Fri 12th Sep 2014

ULP regime has mash up SVG economy

When the ULP regime took office in 2001, most Vincentians were hoping for a positive change. However, continued ULP regime incompetence has left the nation bitterly disappointed.

The ULP regime has displayed poor governance, a lack of job creation, an inability to create sustainable revenue, and, weakened the economy so much that crime seems to be out of control. As a consequence, thousands of Vincentians have been forced to live in poverty.

The ULP regime reliance on begging and borrowing has devastated our economy. There have been ten consecutive years of fiscal deficits, from 2005 to 2014, high public debt and the ULP government has failed the audit of public accounts in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

Another major problem for our country is having a Minister of Finance who is not a university graduate in finance. After 13 years in office, Gonsalves has shown the nation that he is utterly hopeless at managing the SVG public accounts.

The ULP regime has failed to get the basics right for our people. The price of electricity and water is so high that thousands of households do not have mains water and electricity. This is due to incompetence at the top. Many households that do have mains electricity are forced to spend a large part of their income on bills, leaving little left over for food.

The attempted construction of the Argyle airport is a colossal act of economic madness. It has been a billion dollar white elephant. It will take SVG decades to overcome the opportunity cost of the money wasted on this project. It is unacceptable that the needs of tourists have been put before the needs of Vincentians.

The failure to properly manage the SVG rainforests means that whenever SVG gets heavy rains there are landslides and floods. SVG is being turned into Haiti, and the floods and landslides have a colossal negative impact upon our people and could do for future generations.

ULP regime economic incompetence has resulted in high food prices and risks the stability of the nation. In Haiti, there were food riots some years ago as the price of food had risen beyond the reach of poor households. The rising cost of commodities threatens to deepen instability. The ULP regime has failed to respond to the basic needs of poor households.

Under the economically incompetent ULP regime, imports have risen massively from $463 million in 2001 to $964 million in 2012. This is part of the cause for high unemployment, businesses closing down and our economy becoming dangerously weak.

The situation is so bad that, at present, we have children in classrooms without chairs. Meanwhile, the super-rich of Mustique and Canouan get tax and customs duty exemptions.

A Green government is needed to create jobs and revenue. A Green government will create a strong private sector to enable SVG companies to compete internationally. We will also create an economic environment where innovation and entrepreneurs can flourish, and we will build our own SVG university to skill our young people.

A Green Government will create a tuna fishing industry and fish processing for export. Fish will then be affordable for all families. A multi-billion dollar fish industry will play a pivotal part in promoting good health, creating jobs and bringing prosperity for all in SVG.

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