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Fri 10th Mar 2017

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Strong call for referendum for SVG to exit OECS

The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) was formed by the Treaty of Basseterre on 18 June 1981. The OECS is an economic union of a single financial space within which goods, people and capital move freely. Monetary and fiscal policies are harmonised with a common approach to trade, health, education and environment.

We have experienced very poor vision and gross incompetence from the OECS. From 1991 to 2017, is 36 years of economic union, however these leaders have failed to build strong economies and high levels of employment - especially in highly-paid jobs – for the people of the OECS.

Leadership in the OECS is very poor. There is no plus for SVG to remain in the OECS and it would be a strong blessing for SVG to exit the hopeless OECS.

According to the Leader of SVG Green Party, Ivan O’Neal, who has a BSc (Hons) in Accounting and Finance from Oxford Brookes University, England, an MSc in Macro-Economics Budgeting, Planning and Policy from Bradford University, England and a Masters in Business Administration from Leicester University, England, the earlier SVG exits the OECS the better for our long-term development.

For decades, OECS countries have been poor and heavily indebted. The OECS union has not resolved these long-term problems and they will continue for many years to come. The OECS Monetary Council has decided to extend the timetable to reduce our Debt to GDP ratio to 60 per cent from 2020 to 2030.

There is a lack of prudent debt management and lack of economic growth in the OECS, even though the union has been in existence for 36 years.

The OECS is drowning in Fiscal Deficits year on year. The OECS Ministers of Finance who create the Fiscal Deficits, are the same people who sit on the OECS Monetary Council as a watchdog of themselves. Are we not being led by educated fools?

We do not see a separation of power between the Executive and the Judiciary in the OECS. A recent ruling by the Privy Council in London, found a High Court Judge in the OECS Judiciary to be biased, when the judge wrongly ruled in favour of a government (the Executive).

According to Ivan O’Neal, who lived in Singapore with his wife and three children from 1963 to 1965, Singapore’s exit from Malaysia on 9 August 1965 to become an independent sovereign state, is a classic example of why it would be a substantial blessing to SVG to exit the OECS.

With its own central bank, own currency, own judiciary and own universities, Singapore became a World Bank success story, with an extremely strong economy and one of the highest standards of living in the world.

Singapore was able to have better control over its economy by having its own central bank and currency, and so was better able to guide itself to becoming an economic stronghold. It has fiscal surpluses and high employment.

We must stop dragging our feet in this economic mess of Fiscal Deficits year on year in this hopeless OECS economic union. The past 36 years has shown that it is not the solution to bring prosperity to our people and country.

We need to exit the OECS to create a strong and sustainable economy and a high standard of living for all who live in SVG.

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