The extent of poverty in SVG has become much worse under the ULP regime. A number of people have said to the Leader of SVG Green Party, Warrant Officer Ivan Bertie O’Neal BSc (Hons), MSc, MBA, that poor leadership at the top in SVG is the root cause of the poverty.
A man recently said to the Leader of SVG Green Party, ‘I don’t have a dollar coming in’. Despairingly, he spoke about how broke he was and the trouble he has in trying to pay his rent. He said it was degrading being so poor and unable to feed his kids properly.
Another person in a similar position, said that things are not bad, they were beyond bad. He said things were hopeless and terrible, and that he had not managed to get any paid work in months.
A lorry owner said it was very hard to get any work and he would be lucky to get one Rabacca sand delivery a month. He said not many people were building houses and so there were not many orders for sand.
Similar stories can be heard throughout our country. Poverty is widespread and has been so for over 10 years, and the ULP regime has failed to alleviate the suffering of many thousands of people.
Nearly everywhere you travel in SVG the cries are the same, that of destitution, too much crime, no jobs, no money circulating, parents being unable to afford to send their children to school, and others only able to send their children to school on a hungry belly. These children are being left behind.
SVG has been pushed to the ground by the gross incompetence of the ULP regime leadership. Investing about EC$70 million in building the Belle Isle jail in North Leeward, rather than in education and setting up infrastructure for a strong business sector, was plain foolish. This has been one of the causes of SVG having a weak economy for so long and a high level of poverty and crime.
In this prolonged period of economic hardship and high level of poverty, our country urgently needs an economic transformation. Under the grossly incompetent Gonsalves regime, there has been a scatter gun approach to running the economy. A number of schemes have been tried in various sections of the economy, but none has managed to create a strong economy and significant economic growth.
In SVG we need factories to stimulate economic growth and to get money circulating our country. Our economy must be export-driven to bring money into our country and create surplus revenue.
A much needed project in SVG is our own billion dollar tuna fishing and canning industry. This would provide a very high rate of return on investment and create about 1,000 jobs. We must take back our fish licence from Taiwan and bring an end to Taiwan ripping-off our country and devastating the futures of our children.
From the moment they are born, many Vincentian children are being condemned to a life of poverty, and little opportunity to escape it. To end generational poverty in SVG, we need a strong economy and sustainable revenue, so all our children can have access to free, high-quality education from pre-school to university.
Having a highly educated population will create economic growth and end generational poverty.