The Liberty Party’s senatorial hopeful for the October 14, 2014 Special Senatorial Election, Benjamin Sanvee, has declared that drastic measures need to be taken by the Government so they can uplift the economic and social well being of the people.
“We need to make some radical changes to uplift our people. I believe that we have a bloated government. It is too large. In the end our budget needs to reflect the reality of what is going on in our society and economy,” the Montserrado County senatorial hopeful declared.
Sanvee said the Government needs to have more programs in its budget, rather than goods and services. He said that could only happen by reducing the size of the government. “We need to have alternatives. That is where I believe the whole idea of public/private partnership needs to come into play. Government should invest in the economy rather than just being an employer.”
The youthful senatorial candidate made the statements in Monrovia Monday, April 28, during one of his nation-wide talk shows. During the show, he answered questions regarding the current trend of the economy and budget shortfalls, saying “the fact that today we are discussing the economy demonstrates there is a need for improvement, but I don’t think we are heading for doomsday.”
Sanvee praised the economic growth over the last couple of years, but was quick to note that certain things need to happen to stay on course. He said, however, that the growth was not felt by the average Liberian.
“We have US$16 billion in investment, but that have not translated into creating sustainable jobs. There are two sides to this coin; as we need the capacity to be able to handle these jobs,” he explained.
Mr. Sanvee said government needs to focus more on how to build the capacity of what he described as “our lost generation,” and called for the placement of a moratorium on increment of salaries for Legislators and other sectors of government that are exorbitantly paid.
The LP candidate, who is running against the likes of Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) political leader George Manneh Weah, Mr. Ali Sylla, and incumbent Joyce Musu Freeman Sumo, said the call by many Liberians for the Finance Minister Amara Konneh’s resignation in the wake of the budget shortfall does not solve the problem. According to him, he is not the sole reason why the country continues to have financial problems; the responsibility for the situation is shared across all branches of government. He commended Minister Konneh for taking responsibility and the promise to put in corrective measures.
“There is a need for a more robust, more aggressive national Legislature, be it from an economic or a social standpoint; the Legislature does not have enough oversight,” he said.
Mr. Sanvee said the Government must prioritize the importance of going back and re-investing in the people. He expressed the belief that this is the only security the country can have.
“We went to war because people felt that there was not equal access to opportunity! Looking at the current budget, less than 2% of the population is enjoying at the detriment of 98%. It looks as if government is just about 40,000 employed people,” he concluded.