Fri 23rd Oct 2015
Green Government: first 100 days in office
Gross incompetence by the ULP regime is the core problem that has killed the SVG economy. Gonsalves is hopeless at managing the SVG economy. To move away from bank overdrafts, huge public debt and fiscal deficits a Green government would be a government of revenue creation.
Taiwan is a parasite to our country and has been making billions of dollars every year from our fish licence and has not paid tax. Within days of taking office, a Green government would take back our fish licence from Taiwan, cut ties with Taiwan and begin the process to set up bi-lateral trade relations with China.
This is essential in order to set up a joint-venture tuna fishing and canning industry. This industry will bring billions of dollars a year in revenue to the SVG Treasury and create thousands of new, long-term jobs.
A Green government would immediately abolish the Mustique Act No. 48 of 2002, and other similar Acts, that give customs duty and tax exemptions to super-rich foreigners. We would impose a windfall tax on the super-rich of Mustique and Canouan and other foreigners that have failed to pay tax. It is only right and fair that the super-rich pay tax.
Money received from the windfall tax will be used to build factories for agro-processing and exporting our farmers’ produce. We would set up a marketing corporation and establish export partners abroad to export the goods to.
These new factories for agro-processing will create new, sustainable sources of revenue for our farmers and the SVG Treasury and create thousands of new jobs. This will expand the economy.
A Green government would set up a framework to create a renewable energy industry, producing electricity from the sun, wind and hydro. Licences to be an electricity provider from renewable energy will only be given to Vincentian nationals. This will reduce the amount of money lost from our country each month buying expensive oil and see more money circulating our country.
These new, smaller electricity producers will create jobs and revenue for our people. Import taxes for renewable energy equipment and machinery will be zero rated. By increasing the amount of electricity we use produced from free, renewable energy, a Green government will over time be able to reduce the price of electricity by 50%.
Thousands of households in SVG are without mains water. Initially, we will increase the number of standpipes so poor families can have access to clean drinking water. We would start a program to get every household connected to mains water with SMART meters, that can be topped up like mobile phones. No household would ever be cut off from water again. We would abolish the $25 standard charge on all water bills.
A Green government would create legislation to ban the sale of land in SVG to foreigners. Land is limited in our country and it is essential that the land of our country is inherited by our children.
A Green government would start a review of the education system, with a view to bringing in free, high-quality education from pre-school to university, free books and free uniforms, building a secondary school in Canouan and building a science and technology university for SVG’s children. It is essential that all children get a high level of education.
A Green government would start a review of our national health service, with a view to building new hospitals in Kingstown and Union Island and modernising the health service.
A Green government will immediately abolish the charge for Rabacca sand. This will stimulate more houses to be built and this will create revenue and jobs.
A Green government would begin the process to provide free, wireless internet access throughout SVG.
All work on Argyle airport will be aborted. The ULP regime have already admitted that the airport will have virtually no impact on strengthening the SVG economy, saying under them, SVG would still be heavily in debt in 2030. We cannot afford to waste millions more on this dead project.
The above shows the main policies of what a Green government would prioritise in its first 100 days in office. Creating revenue and financial competence are essential to create a strong economy and thousands of new jobs, and more importantly, improving the quality of life and the standard of living for all who live in SVG.