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Fri 27th Nov 2015

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Vote for the change our country and people need

Many people have told the SVG Green Party Leader, Mr Ivan O’Neal, that they are fed up with the way the country has been dragged down by the incompetent ULP regime. They have been dying for change, but felt too powerless to bring change.

On election day, the power to create change will be firmly in the hands of the people. The people can use their power to bring an end to the hopeless management of SVG’s finances by Gonsalves and install a new Parliament willing and able to create thousands of new jobs and reduce poverty.

We request again, that for the sake of our country and our children, SVG Green Party supporters vote NDP in the constituencies that do not have a Green candidate. Equally so, SVG Green Party is calling on NDP supporters, to vote SVG Green Party in the constituencies where there is an SVG Green Party candidate. An SVG Green Party / NDP coalition could manage the country better.

SVG needs to abolish the Mustique Act No. 48 of 2002, and other similar Acts, that give customs duty and tax exemptions to super-rich foreigners. It is important to tax the super-rich in order to generate revenue to create jobs for the poor. We should impose a windfall tax on the super-rich of Mustique and Canouan for not paying tax for decades. We must end this second phase of colonialism in SVG.

Our country has significant potential to export many more goods. SVG Green Party pledges to build factories to create jobs, boost the economy and help farmers and small businesses export their goods. As well as a strategy of import substitution, we need to change our economy so that it is export-oriented.

SVG needs factories for agro-processing. It makes no sense that SVG exports peanuts, but imports peanut butter and exports a variety of fruits, but imports fruit juices. By exporting ‘value-added’ products such as fruit juices and peanut butter, rather than primary products such as peanuts and fruit, more jobs will be created and the economy will become strong.

SVG should be exporting products such as organic tea, organic baby food, organic fruit juices, organic honey, organic dried fruits, organic vacuum-packed vegetables, organic bottled coconut water, organic coffee, smoked fish and numerous other products. We can rejuvenate banana and the rest of the SVG agricultural industry with new foreign markets via a revived Marketing Corporation.

In April 2015, the President of the USA repeated SVG Green Party’s university message to the CARICOM leaders. Using Singapore as an example, Obama told the CARICOM leaders that if they had a highly-educated workforce, they will attract a lot of foreign investment. SVG needs its own university so that our children can become highly educated and use their skills to attract foreign investment in to SVG.

All the Caribbean countries that have tourism as the foundation of their economy are highly indebted, have high crime rates, high unemployment rates, high levels of poverty and rely on foreign aid and begging. It is only by educating our people that we can end generational poverty. SVG needs free education and free internet.

VAT is choking the economy. Many businesses all over the country have closed down, because of the damaging effect of VAT on the economy, and others that survive are experiencing their lowest sales levels for decades. We must abolish VAT and create a tax system that helps businesses to grow and create new jobs.

SVG needs to cut ties with Taiwan and use our deep-sea tuna fishing licence to set up a joint-venture, tuna fishing industry with China. We need a factory in SVG to process and can this tuna fish, so that it can be exported and also sold in shops in SVG. This industry will create thousands of new jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for our country.

We need to put Vincentians first, not tourists or super-rich foreigners. To do this, vote for SVG Green Party to provide new blood in the SVG House of Assembly. People want real change in their lives. Election day offers the chance for that change.

Vote to throw out a government that enriches its own chosen few and ignores the needs of the many. Put your X next to the telephone for jobs and a strong economy.

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