Fri 4th Aug 2017

Inequality causing ‘rivers of blood’ in St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Financial inequality and poverty is causing ‘rivers of blood’ in SVG. Black people are killing black people out of desperation and gross economic hardship. In 2016, there were about 44 brutal murders in SVG, the 8th highest murder rate per capita in the world. Our people cannot cope with the financial pressure of the almost dead SVG economy.

Gonsalves’ discriminatory tax system is extremely regressive and very dangerous. It takes a proportionally greater amount of money from the indigenous black population on lower incomes. It punishes poor households as they must pay up to about 50% of their income on taxes of various kinds, including income tax, property tax, water and electricity taxes and VAT.

Meanwhile, the super-rich and Taiwan pay no tax. The super-rich white migrants of Mustique and Canouan get away with not paying about EC$500 million of tax and customs duties and Taiwan gets away with not paying about EC$2.7 billion in fish tax. This is an ugly insult to the sacrifice given to SVG by the honourable Chief Joseph Chatoyer and E. T. Joshua.

Many of the poorer black population in SVG are helpless and this financial inequality is the core factor stoking blood to run in our country. Many of the poorer black population live in destitution and squalor, because of high levels of unemployment and poverty.

The danger with the regressive tax system is that it favours super-rich white migrants in SVG, who get vastly richer day by day. They buy up large amounts of land and property and are taking over our country. In the long term, our children and grandchildren will be pushed out of their own country and have nowhere to live.

Warrant Officer Ivan O’Neal strongly contends that the use of the regressive and discriminatory tax system in SVG is a social time bomb.

A similar situation caused a major riot in Indonesia in 1963, in which thousands of migrants were killed and their property destroyed.

A similar situation developed in Fiji in 1987, in which migrants took control of the country and this led to a military coup and social unrest, and Fiji being restored to indigenous Fijians.

In order to play down the blood running in SVG and the discriminatory tax system, a report on SVGBC television on 26/07/17, claimed that SVG is the first country in the OECS to deal with hunger at government cabinet level.

In order to stop the ‘rivers of blood’ in SVG, the regressive and discriminatory tax system must be abolished immediately.

A Green government would change the tax system and make the super-rich white migrants of Mustique and Canouan pay EC$500 million in tax and customs duties and Taiwan pay about EC$2.7 billion in fish tax annually.

SVG needs a modern economy focused on exports. We need factories, a tuna fishing and canning industry, fresh drinking water exports, agro-processing and new infrastructure such as a science and technology university and hospitals. This would create thousands of new jobs and bring poor households out of poverty.

The tax burden on the indigenous black population and the financial inequality between super-rich white migrants and the poorer black population, is an example of economic genocide, as it is causing so many brutal murders. SVG needs change now to stop the ‘rivers of blood’.

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