Fri 20th Jan 2017

SVG economy in extreme difficulty

According to macro-economist and Leader of SVG Green Party, Mr Ivan O’Neal BSc (Hons) MSc, MBA, SVG’s economy is virtually dead and this is a period of extremely difficulty, especially for the poor and the disadvantaged.

Policy makers must step up and take prudent fiscal measures to create jobs to stimulate economic growth. The time is due to impose a windfall tax on the super-rich, white migrants in Mustique and Canouan of at least EC$500 million, and even more importantly the Mustique company’s subsidiaries must pay tax and customs duties.

The ULP regime needs an urgent investigation in to the causes of the SVG economy being virtually choked to death. There can be no doubt that Taiwan is a major obstacle to economic development in our country. It cannot be business as usual for Taiwan. Our country’s policy makers ungently need to impose a windfall tax of at least EC$1 billion on Taiwan.

Only a fool would dream that economic growth will come without a coherent economic policy to drive job creation. All the talk about giving life to the banana sector to drive the economy is a joke. The yield in revenue from banana is too low to make any real impact on the SVG economy.

There has to be a very strong link between education and economic development to bring change to our small island state. Begging Taiwan for a few places at universities in Taiwan every year is a foolish education policy. Our country needs a much larger volume growth in university graduates. To that end, our goal must be to urgently build our own SVG science and technology university. We have to make a substantial shift from the old thinking that the University of West Indies can fulfil our education needs. Those days are long gone.

After 36 years of independence from England, we have not yet come to our senses in terms of developing our economy strongly and sustainably. We continue to beg, rather than strife to achieve our goals.

Tourism is a fool’s paradigm. Believing that white migrants must be the employers and natives can only be employees is subservient thinking. This thinking has proven to be not in our best economic interest. Why sell off our graceful country to white migrants to live and operate in white enclaves, and leave our people to suffer in poverty, generation after generation?

White migrants should go back to where they come from. Our country’s economic development is being held back with them here under this current economic policy.

The ratio in financial receipts that SVG receives from white migrants to what white migrants receive in economic terms in operating in our country with tax exemptions, is so bad for our people. Mustique is a classic example. It is conservatively estimated that for every one dollar SVG gets from Mustique in employment, Mustique takes to the bank one hundred dollars. The cost benefit analysis is stacked heavily in Mustique’s favour.

The historical financial evidence is plain for all to see: SVG is fast becoming another Haiti under the current economic policies that favour white migrants.

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