Fri 31st Dec 2010
SVG Green Party leader Ivan O'Neal, a graduate from Oxford Brookes University, has been stressing the critical need for the SVG economy to be driven by productive sectors with an export orientation. The ULP regime, led by Ralph Gonsalves, has taken the opposite approach, driving the SVG economy by a foreign policy of begging and borrowing.
The implication of driving the economy by begging and borrowing is a weak economy and a much poorer society.
The rural economy is falling into dilapidation with substantial hardship on the poor masses. Social problems such as crime, poverty, high level of unemployment, children dropping out of school, households unable to pay water and electricity bills are widespread. This clearly indicates that as a nation, things are going wrong and we must change direction and have productive sectors as the engine of the SVG economy.
Under a Green government, the rural economy would be boosted through linking farmers to guaranteed prices and markets. Industries such as the export of baby foods, herbal teas and fruit juices would make farmers prosperous. We would create jobs and a stable economy through productive sectors.
The ULP policy of begging for university scholarships, rather than building our own university, is short-sighted. Having our own university would enable us to produce a much higher number of graduates each year. Also, we could create revenue by having foreign students and charging them tuition fees. Foreign students renting accommodation and vehicles would also create revenue.
ULP begging has led to the SVG economy being vulnerable and highly unstable as there are no industries that can sustain our society. For every dollar exported, SVG imports 11 dollars and so the ULP regime is just making unemployment worse.
Over the past 10 years, the ULP begging has not worked, which is why the ULP imposes many severe taxes upon our people. Also, the ULP regime has recklessly wasted taxpayers' money and created the highest ever public debt in SVG history.
Our economy is unstable and dangerously vulnerable. The ULP regime's begging and borrowing approach has put our country in a permanent state of dependency and this state dependence encourages dependence at all levels of our nation. We need our country to have strong productive industries to give the people jobs and long-term financial stability and security.
Begging belittles our beloved country and globally ridicules Vincentian people. Also, with begging, Vincentians do not get employment or job experience and increase their skills and ability to do a trade. As a nation, we are getting left behind other countries, because the ULP regime relies on begging and unemployment is high.
In terms of the economy, the past 10 years have wasted. Each productive sector that a government starts, tends to create a number of spin-off smaller companies in the private sector. ULP regime begging has stifled the ability of young Vincentian entrepreneurs to start up their own company.
Begging and borrowing is a backward mentality, and has created the crime and social instability that we see today in our country.