Fri 1st Nov 2013
Vincentians are going through the hardest period in living memory under the grossly incompetent ULP regime. It seems clear that the ULP government has been the worst in our history.
When the ULP regime took office in 2001, they embarked upon a short-sighted policy of begging and borrowing as an economy strategy. They put all their eggs in one basket and year after year we have seen this policy of begging and borrowing failing.
SVG Green Party warned the ULP regime that begging and borrowing is not sustainable, and this strategy is making our people suffer.
Remember the coalition of the willing? President of Taiwan, Chen, was sent to jail; Gaddafi of Libya was killed; Chavez of Venezuela has passed away; Badawi of Malaysia was voted out of office; and Manning of Trinidad and Tobago was voted out of office.
With King Midas things turned to gold; with Gonsalves they turn to!
Just look at our country's finances for example: in 2007, government overspent by $63 million dollars without the prior approval of Parliament; in 2008, government failed the audit of public accounts by the Director of Audit; in 2008, the National Commercial Bank was killed with a massive overdraft of $185 million dollars; and this ULP government has had massive fiscal deficits for nine consecutive years from 2005 to 2013.
Investment in education has been proven worldwide as the most significant factor to lift a country out of poverty and squalor. However, in 2013, the incompetent ULP government proposed spending only $30 million dollars on our children's education, only 3.75% of the total budget for 2013 of $799 million dollars (source: page 1 of SVG Budget Estimates 2013).
It seems as if they do not want our children to gain true prosperity.
In contrast, even before independence in 1963, Singapore was investing 25% to 30% of their national budget in education. Even last year, they invested 10.6 billion dollars in education. For over 40 years, Singapore has invested heavily in education, but has this worked?
Before independence, Singapore was a poor country with high levels of crime and prostitution. Today, Singapore is home to the world's highest number of millionaires per capita at 17.1%. Singapore's status as a low-tax destination, highly-educated population, home of clean air and low crime, and hub for finance in growing South-east Asia, has made it a top spot for wealthy individuals and entrepreneurs.
Contrast that with our 'Midas' and the strategy of begging and borrowing. SVG has high taxes, a high level of crime, a high level of teenage pregnancy, high unemployment, the third highest rate of rape per capita worldwide, and a polluted and dirty capital, Kingstown.
This government has left behind a trail of failure, poverty and squalor, and built a jail rather than a university. The ULP regime's economic mission has failed and our people are suffering the consequences.
A Green government will bring true prosperity to our people. A Green government will operate a fair tax system and invest heavily in high-quality education. We will build our own science and technology university and ensure education is free from pre-school to university.