Fri 21st Nov 2014
The Minister of Finance, Gonsalves, is not a university graduate in finance and has been utterly hopeless in running the finances of SVG. After 13 years of Gonsalves’ financial incompetence, the ULP government is virtually broke.
Figures from the Ministry of Finance show that the government’s overall balance after grants at the end of June 2014 was -$4.18 million. The government’s overall balance after grants was even worse at the end of March 2014, being -$17.4 million.
SVG Green Party is very concerned that the government will run out of money and need to go begging again. Since 2001, Gonsalves has used begging and borrowing as an income strategy. This strategy has failed and become a major obstacle to economic growth for SVG, devastating our country with massive fiscal deficits from 2005 to 2014.
Poor financial leadership and a reliance on begging and borrowing have caused high taxes and a rise in unemployment, crime and poverty in our country. A shocking consequence of this is that many families have had their electricity and water cut off, as they could not pay the bills and put food on the table for their children.
In the first half of 2014, the government had a negative balance in January, March, May and June. This illustrates the financial incompetence of the ULP regime and their inability to create revenue to boost the economy. It seems that most of the time this government is virtually broke.
The instability and volatility caused by the ULP regime’s financial incompetence puts off foreign investors from investing in our country. Research has shown that macro-economic instability, investment restrictions and corruption have a negative effect on foreign investment.
The lack of foreign investment in SVG means that fewer jobs are created in our country. ULP regime financial incompetence is inhibiting jobs being created for our people and investment in our economy.
A critique by SVG Green Party of the Director of Audit reports for 2001 to 2008 has revealed that there is looseness, slackness and disarray in the government finances. The Director of Audit has listed a statement of losses due to fraud, theft or negligence. The Director of Audit says the same issues persist year after year. The financially incompetent Gonsalves illustrates his poor leadership by doing nothing and allowing it to continue.
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. Competent financial management will create economic and social stability for our country. Financial competence and stability will attract foreign investment.
A Green government will focus on job creation and revenue creation. We will create jobs and boost the economy by investing heavily in innovation, a university, Green industries, entrepreneurship and small businesses.
SVG needs a change of government. The longer we have a government that is virtually broke, the longer our people will have to suffer. The lack of financial competence is the core problem that is choking the SVG economy. For example, the ULP regime wants to build an Airport at Argyle but they are virtually broke.