Articles

Fri 2nd Dec 2016

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The Mustique Act No 48 of 2002 is ungodly and must be abolished

The original sale of Mustique is highly dubious. Apparently, some bloke died and left it in his will to his family. His family then sold it to Colin Tennant, who then sold it to Tennant Estates. Tennant Estates then sold it to the Mustique Company. There was no deed of sale to say the bloke who died actually owned Mustique in the first place.

The Mustique Act No. 48 of 2002 tries to legitimise this original sale by saying ‘the company owns all parts of Mustique not owned by another legal entity’. If the original deed of sale was authentic, why would the Act need to say this?

The Mustique Act No 48 of 2002 gives tax and customs duty exemptions worth hundreds of millions of dollars annually to the super-rich of Mustique. These white migrants live a life of paradise while many Vincentians live in poverty and have to pay tax.

According to the Leader of SVG Green Party, Ivan O’Neal, who is a university graduate in Accounting and Finance from Oxford Brookes University, England, the ripple effect of this ungodly Act perpetuates poverty and weakens our economy.

The super-rich of Mustique also send weekly truck-loads of rubbish on the Mustique Boat to St. Vincent to be buried at the landfill in Diamond. They pay no tax in SVG, but want to have the pleasure of using the services in SVG. Their behaviour is vulgar, immoral and unacceptable.

Our local fishermen were fishing in the sea around Mustique for over one hundred years. Now though, the ungodly Mustique Act No 48 of 2002 has taken away our local fishermen’s right to fish in the sea around Mustique. The Act grants the super-rich of Mustique exclusive access to 1,000 yards of the sea radius around Mustique.

In the ungodly Act, the SVG police must inform the Mustique white migrants in advance, of the rank and number of police officers to be deployed in Mustique. Warrant Officer Ivan O’Neal, who has over 31 years of military operations experience, finds this demand compromises our national security. The SVG Police do not have the power, and the element of surprise, to raid Mustique at any time, if needed.

There is a tiny area on Mustique known as Lovell Village, the home of indigenous Vincentians living in Mustique. They cannot rent their home or part of their home to tourists to earn a dollar. Also, the indigenous people must seek permission from the white migrants of Mustique to bring visitors to Mustique. The rules are straight out of the days of apartheid South Africa.

The Mustique Act No. 48 of 2002 is ungodly and wrong. It grants the super-rich of Mustique special rights and privileges, over and above the rights granted to ordinary Vincentians. One wonders whether the Act is in breach of the SVG 1979 Constitution, under which, all Vincentians have equal rights.

Are Vincentians granted blanket tax and customs duties exemption? No. Are Vincentians, whose properties border the coast, given exclusive access to 1,000 yards of the sea extending from their properties? No. Are Vincentians given advanced notice of when the SVG Police are to come to their property? No.

The Mustique Act No 48 of 2002 is ungodly. The insulting handouts by the Mustique charity do not validate the injustice that the Act does to the Vincentian people. The Act should be abolished.

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