Fri 22nd Nov 2013

Why Gonsalves should resign now

SVG's public debt is over 1.3 billion dollars (source SVG budget estimates 2013), yet Taiwan and the super-rich of Mustique and Canouan are allowed to free ride and cream-off hundreds of millions of dollars in SVG every year. Meanwhile, the poor go hungry. How much longer must the poor cry out about this gross injustice?

In October 2013, the ULP regime was forced to seek parliament's approval to lift the ceiling of annual borrowing from $35 million dollars to $50 million dollars, some of this to pay public servants.

SVG Green Party is making a very strong call on the ULP regime to abolish the unfair tax and customs duty exemptions which are perpetuating pain and hardship throughout the country.

The longer Gonsalves remains as SVG's Minister of Finance, the greater will be the devastation of our economy. Gonsalves is not a university graduate in finance and his track record as Minister of Finance is alarming. His financial incompetence has weakened our economy, forced many businesses to close and created high unemployment.

In 2007, Gonsalves overspent by $63 million dollars (10% of the 2007 budget) without the prior approval of parliament (source: Director of audit report). Is this not an abuse of power?

1n 2008, Gonsalves failed the audit of the Director of audit of Public Accounts (source: Director of audit report). It is a serious act of financial mismanagement to fail the audit of Public Accounts. In a developed country Gonsalves would have to resign.

In 2008, Gonsalves killed the National Commercial Bank with an astronomical bank overdraft of $185 million dollars (source: Director of audit report). At the same time, Gonsalves was still providing blanket tax and customs duty exemptions to the super-rich of Mustique and Canouan. This policy is mindboggling!

From 2005 to 2013, Gonsalves operated the SVG economy with massive fiscal deficits (source: SVG Budget Estimates 2005 - 2013), whilst allowing Taiwan and the super-rich of Mustique and Canouan tax exemptions.

As shown above, Gonsalves is utterly hopeless as SVG's Minister of Finance. SVG Green Party is making a very strong call on PM Gonsalves to resign now.

The economic policy of international begging is having a negative impact on our economy. As shown in the Vincentian 1st November 2013, the overall balance moved from 2.6 million in 2012 to a deficit of 9.3 million in 2013. The economy is on a downward slope, with further business closures and job losses to be expected.

Gonsalves should resign now.

The alternative to this ULP regime financial chaos and unfair taxation system is to change direction. SVG should go Green to achieve competent financial management and a strong Green economy. A Green government will appoint a university graduate in finance as the minister of finance, and abolish the tax exemptions given to Taiwan and the super-rich of Mustique and Canouan.

In order to boost the economy, we need to use our indigenous resources to produce goods for export. We must also get rid of Taiwan and take back our billion dollar fish licence and create our own billion dollar tuna fishing industry. This will create new jobs, strengthen the economy and create millions of dollars in surplus revenue.

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