Opposition NDP Senator Daniel Cummings on Monday night challenged PM Gonsalves to make public the recent poverty assessment report.
Cummings noted that Vincentians have the right to know the level of poverty which exists in the country.
“ I am telling Gonsalves to release it before I do!” Cummings quipped.
The Parliamentary Representative for West Kingstown says the report not only shows the poverty level, but also allows the government to come up with a way to tackle it.
Cummings noted that he asked the government about the Poverty Assessment Report in Parliament last year and was told that it would be ready for the end of 2019. That Cummings says, did not happen.
The MP noted that the government had received the report for some time, however they keep “dancing on the head of a pin” when it comes to making the information known.
“ The data is so damming, “ says Cummings, “that they are afraid to reveal it. In a normal society that would have been available to The Opposition especially in a situation where you have the Freedom of Information Act”.
“ I want them to tell me why they not releasing the report because the information I have is that in the 2018 report, poverty is back to the 1998 level of 36 percent”.
Cummings said that even if you forget about the report, his interaction with people on a daily basis says it all.
“Poverty of an extreme level throughout the constituency and these are the suburbs of the capital”.
Cummings, therefore, dares PM Gonsalves to make the report public, before he does.