St. Vincent & the Grenadines Green Party


Fri 21st Aug 2015

High quality education and trade, not aid!


Research by the Leader of SVG Green Party, Mr Ivan O’Neal, has revealed that the reliance on aid by the incompetent ULP regime as the engine for development is counterproductive. The greater the amount of aid SVG has received, the greater is the level of dependence and the worse our economy has become. The way to make our people richer is economic development, driven by high quality education and trade, not aid.

The table shows that the increased reliance upon aid has made our economy very weak. In 2002, aid was $58m and the fiscal deficit was Nil. Now, in 2015, aid has massively increased to $168m, yet the economy is so much worse with a fiscal deficit of $143m.


The problem with being an aid junkie, is that the ULP regime has lost its capacity to make our country strong. The addiction to aid has made them lazy, and they do very little to increase our country’s productivity and self-sufficiency. The consequence is a weak economy and an increase in unemployment, poverty and crime – evident all around our country.

The ULP regime is economically and financially incompetent. Aid and handouts from the parasites – Taiwan and the super-rich of Mustique and Canouan – are not making our economy strong. These parasites must pay tax, because our economy is moving backwards, as the increase in fiscal deficit since 2005 illustrates.

SVG needs change.

The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) says that for poor countries, it is vital to:
• increase education spending. The GPE encourages governments to commit between 15% and 20% of national budgets to education. In SVG for 2015, only $14.78m is allocated for education. This is only 1.52% of the $971m budget estimates 2015. This is outrageously low. A Green government will pump at least 20% of the budget in to education;
• increase the overall size of government budgets by stopping harmful tax exemptions to foreign companies. Actionaid estimates that $138 billion annually is given away unnecessarily in tax incentives to foreign companies by developing countries. A Green government will cut ties with Taiwan and tax the super-rich of Mustique and Canouan and set up a tuna fishing and canning industry. This will increase the government budget by hundreds of millions of dollars a year;
• spend more in primary education and help poor families to meet education costs. A Green government will make books and uniforms free for all children and will build a university. Education will be free from preschool to university.

An Education For All (EFA) report shows that education generates productivity gains that fuel economic growth. The EFA report shows that for every US$1 spent on education, between US$10 and US$15 would be generated in economic growth.

Trading value-added products is the way to expand the SVG economy. For example, 1lb of green coffee will earn a Ugandan coffee farmer approximately US$1, whilst roasters in developed countries sell the same coffee for approximately $8. This means that poor coffee-growing countries lose US$7 per lb of added value, simply because they are not roasting and packing the coffee.

Importing countries ‘add value’ to the coffee and make 7 times as much money as the Ugandan coffee grower!

A Green government will help SVG businesses to add value to their goods and focus on exporting processed goods and services. Our country must increase its economic output and GDP to about $3 billion. This is feasible if we cut ties with Taiwan, tax the super-rich of Mustique and Canouan, set up our own tuna fishing and canning industry and focus on value-added products.

A Green government will empower our people with education and skills training. We will create cheap electricity from renewable energy to reduce businesses’ overheads.

The only thing that makes people richer is economic development. Trade. This is how Singapore did it; this is how China is doing it. We must adopt the successful Singapore model of sustainable development and drive the economy with high quality education and trade, not aid.

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