Fri 29th Jun 2007

ULP economic take-off is like LIAT

Possibility one of the shortest flights in aviation merger history. The LIAT-Caribbean Star merger was only created in March 2007 and within 3 months the merger is grounded. Described as a clever move by the ULP regime, an intelligent move, the merger has fallen to pieces. The merger / monopoly only created hardship for Caribbean nationals. The LIAT merger, which was strongly backed by the ULP regime, can be likened to the so-called ULP regime's economic take-off, which also remains grounded.

LIAT and the ULP regime have both:

consistently lost money. In the Searchlight newspaper on 22/06/07, 'The one thing that LIAT has done consistently in its 51 years of existence is lose money says Senator Allen Chastanet, St Lucia's Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation. He is also adamant that St Vincent and the Grenadines and the other major shareholders of the airline will not be receiving any more assistance from his country'.

LIAT has amassed a huge debt of over 200 million dollars since being privatized in 1996-97. The ULP regime has raised public debt by over 500 million dollars in just 6 years.

begged and borrowed but still no improvement. LIAT has consistently relied upon handouts from regional governments. The ULP regime is still attached to the colonial apron strong. For 6 years the ULP regime has carried a begging bowl, borrowed large sums of money and raised the debt to GDP ratios to dangerous levels - almost 90%.

created economic downturn in SVG. LIAT's high prices have reduced tourists to SVG which dangerous as SVG relies mainly on tourism. ULP policies have not created revenue for SVG citizens. The economic downturn is illustrated by increased unemployment and violent crime.

been led by people who really don't have a clue. LIAT chairman said LIAT is not dead. One thing is for sure though, it doesn't look too alive. The ULP regime continually drifts from one random idea to the next and still after six years of office cannot put forward a competent and coherent long-term economic plan.

been happy to waste money as it's not their own money at risk. The LIAT management has been happy to waste money with bad company plans. The ULP regime has wasted of Vincentian taxpayers' money by investing in LIAT. The millions of dollars could have been better spent investing in young people's training or raising the income of the poor to cope with disastrous ULP regime taxes such as VAT.

If the ULP regime leadership is so convinced about the viability of LIAT then why don't they invest their own money, not Vincentian taxpayers' money.

SVG Green Party calls on this government to not invest more money in LIAT, but to start investing money properly in Vincentians' sustainable long-term economic, social and environmental future. Families are suffering and the ULP economic take-off has not even reached the runway. SVG Green Party is very concerned about the increase in violent crime in SVG that is fuelled by the ULP regime's economic inability.

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