THE NEW TODAY believes that somebody has to speak up for the Working Class in this country on the madness that this New National Party (NNP) government is allowing to take place involving greedy businessmen trying to make “a killing” and to fatten their bank accounts from Covid-19.
The medical outfit known as “Fit For Life” has to be called out for charging persons seeking a Rapid test for Covid-19 the astronomical price of EC$300.00 while St. Augustine Medical Services (SAMS) which is located less than ten miles away is charging $150.00 for the same test.
Health Minister Nickolas Steele should intervene and use the powers of the state to regularise this price given the fact that the country is grappling with a pandemic and that profiteering should not be allowed to happen on the backs of the poor and vulnerable in the society.
The government itself is under the microscope for the EC$405.00 that it is charging persons for Covid-19 PCR tests when the cost for the same test in neighbouring St. Vincent & The Grenadines is as little as EC$52.00.
If it is not profiteering, why is the government of Grenada not engaging their counterparts in St Vincent to find out how they are able to provide the PCR service to their people at such a low cost?
It is sad that none of the trade unions operating in Grenada have not taken up this issue with the government as it is their general membership who are affected financially by this anomaly in price for PCR tests between these two islands that are members of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and benefit from purchasing of medical supplies through a common pool.
THE NEW TODAY has decided to speak up on behalf of the poor and vulnerable on this type of price gouging by “Fit for Life” for Rapid Tests especially for persons wishing to travel.
This kind of massive profiteering would not have been tolerated by the Grenada United Labour Party (GULP) government of late Prime Minister Sir Eric Matthew Gairy or the 1979-83 People’s Revolutionary Government (PRF) of Maurice Bishop.
It is not about “heavy manners” for counter-revolutionaries but taking a decision in the best interest of the vast majority of the Working People in the country.
The fact that this uncontrolled profit-making is allowed to happen under the watch of current Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell speaks volumes of his class orientation.
THE NEW TODAY has said in a previous editorial that Dr. Mitchell has been posing for years as a supporter of the “little man” in the country but that his government is really controlled by the “money people” in the south of the island.
A major player in “Fit For Life” is linked to former Governor General Sir Daniel Williams, a key player and plank of the ruling New National Party (NNP) regime which has dominated the political landscape of Grenada for the past 25 years.
Is Dr. Mitchell and Minister Steele reluctant to reign in a business that is considered as under the control of the NNP parasitic oligarchy?
It is plain as daylight that this kind of free-for-all is not about service to the people in this period of the Covid-19 pandemic but all about profit-making at a time when the Working Class is under pressure to survive.
Those engaged in importing Rapid Test material in the country will be subjected to the same tax regime at Customs on arrival of the goods on the island.
There cannot be any major margin in transportation costs from the point of entry of the goods in Grenada to their final destination and location.
So it begs the question: Why is St. Augustine charging EC$150.00 for a Rapid Test and the same Rapid Test is double the price at Fit For Life?
THE NEW TODAY is disappointed that both the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the new kid on the block The Grenada Movement (TGM) of Dr. Patrick Antoine have chosen to remain silent on this very important issue of “rip-off” of the Working Class.
In politics, “The Masses” can only be swayed in one direction as opposed to going in another direction by those vying for political office at the national level being able to present and sell them a message of comfort and to address the current high cost of living and the spiraling price for medical services in the country.
If both Congress and TGM and the other aspirants have no messages to offer the people and convince them, then the status quo will remain and change will be elusive and NNP will remain in office.
THE NEW TODAY is calling on the Minister of Health, Nickolas Steele to intervene as a matter of priority and regulate price gouging in this Covid-19 period.
The government can also get involved in offering Rapid Test to the Working Class at a more affordable price and force the private sector to fall in line.
It is time for a serious class war in the context of the Grenada situation to be waged to remove the NNP from power as its leader who came to the people as “The Little Black Boy from Happy Hill” has proven to be a fake and phony.
History will prove that at no time in his reign as Prime Minister has Dr. Mitchell been able to regulate price in the interest of the Working Class.
Our nationals abroad are complaining daily about the additional costs to come home and the NNP as a government is refusing to address the profiteering by some of the service providers in this Covid-19 period.
After 25 years as Prime Minister, this leader in the Botanical Gardens cannot offer job security for young people looking for something to do to make a better living except a little contract work that denies them the right to go to a bank and secure a loan to build a home for their family.
The people of Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique deserve much better.