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Fri 28th Apr 2017

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Venezuela & SVG are in a desperate financial mess and economic crisis

Gonsalves is incapable of doing the work of the SVG Minister of Finance and his financial incompetence has mashed up the SVG economy.

Warrant Officer Ivan O’Neal is giving a serious and strong warning to the international community, that the financial situation in SVG is similar to the desperate financial mess in Venezuela. The financial situation is so bad in SVG, that unemployment and poverty are very high and many households cannot feed themselves adequately.

The legacy of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela is food thefts and riots, hunger, looting and shootings. The Human Rights Foundation has condemned the deaths. Gonsalves’ inability to competently manage the Public Accounts is creating a similar legacy for SVG. Our nation has lots of food thefts, hunger, robberies, and in 2016, had a murder rate per capita about 9th highest in the world.

Just like Venezuela, SVG is in a financial and economic crisis.

According to Warrant Officer Ivan O’Neal BSc (Hons) MSc, MBA, Leader of SVG Green Party, Gonsalves - who is not a university graduate in Accounting or Finance – has a track record that shows he is useless as the SVG Minister of Finance.

Let us look at Gonsalves’ dismal track record as the SVG Minister of Finance since 2001:

1. In the Fish Act 2001, Gonsalves granted the dirty parasite Taiwan blanket fish tax exemptions conservatively estimated at EC$1.7 billion every year;

2. In 2002, under the highly immoral Mustique Act No 48 of 2002, Gonsalves granted the super-rich white migrants in Mustique blanket tax and customs duty exemption worth hundreds of million of dollars;

3. In 2007, according to the Director of Audit Report, Gonsalves overspent the 2007 Budget by 10%, equal to $63 million, without the prior approval of the SVG House of Assembly;

4. The St. Vincent and the Grenadines Country Poverty Assessment 2007 / 2008 report put the constituencies of North Windward and North Central Windward as areas in SVG with very high poverty. Gonsalves has been the Member of Parliament for North Central Windward;

5. Gonsalves killed the National Commercial Bank with a massive bank overdraft of $185 million;

6. The Accountant General’s current account was not reconciled with the National Commercial Bank account and an amount of $112,925,578.21 is missing;

7. Gonsalves failed the Director of Audit’s Public Accounts audit for 2008, 2009 and 2010;

8. From 2001 to 2017, Gonsalves created Fiscal Deficit amounting to $3.659 billion and wasted $869 million just paying interest on loans;

9. In 2013, Trinidad and Tobago military helicopters took aerial photographs of North Windward and North Central Windward and revealed that large parts of our rainforest had been chopped down for firewood. Just like in Haiti, poverty is killing our rainforest.

The priority in today’s world is competent financial and economic management of a nation’s Public Accounts and economy. This competence is shown in successful countries such as Singapore, Mauritius and Malaysia.

Gonsalves’ track record has shown that he is incapable of doing the work of the SVG Minister of Finance. This financial incompetence is putting SVG at risk of descending in to crisis as in Venezuela.

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