Fri 31st Jul 2009
Between 2001 and 2008, every social, economic, financial and environmental variable in SVG has been pushed into negative territory by the highly incompetent ULP regime leadership. The rural economy is virtually dead, because agricultural output is at its worst ever. The national trade gap is eight hundred million dollars, with ever rising imports and falling exports.
In SVG, unemployment is at an all time high and nine out of ten children leaving school cannot get a job. In 2007, SVG recorded its highest murder rate in our history. So, for this poverty assessment report to claim that poverty has dropped from 37.5% in 1995 /1996 to 30.2% in 2007 / 2008 and there was a tangible fall in indigence (extreme poverty) from 25.7% to 2.9%, is superficial, outrageous and ridiculous. It cannot be taken seriously.
The main problem with the report is the methodology used in carrying out the research. This methodology was significantly different from the one used in 1995 and 1996, and relied heavily on hearsay. The criteria used were highly flawed, in that, it formulated opinions instead of facts.
For example, the report speaks about major improvements in education and public housing. What they failed to critically understand is not the number of children entering the secondary schools, but the astronomical dropout rate at form two and above.
The ULP regime is giving the Vincentian public a false assumption that, the small housing units they are polluting the landscape with, are the best facilities that can be had in a third world country. Nonsense! The construction of these units on the low income concept poses a generational and psychological mindset of thinking low. Very seldom are people able to climb out of this low mindset. One only has to drive around the country to see the long term damage that these low income schemes have done to our people.
After nine years in office, the ULP has still not even attempted to build a wealth creation infrastructure. They just beg and borrow. Therefore, poverty and indigence could never have fallen, because it is only when wealth is created within a country that poverty and indigence can be eliminated.
It is evident that the poverty assessment report 2007/2008 is not worth the paper it is written on, since it is based, not on facts, but on assumptions. The figures and findings given are erroneous. It is the opinion of the SVG Green Party that if normal criteria were used then it would have shown an increase in poverty in SVG.
Poverty is worse and it is so bad that every Tuesday, 200 to 300 women are forced to go begging outside the PM’s office. The queue has to be controlled by the SSU. SVG needs a new direction and a visionary approach that can fully utilise the potential of our people.
SVG needs a Green economy so all of us can benefit from the resources of the country. We cannot afford to wait until our country runs into a greater state of poverty and squalor. We must seize the opportunity now to enrich the nation and vote in a Green government.