Fri 4th Oct 2013

More ULP dead wood drifts ashore

SVG Green Party said before that the ULP regime has been carrying dead wood for years, with people who have absolutely nothing to offer when it comes to macro-economics, financial strategy, extrapolation and regression analysis of figures.

With this appointment of new senators, what's changed? Yet again, we have had a ULP regime team reshuffle that results in a regime not capable of rescuing the weak economy or moving the country forward.

Our country is failing and suffering economic and financial incompetence. We need a development strategy for economic growth, financial growth, growth in businesses and a change to a science and technology based economy.

To move the country forward, it would be sensible to create a government with people with a background of macro-economic policy and planning, engineering and science, business management, banking and chartered accountancy. However, between 2001 and 2013, the ULP regime has focused upon appointing a whole host of lawyers as senators. These senators have not delivered.

PM Gonsalves is not a graduate in finance, and we have seen that the lack of expertise within government of people who are competent in finance, economic management and science and technology, has led to a weak economy, high unemployment, high crime and many businesses closing. Two more lawyers as senators is not the expertise that is needed.

In Malaysia in May 2013, corporate chieftains were brought in to cabinet for their expertise in financial management. RAM Holdings group chief economist Dr Yeah Kim Leng said the corporate chieftains' experience will bring private sector insights, a greater macro-economic outlook and prudent fiscal management.

Appointed were Malayan Banking Bhd president and CEO Datuk Seri Abdul Wahid Omar; Malaysian Airline System Bhd ex-CEO Datuk Seri Idris Jala; and Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim, ex- CEO of Kumpulan Guthrie Bhd from 1995 to 2003.

Wahid, an accountant by training, was put in charge of the Economic Planning Unit which oversees all of the government's major economic projects. Idris, was retained in Cabinet, and had been handling the Performance Management and Delivery Unit, the brainchild behind various Malaysian government and economic transformation programmes since 2009. Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim was re-appointed the Treasurer-General after his superb handling of the state's finances.

This is the kind of variety of expertise we need in government in SVG to boost the economy and competently manage the country's finances. The new senators - mostly lawyers - do not offer this; their appointments were disappointing news.

Let us take a look at lawyer PM Gonsalves' track record: in 2007 overspent by $63 million dollars without the prior approval of Parliament; in 2008 failed the audit of public accounts by the Director of Audit; in 2008 killed the National Commercial Bank with a massive overdraft of $185 million dollars; and massive fiscal deficits for nine consecutive years from 2005 to 2013. Gonsalves' performance is hopeless!

Expertise from financial and business sectors is needed in government to create new jobs and strengthen SVG's economy. The lack of vision and macro-economic and financial expertise within the ULP government is a danger to our economy and our people.

The ULP dead wood that has drifted ashore will not be able to barricade our country from economic collapse. The new senators are of no use.

SVG Green Party

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