Articles

Fri 15th Aug 2014

Tax exemptions for the super-rich or school books for SVG's children

At the next election the choice is simple: do we continue to give tax exemptions to Taiwan and the super-rich of Mustique and Canouan or provide SVG's children with all the school books they need, free of charge.

Both the NDP and the ULP regimes give tax exemptions to Taiwan and the super-rich of Mustique and Canouan. It is only SVG Green Party who says that these tax exemptions must end and that money gained from taxing the super-rich should fund a system of free school books and uniforms for all SVG's children.

The school book loan system is failing and many thousands of children in SVG do not have all the books that they need. For school children moving into secondary school, their parents may have to spend over $1,000 per child for the cost of school uniforms and books.

It is the children of the poor who are suffering the most and getting left behind and they are being denied a proper education. In the long-term, these children with an inadequate education will find it very difficult to get a job and are being condemned by the ULP regime to a life of poverty.

The United Nations says that 123 million youth cannot read or write and illiteracy can often be traced to the lack of books. Books are core materials to help students learn their lessons. When children's homes lack books and other reading material, they practise less and forget more during school breaks. Their education suffers.

Denying children access to quality education increases their vulnerability to abuse, exploitation and disease. Children in SVG are being deprived of their right to education, because their families cannot afford school fees or uniforms. How are our children supposed to do assignments and study for tests and exams when they lack the books they need?

It is important for everyone to learn to read. Reading provides access to information to improve oneself. Reading empowers and emancipates citizens and is a priceless skill that everyone needs to succeed in life. Books are the foundation of a strong educational system. Access to books and an education is one of the only opportunities young people have to end the cycle of poverty and attain a better quality of life.

The ULP regime seems to be blind to the correlation between lack of books and a weak education system and the high rate of shootings and other acts of criminality in SVG. We must deal with the cause of crime by providing children with high-quality education.

Both the NDP and the ULP regimes have sold-out Vincentians to Taiwan and the super-rich of Mustique and Canouan. They have provided decades of tax exemptions to Taiwan and the super-rich and heartlessly denied generations of poorer Vincentians access to high-quality education.

The agreement between the ULP and NDP regimes and Taiwan that allows Taiwan to cream-off hundreds of millions of dollars every year using SVG's deep sea fish licence is outrageous. Our children's education and lives suffer as a consequence.

A Green government will make the changes the people are calling for. We will end the tax exemptions given to Taiwan and the super-rich of Mustique and Canouan, and tell them that they must pay tax and customs duties, as Vincentians do, or else pack their bags and go back to where they come from.

At the next general election, make the right choice to show that you care about the children of SVG. Vote Green to end the tax exemptions given to Taiwan and the super-rich of Mustique and Canouan, so a Green government can provide free books and uniforms to all our children.

Our children should not be condemned to a life of poverty.

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