According to the Budget Estimates 2021, the ULP regime plans to spend $1,212,601,578. The problem is the amount of money the government has coming in – revenue – is only $647,385,000. There is a substantial gap between the government’s income and their planned spending.

A government’s income figure is regarded as only taxes and other revenues. To make up for this massive gap between proposed spending and income, the ULP regime is resorting again to relying on begging and borrowing. The fiscal deficit for the year 2021 is set to be $565,216,578.

For years, the ULP regime has madly been digging a hole to fill a hole. They are borrowing money to pay debts. The consequence of this desperate strategy is that public debt increases like a wild fire. It puts the entire economy more at risk to external shocks and collapse.

SVG Green Party Leader, Warrant Officer Ivan Bertie O’Neal BSc (Hons), MSc, MBA, who has a BSc (Hons) degree in Accounting and Finance and Economics from Oxford Brookes University, England, believes that the budget illustrates that the ULP regime is hopeless and useless at managing SVG’s public accounts and finances.

Year after year, budget after budget, we get the same pattern of financial incompetence and unfair taxation. The ULP regime has presented fiscal deficits for 20 years, yet in all that time, they have allowed the super-rich of Mustique and Canouan tax and customs duty exemptions. It will be another tough year ahead for Vincentians.

Poor financial leadership and a reliance on begging and borrowing have caused high taxes and a rise in unemployment, crime and poverty in our country. A shocking consequence of this is that many poor households have had their electricity and water cut off, as they cannot afford to pay the bills and put food on the table for their children, at the same time.

The instability and volatility caused by the ULP regime’s financial incompetence put off foreign investors from investing in our country. Research has shown that macro-economic instability, investment restrictions and corruption have a negative effect on foreign investment. The lack of foreign investment in SVG means that fewer jobs are created in our country. The ULP regime’s financial incompetence is inhibiting investment in our economy and the creation of jobs for our people.

The ULP regime’s financial incompetence is reflected in the fact that the SVG economy does not have an engine. There are no economic sectors that provide sustainable sources of revenue. The banana industry is virtually dead, tourism has been sinking for years, our fish industry is non-existent and capital has been wastefully spent on useless ULP schemes that do not bring a net return on investment.

SVG needs a change of government. The longer we have a government that is virtually broke, the longer our people will have to suffer. The lack of financial competence is the core problem that is killing the SVG economy.

SVG needs competent Green economics to provide for the future of our children and the country. A Green government would set up revenue-producing industries that will create thousands of jobs. The people deserve prosperity and a crime-free nation.

The ULP regime is operating by trial and error in managing our nation’s finances. The decades of fiscal deficits are both unnecessary and dangerous.

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