said: “No, I don’t speak with him for quite a long time, to be honest.“But when we speak we don’t speak about my job or his job. He’s my agent and that’s it. 5 “I want him to play totally fresh. To play for Manchester United is difficult enough for a kid of 19 years old coming from another country and after an important injury and surgery.“He doesn’t need to face more difficulties because of accumulation of matches.“He played 90 minutes, Champions League, difficult pitch, recovered totally and Tuesday he plays again.“But I think he showed for the ones that don’t know him very, very well, he showed that he is not a player to be here just on formation.“He is a player to be here for competition for positions. He’s a very good player.” “I think the team as a team is resolving the defensive problems better than before,” Mourinho said when asked about the duo.“I don’t want to say it was (Eric) Bailly or (Phil) Jones and it is now Smalling or Lindelof.“I think the team is more compact, is more solid.“The spirit, the cooperation, the empathy, the communication – all of that improves in the team and good results bring confidence and I think we are improving as a team.“I don’t want to say our improvement has the name of Chris or Victor. The team is playing better and of course they are part of the team that played well in these matches.” Nuno Espirito Santo was part of Jose Mourinho’s Champions League winning squad at Porto in 2004 How the Premier League table could change after the Boxing Day fixtures Every current Premier League club’s best kit from the past decade possible standings Mourinho says Dalot will play United’s Carabao Cup tie at home to Derby on Tuesday night Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade deals Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? United swooped to bring in Dalot on a five-year deal and, having overcome a knee injury, the right-back made his first-team debut on Wednesday against Young Boys in the Champions League to the excitement of many Red Devils fans.Young Boys 0-3 Manchester United reportIt was an assured display from Dalot in Switzerland, but Mourinho will not take any risks with the talented full-back when Wolves visit on Saturday.“I want him in this process of adaptation, I want him to play totally fresh, so he’s not playing tomorrow,” the United boss said.“He plays Tuesday again (against Derby in the Carabao Cup). Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won Manchester United youngster Diogo Dalot will have to wait for his Old Trafford debut as Jose Mourinho plans to ease him into the fold.The 19-year-old only made a handful of senior appearances for Porto but Dalot was attracting serious summer interest from some of Europe’s top clubs. Matic and Rashford are unavailable as they are suspended Man United transfer news live: Haaland ‘wants a change’, two players off in January Dalot performed well on his United debut in their Champions League win over Young Boys RANKED 5 gameday cracker REVEALED silverware REVEALED “But I think the work in Wolves is good because it’s not just about the Portuguese influence – Portuguese manager, staff and players – it is also about getting the right ones and I think they got good young players and they got also good experienced, stable players.“So, they got this season, the Portuguese national team goalkeeper, they got (Joao) Moutinho, which is one of the players of the 100 caps club.“Big stability in the team. The young ones are young boys with good potential and you can see the work of the coaching staff and the team is a really, really good team.” Mourinho’s side are looking for their fourth straight win in all competitions 5 United captain Antonio Valencia is set to replace Dalot in the starting line-up, having been rested for the 3-0 win in Bern due to concerns over the impact of the synthetic surface.Jesse Lingard, another rested for the Young Boys trip, and Phil Jones, out recently with a hamstring complaint, are also back in contention for a match that Ander Herrera and Marcos Rojo are not ready for.Marcus Rashford and Nemanja Matic are suspended as United look to extend a three-match winning streak that has coincided with a settled centre-back partnership of Victor Lindelof and Chris Smalling.