Fri 28th Oct 2016
SVG is going through its worst economic crisis in living memory and a prolonged recession. Many businesses have been forced to close and unemployment is over 60 per cent. Nine out of ten children leaving schools and colleges cannot get a job.
After almost 15 years of gross economic incompetence, coupled with poor vision, SVG’s economy is virtually dead. The people of SVG are paying a heavy price for Gonsalves' incompetence and are having to endure much pain and suffering.
The table shows that the ULP regime has squandered about $8 billion between 2001 and 2016.
It takes a special kind of incompetence to waste over EC$8 billion. One must be a Doctor of Incompetence to waste about $8 billion and leave our county as an empty shell with no university, no new factories, high unemployment, high crime, an agricultural sector in tatters and thousands of people going hungry.
Gonsalves has driven the SVG economy with a policy of begging and borrowing. It was foolish and not sustainable. Gonsalves' begging targets - Gaddafi of Libya, Chen of Taiwan, Badawi of Malaysia, Chavez of Venezuela and Manning of Trinidad and Tobago - have all been kicked out of office or are dead.
Begging is no way to run an economy and this policy has made our economy weak and put our people in poverty.
Gonsalves' economic incompetence is illustrated by his wasting of millions in projects that bring no financial returns, like the Belle Isle Jail. The safe and responsible way to manage government resources is to invest in projects that bring financial returns, such as factories and small businesses, so SVG could export goods and bring money into the country on a continual basis.
Money earned from exports could then be used to spend on other projects to modernise infrastructure such as hospitals, schools, factories and roads and build a university. This way, thousands of long-term jobs are created and the economy is strong and stable.
A core problem in SVG is the highly unfair tax system which foolishly gives tax and customs duty exemptions to Taiwan and the super-rich of Mustique and Canouan, choking off hundreds of millions of dollars every year from the SVG Treasury.
In the 15 years of the ULP regime being in office, we have witnessed the death of the banana industry and the rural economy. The tourism industry cannot be the engine of the SVG economy as that is very weak too. Also, the Argyle Airport is a massive failure that has had a dangerous negative impact on our weak economy.
According to Mr Ivan O’Neal, who has a BSc (Hons) in Accounting and Finance from Oxford Brookes University, England, a Master of Science degree in Macro-Economics, Planning Policy from Bradford University, England, and a Masters of Business Administration from Leicester University, England, the ULP regime is a bunch of jokers who have shown that they do not have the ability to build a strong and sustainable economy.
We need to abolish the tax evasion scheme for Taiwan and the super-rich of Mustique and Canouan, so that the SVG government has the finance to provide the infrastructure and stimulus for significant employment and economic growth.
SVG needs a strong private sector as a vehicle for a strong and buoyant economy. The government must provide incentives and lower taxes, so that small businesses can flourish and create jobs.
We need a change of government from the highly incompetent ULP regime to a sensible and competent Green government to stimulate economic growth and prosperity for all in SVG.