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ERG/AOP in ‘constructive talks on a budget for the poor and vulnerable’ with Chief Minister

ERG/AOP IN ‘CONSTRUCTIVE TALKS ON A
BUDGET FOR THE POOR AND VULNERABLE’ WITH CHIEF MINISTER

Chief Minister Fabian Picardo (L), Lyana Armstrong-Emery (C) and Felix Alvarez (R)

‘We were pleased to sit down with the Chief Minister and to be able to engage with him to start analysing the provisions of the recent Budget presented to Parliament with a view to implementing a budget that works for the poor and vulnerable,’ Lyana Armstrong-Emery and Felix Alvarez representing Equality Rights Group (ERG)/Action on Poverty (AOP) stated on leaving No. 6 Convent Place.

‘Where justice is concerned, ERG/AOP stands by its word to remain stalwart in its solidarity with those most in need in our community. And we will not fail them, with our relationships where they count strengthened by mutual respect and understanding.

‘There still remains much serious work to be done
on the part of government and ERG/AOP in partnership in bringing together all
the elements that will make a difference. But the public should be left in no
doubt: we are solid on issues of human and civil rights and our two decades of
skill and experience in negotiating progress is proof.

‘Although we discussed matters in some detail, we
have agreed to continue the process of looking at the best way that individuals
who are most vulnerable socially and economically can be shielded from the unsettling
changes which have beset society at large as a result of the international
economic crisis. Clearly, the unremitting rise in the cost of living is a
central issue, and the mechanisms related to how best to protect the poor and
vulnerable from the astronomical rise in utilities as well as the inflationary
effects we are all feeling was at the heart of discussions.

‘Mr Picardo was open and amenable in our dialogue,
and we have agreed to continue exploring the technicalities behind the
machinery that will be necessary to benefit those who most need help in our
community.