Fri 14th Sep 2012

The economic tables have turned against PM Gonsalves

The economic tables have turned against PM Gonsalves. Twelve years of gross economic incompetence, coupled with poor vision, has seen the SVG economy damaged to dangerous levels. The people of SVG are paying a heavy price for Gonsalves' incompetence, having to endure much pain and suffering.

Gonsalves' gamble of driving the SVG economy with a foreign policy of begging and borrowing was never sustainable and was foolish. Gonsalves' begging targets - Gaddafi of Libya, Chen of Taiwan, Badawi of Malaysia and Manning of Trinidad and Tobago - have all been kicked out of office.

Begging is no way to run an economy and this policy has placed the livelihoods and future of Vincentians at risk.

The safe and responsible way to manage government resources is to invest in projects that bring returns and then use the returns from these projects to modernise infrastructure such as hospitals, schools, factories and roads. This way, thousands of long-term jobs are created and the economy is strong and stable.

Gonsalves' economic incompetence was illustrated by him wasting over $100 million in building the road from Fancy to Kingstown, before investing in projects that bring returns. The $100 million should have been wisely invested to build new factories, so SVG could export goods and bring money into the country on a continual basis. Money earned from exports could then be used to build roads.

Does Gonsalves not know that you cannot export a road? SVG cannot earn money from abroad from that road, because that road can't go anywhere. That $100 million was killed by incompetence. Likewise with the Belle Isle jail, money was wasted as the jail brings no returns from abroad and the jail cannot be exported.

The sources for begging have dried up and the money has dried up.

Gaddafi of Libya, Chen of Taiwan, Badawi of Malaysia and Manning of Trinidad and Tobago was Gonsalves' attempt at an economic plan. Now the tables have turned, the ripple effect of economic incompetence is highlighted all around SVG, with many businesses closing down, no money circulating, and rampant unemployment and crime.

In September 2012, SVG experienced three murders in five days. Is this Gonsalves' idea of economic and social success?

A Green Government will invest wisely and build projects that bring continual returns. We will create thousands of new, long-term jobs, economic growth and continual surplus revenue. Then, with the continual surplus revenue, a Green government will invest incrementally in the infrastructure that our country badly needs.

SVG needs new products and new markets and we urgently need factories. Our economy needs competent leadership that can competently manage SVG's finance. An SVG Green Party government has the expertise to competently run our economy to bring revenue into the country and prosperity to the people.

A Green government will modernise the SVG economy to be an export-driven economy. SVG can only increase revenue and create thousands of new jobs by exporting new products such as canned fish, bulk tankers of fresh water, and agro-products like tea, juices and baby food. It is crucial that SVG creates productive economic sectors.

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