Clive Thomas and the WPA have put this policy on the table as one approach on a menu of approaches. We support spending on social services, public infrastructure and other necessities. We support saving some of the money for rainy days, but caution that saving for the future without taking care of the current structural problems may in the long run be counterproductive. But we feel that there are aspects of people’s day to day miseries that government’s indirect spending cannot effectively address — Stone deh a bottom river, he nah know how sun hot.
We are a party that feels very strongly about the condition of the poor and the powerless in the society. But above all, we respect poor people as equal human beings with the same human capacity as other social classes. We continue to believe that the collective problems of the poor are structural in nature and are a function of the historical evolution of the country’s political economy. We believe that government policy is key to unlocking the potential of the poor and helping them to break out of their socio-economic prisons. WPA still believes that government must be a vehicle for uplifting the poor.
It is from that perspective that the Cash Transfer proposal comes. To all those who say it is bad economics, I say Clive Thomas read the same Economics books which you read and maybe some more. I’d rather Clive Thomas’ economics than economics that is grounded in social prejudice. I also trust the judgement of the people on this policy.
I have been going from village to village with the WPA and this subject has been part of the discussion. We are learning from the people about what they want—they want Cash Transfer among other things. They know what they would do with the money. If the people can trust political parties not to squander their votes, then the parties must similarly trust the people not to squander the Cash Transfers.