Fri 8th Sep 2017

Elderly lady 25 cents short of money needed to buy bread

SVG is in a very bad way and there is extreme poverty throughout our country.

On 25 August 2017, an elderly lady tried to buy some bread in a supermarket in Kingstown. She went to the cashier to pay for the bread and the cashier said it was $2.50. The elderly lady told the cashier she only had $2.25.

The cashier took back the bread from the lady and cancelled the order for bread. The elderly lady was distressed and pleaded with the cashier that she badly needed the bread, but all the money she had was $2.25. A man behind the elderly lady in the queue gave the elderly lady the 25 cents she needed to purchase the bread. She thanked the man and said she has no more money.

The man called Mr Ivan O’Neal across and said that life is very tough in our country and that this incidence is a typical example of the pain and suffering of our people, in particular the elderly.

A senior and high ranking member of the church in SVG, told Mr Ivan O’Neal that the very poor state of the SVG economy and the high unemployment rate, is a very serious concern to him as a minister in the church and said we need serious employment creation.

Mr Ivan O’Neal BSc (hons) MSc, MBA and Leader of the SVG Green Party strongly believes that the ULP regime has been a failure and that they have shown they do not have the ability to move the SVG economy forward. They lack the vision needed to significantly eradicate the poverty in SVG.

About EC$1.5 billion was wasted on Argyle airport, but all it does is the same workload as E.T. Joshua airport. There has been no improvement to the economy or our society. The EC$1.5 billion could have been better used setting up the systems and infrastructure needed to eradicative poverty in SVG.

Argyle was a mind-boggling waste of money that has left our country with more poverty.

Thousands of poor households – like the elderly lady mentioned above – really struggle to feed themselves. It is wrong that our people, especially elderly people and children, are going hungry all because of ULP regime incompetence.

In 2006, Gonsalves compared the poverty of SVG to that of Bangladesh and Haiti. If you look around our country, in many parts it is worse than Bangladesh and Haiti. Our people are suffering and thousands live in squalor without money, unable to buy bread.

The ULP regime has killed the banana and arrowroot industries and tourism is low. The weak economy cannot sustain our people. The country is in its worst state ever.

To create thousands of new jobs and eradicate poverty, we need our own tuna fishing and canning industry; we need to export surplus selling drinking water; we need to export agro-products such as juice, tea bags, baby food, ice cream …; and, we need a new competent government.

We must also improve our education system and make it totally free, so that our people can obtain the necessary qualifications and skills to get high-paid jobs or have the ability to run their own business. People need to be equipped with the capacity to earn an income that can sustain their household.

The United Nations says that education is at the heart of escaping poverty and that education has direct and indirect impacts on both economic growth and poverty. Education provides skills that boost employment opportunities and incomes, while helping to protect people from financial vulnerability and poverty.

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