Fri 9th Sep 2016

Put handcuffs on Gonsalves for gross incompetence

In the third week of August 2016, Gonsalves came on SVGBC TV and told the people of SVG that 23 acres of lands at Mount Wynne, in Central Leeward, are being sold to Canadians to build expensive homes and a hotel. No reason was given for the sale of the 23 acres of SVG Crown Lands.

It is believed that the 23 acres of land is, in fact, being sold to Israelis, and the Canadians are a proxy in the purchase of the Crown Lands for the Israelis. Selling Crown Lands to foreigners is a serious threat to SVG’s sovereignty and our children’s future. Our people are being pushed out of their own country.

We already have an enclave of rich foreigners in Mustique and an enclave of rich foreigners in Canouan. We do not need an enclave of rich Israelis in Mount Wynne or an enclave of rich Canadians in Pembroke. If these lands have to be sold at all, they should be sold to Vincentians in SVG or the Vincentian diaspora.

We have already seen from the enclaves of rich foreigners in Mustique and Canouan, that these foreigners do not want to integrate in our society or pay the millions owed in tax and customs duties. But, they love the charity bowl. They want to oppress our people and perpetuate poverty, because they love to see Vincentians begging from their charity bowl. They like to dominate our people and be the boss, be ‘massa’.

They do not contribute to the long-term educational and economic empowerment of poor people, to help them escape from poverty by paying tax, but instead, these foreigners provide short-term, low-paid jobs such as cleaner and grass cutter, to subjugate our people and keep them in poverty.

Mr Ivan O’Neal, who has a BSc hons degree in Accounting and Finance from Oxford Brookes University, England, is deeply concerned with Gonsalves’ incompetent behaviour as the SVG Minister of Finance. No financial justification is given for the sale of Crown Lands, but more seriously, by collecting tax from Taiwan and the super-rich of Mustique and Canouan, the government would get more money than will be received from the sale of Crown Lands.

There is no prior consultation with, nor approval by, the people of SVG with regard to the sale of Crown Lands. Selling off hundreds of acres of SVG Crown lands to foreigners is an act of financial madness and it is mashing up SVG. Mr Ivan O’Neal calls for Gonsalves to be sent home and placed under house arrest for gross incompetence.

Gonsalves is a financial catastrophe. The SVG 1979 constitutionally-appointed Director of Audit failed Gonsalves on the audit of public accounts for 2008, 2009 and 2010. Gonsalves killed the National Commercial Bank in 2008 with a massive overdraft of EC$185million dollars. In 2007, Gonsalves overspent by EC$63million without the prior approval of the SVG House of Assembly.

Gonsalves is not a university graduate in Accounting and Finance. Selling hundreds of acres of SVG’s Crown Lands to foreigners without prior permission from the people, without public debate and consultation, and without any financial justification is craziness.

We must urgently ban the sale of SVG’s Crown lands to foreigners, abolish all white enclaves in SVG and stop the increase of enclaves of rich foreigners. Peanuts from foreigners’ charity bowl will not bring our people out of poverty. Put the cuffs on Gonsalves: he is incompetent and a liability to our country.

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