The People’s Democratic Movement (PDM) kicked off its political campaign Wednesday night, April 11, with a high-energy rally at its headquarters down town Providenciales, to drum up support among its base and the wider public in anticipation for elections this year, also using the event to express its readiness to take the reins of government once again.
Distributing party campaign T-shirts with a call for elections this year emblazoned across the front, many of the speakers, including party leader Derek Taylor, announced that a PDM Government would reverse majority of the laws now being implemented by the Interim Administration, while easing the current economic and social burden now being faced by the populace.
Taylor announced that the 10-year vision that the PDM crafted for the country sometime ago, which would bring prosperity for all the people of the country, was still relevant, and would be used as a vehicle in the party’s pursuit for political office.
He said that the PDM would reopen the civil service for employment, while balancing the budget without putting the people under duress, a feat he said was accomplished in the past by that party. Taylor said also that he would introduce legislation to create a development bank so that local businesses would be able to access loans at cheaper interest rates, while seek to introduce an equal pay law, so as to create income parity in the respective categories within the job market.
Party members said the PDM would also revisit the InterHealth Canada contract, which they said was not serving the best interest of Turks and Caicos Islanders, especially those who had lost their jobs. They said also that the Immigration and Labour laws would also be put under the microscope so as to safeguard the borders, while giving Turks and Caicos Islanders a fair shake in the job market.
“We envision a Turks and Caicos Islands with long term economic stability, and that can only happen under a People’s Democratic Movement government. We are not going to have this nonsense again,” Taylor said, referring to the economic abyss in which the country has found itself. “And we are going to engage each other every step of the way. You are going to have a government that is open, that you can challenge, that you can honestly sit down and talk to.”
“We envision a vibrant economy of Turks and Caicos Islanders that are able to sustain and exceed the growth of the past. And we envision a Turks and Caicos Islands where a strong economy and social empowerment are the order of the day for all Turks and Caicos Islanders.
“We will introduce equal pay legislation, to ensure that all workers are paid based on the work performed rather than on race, colour, gender or national origin. This will give further emphasis to what have already been expressed in the Constitution of the Turks and Caicos Islands,” Taylor said.
Addressing the issue of setting up a financial institution that would provide Turks and Caicos Islanders, especially those who would be able to access loans from commercial banks, with loans at cheap interest rates, Taylor declared: “In 2003, we had already engaged the Caribbean Development Bank; we had already engaged European investment bank, with the intention of making sure that Turks and Caicos Islanders and Turks and Caicos Small businesses are able to access loans at lower interest rate.
“We are going back and we are going to engage those two financial institutions – one in the Caribbean and the other in Europe with the intention of lowering the interest rate, and we are going to again legislation for a development bank.”
In the meantime, the PDM Leader lashed TC Invest for not serving the interest of small businesses, stressing that the interest rate that it was imposing was higher than that of commercial banks.
“TC Invest was not put in place to make a profit at the expense of our people. Yes, we have to take care of administration overheads, but there should be no reason why the interest rate from TC Invest should have been higher than the commercial banks.
Taylor said also that a PDM government would utilize the Small Business Enterprise Development Centre to provide training for small business entrepreneurs and those facing problems in their businesses.
On the matter of education, Taylor pointed out that monies collected from the private sector for scholarships would be placed in a special fund by his administration, that would go solely towards its intended purpose, instead of funneling into the consolidated fund, which he said was the current practice.
“We are going to make sure that the private sector contribution towards scholarships would be placed in a special fund as we had it before, in order that you can know exactly the contribution from the private sector towards scholarships, and we are going to make sure that the private sector businesses benefit from the same also.
“Under a Derek Taylor administration, you can go sleep and wake up in the morning knowing that the public purse is intact, and it would not be attacked. You can rest assured that there will be responsibility and accountability,” he said.
Among the other speakers at the event were National Chairman, Reuben Hall; National Treasurer, Dwayne Taylor; National; Secretary General, Euwonka Selver; her father and former deputy leader of the party Clarence Selver; Cheryl Astwood-Tull; O’Neil Delancy; and Samuel Harvey.
published in SUN,Turks and Caicos Islands 17th of April