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Fri 30th Apr 2021

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Is the SVG government conning the world by taking financial donations?

Our beloved country of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) has suffered a major volcano eruption and Gonsalves is in The Vincentian Newspaper of 23 April 2021 telling the people what the international and regional organisations are doing to assist our country, but gives little about what Gonsalves is doing to assist the black, poor and powerless indigenous population of SVG.

Gonsalves could immediately help the people of SVG by abolishing the Mustique Act No. 48 of 2002, which gives customs duty and tax exemptions to the super-rich of Mustique and Canouan, and imposing a windfall tax on the super-rich of Mustique and Canouan and Taiwanese fishing vessels that use SVG’s licence to fish for tuna in the Atlantic Ocean but pay no tax.

This would give our government access to hundreds of millions of dollars immediately. So, is the SVG government conning the world by taking financial donations, when they already have access to financial income?

The British Virgin Islands and other countries and the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility and United Nations are giving donations to SVG, when we already have a source of financial income. Via the United Nations, a Global Appeal Fund for SVG will be launched. Has Gonsalves not informed the UN of the hundreds of millions of dollars of tax exemptions this government gives away to Taiwan and the super-rich of Mustique and Canouan?

Is the United Nations and the rest of the world being conned?

Garth Saunders, CEO of CWSA, wants to see some attention being paid to the national water system design, so that it can offer greater flexibility (The Vincentian 23 April 2021). This will cost money and we could get that money by taxing Taiwan and the super-rich of Mustique and Canouan. The ULP regime should not be giving away hundreds of millions of dollars in tax exemptions and running the SVG Treasury so short of revenue that our country is not able to build flexibility in the SVG water system.

According to the Leader of SVG Green Party, Warrant Officer Ivan Bertie O’Neal BSc (hons), MSc, MBA, having a prime minister that gives away more revenue than the government earns, is bad for our country and people. Gonsalves deserves a zero rating.

Does the United Nations take all cases of financial mismanagement and other irregularities seriously?

The Anti-Fraud and Anti-Corruption Framework of the United Nations Secretariat objective is to assist the Secretariat in promoting a culture of integrity and honesty within the organisation, by providing guidance and information on how the Secretariat acts to prevent, detect, deter, respond to and report on fraud and corruption.

The United Nations has launched a $29.2 million global funding appeal to help SVG and other impacted countries. The SVG government could raise that money overnight by taxing Taiwan and the super-rich of Mustique and Canouan.

The UN Resident Coordinator, Didier Trebucq, must act to stop the hundreds of millions of dollars of tax exemptions this government gives away to Taiwan and the super-rich of Mustique and Canouan.

Is the SVG government conning the world by taking financial donations?

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