According to the Leader of SVG Green Party, Warrant Officer Ivan Bertie O’Neal BSc (Hons), MSc, MBA, SVG has had 43 years of independence from the United Kingdom, but the country has made no real progress. SVG is still connected to the UK at the umbilical cord, as the ULP government is still begging the UK for financial and other assistance.
The economy is in utter shambles and very weak, and more importantly, there is no real progress in education. Still, many children do not finish primary school, and some of those that do are functionally illiterate. Instead of building our own first university in SVG, the ULP regime just built a jail in North Leeward. The jail has many young people in there who cannot read and write.
These youths are the Gonsalves generation – children born and bred under an incompetent Gonsalves government that has failed them, and whose life veered inexorably toward poverty and crime.
Haiti was very boastful in 1965 when it opened an international airport telling the world that it would be rich and prosperous. Today, Haiti is much poorer than in 1965. Similarly, the incompetent ULP regime was beating their chest that the Argyle airport will make SVG rich and prosperous. The truth is the Argyle airport costs more than it actually makes and it can barely pay its light bill.
The Argyle airport is a white elephant and a significant loss of opportunity for SVG. It is wrong and extremely short-sighted to refer to Argyle Airport as progress for our country. Poverty, crime and unemployment are still very high and there is absolutely no sign of these problems decreasing.
The highly incompetent ULP Regime has been unable to produce a fiscal surplus in their annual Budget Estimates. They are always begging and borrowing to stay financially afloat. Warrant Officer Ivan Bertie O’Neal, who spent three years full time at Oxford Brookes University, England, reading for his BSc (Hons) in Accounting and Finance and Economics, very strongly contends that SVG is worse off under the ULP and NDP Regimes than prior to independence in 1979.
Warrant Officer Ivan Bertie O’Neal was living in Singapore from 1963 to 1965 with his wife and three children when Singapore became independent from the United Kingdom. The great Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew built four universities and five polytechnics and focused on building a knowledge-based economy.
Today, Singapore is a World Bank success story with one of the highest standards of living in the world and very low levels of poverty, crime and unemployment. Under the ULP Regime, SVG has one of the worst standards of living in the world and very high levels of poverty, crime and unemployment.
SVG is in its worst economic condition in living memory. We urgently need a change in government. We very strongly contend that only a Green Government with a knowledge-based economy can lift SVG out of poverty and financial instability.
Now that we are independent of the UK, we must cut the umbilical cord and learn to stand on our own two feet. We must strengthen our economy and stop begging the UK for financial and other assistance.