…says “good life” promise not fulfilledThe Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Guyana (FITUG) has criticised President Granger’s latest promise of a “Decade of Development” to Guyanese.The “Decade of Development” plans were outlined in the President’s New Year’s address to the nation. However, FITUG, on Monday took a swipe at David Granger highlighting the struggles and challenges faced by Guyanese.FITUG President Carvil Duncan“For the Guyanese working-people and their families, it is hardly any time for excitement. It is more a time for anxiety and despair, as they struggle on a daily basis to make their meagre ends meet,” the statement said.FITUG further lambasted the President for his Government’s failed policies, which, according to the workers union, have cost the country severe economic hardship since they assumed office in 2015.“Mr Granger said that the 2020s would be a Decade of Development. He told the nation that economic growth will be accelerated as the “…the major sectors become stronger and more resilient…”. But it is the very Granger Administration, by its very policies, that has negatively affected several major sectors.”The union added that Guyanese have seen the destruction in the sugar sector, stating that the Federation is aware of the massive hikes in fees for land and for drainage in the agricultural sector. “There has been the introduction of taxes on agricultural implements and inputs. We have seen how the poor and/or non-maintenance of interior roadways have deleteriously affected forestry and mining.”The trade union also expressed scepticism about President Granger’s promise in which he said: “…education and healthcare will continue to improve…” since it is this very Government which created the burdens of imposing taxes on medicines and private health care while also failing to grapple with the issue of drug shortages at medical facilities across the country. The Union also stated that there are too many persons who cannot afford to send their children to school and these are matters which the Government has failed to address during its time in office and in fact, created themselves.President David GrangerAddressing President Granger’s vision of “…citizens having larger disposable incomes…”, FITUG said: “We find this hard to believe when the Granger Government has sent home thousands of workers and their economic policies [have] resulted in many others losing their jobs. Moreover, we cannot ignore the pressing tax burdens which have seen taxation rising astronomically since 2015.”Further, the Union criticised the Government for the increased cost of living while the standard of living has continued to drop.“By September 2019, food prices, according to the Bureau of Statistics, had increased 6.3 per cent. But more than that, public servants’ right to Collective Bargaining, a right the APNU/AFC promised to uphold, continues to be disrespected though such rights are enshrined in our laws. But Mr Granger ignores the thousands of workers in the non-State sector who also desire improved standard of living. Of course, such ignorance is not surprising considering the Government never had much sympathy for workers,” FITUG posited.Moreover, the Union questioned the President’s promise of “…faster economic growth, increased employment and economic opportunities and larger fiscal revenues” as a result of Guyana’s oil and gas sector.“Even the estimated 86 per cent economic growth rate for 2020 has been significantly tempered by the IDB to just 39 per cent. But more importantly, the January 3, Kaieteur News repeated that “…86 per cent of the total value of the reserves will go to the oil companies, while Guyana will get 14 per cent”. It is clear, we got less than the short end of the proverbial stick and the Guyanese people are stuck with a clearly unfavourable arrangement. Even though commercial oil production has commenced, we are clearly unprepared for it as a country. It appears that the Granger Government is stumbling in the dark when it comes to oil and so many other important areas of national life,” FITUG expressed in the statement.FITUG has strongly condemned the promises and plans that President Granger outlined in his New Year’s address to the nation, which they described as “largely a repetition of the unfulfilled coalition 2015 manifesto”.