Unfortunately, we still have to talk about crime. With yet another murder last week, it was reported by iWitness News that this brings the total number of homicides for this year up to 37. This is desperately sad.
The ULP regime’s governance of SVG has turned our country into a murderous nation. Killing has spiraled out of control. In 2016, there were 40 murders in SVG. In 2017, murders reached a record high of 42 killings in one year. In that year, SVG had the fourth highest murder rate per capita in the world.
Illiteracy and poverty are substantial, contributing factors to criminal activity in SVG. Research shows that males who cannot read and live in poverty, have a very strong possibility of falling into crime. Failure to eradicate illiteracy will be very costly in terms of dealing with subsequent crime and criminality in the long term in SVG.
SVG must invest heavily in education to eliminate the spiraling problem of crime to make SVG a peaceful country. The level of illiteracy and poverty in SVG is shameful and despicable. Crime in SVG is out of control under the incompetent ULP regime.
Investment in education has been very low under the ULP regime. It is immoral that the ULP regime spends so little on the education of our people. When the incompetent ULP regime came to office in 2001, education was meant to be their flagship for moving SVG forward. After all these years in office, the ULP regime’s education plan has been a massive failure.
Under a Green Government education would be free for every child from preschool to university. A Green government would strive to eradicate illiteracy, poverty and crime in SVG by driving our economy on education, science and technology. We must invest much more in education in order to significantly bring down the level of crime in SVG.
Leader of SVG Green Party, Warrant Officer Ivan Bertie O’Neal BSc (Hons), MSc, MBA, believes that there exists in SVG a cocktail of injustices oppressing the poor and perpetuating the poverty and crime throughout our country. We must change the economy to benefit the poor.
To stop crime, we need to create jobs and urgently bring equality to the tax system so the very rich pay tax too. We must cut the price of light and water bills by 50% and create a revenue base by building a strong, multi-sector Green economy.
An IMF report illustrated why a stronger economy helps to lower crime rates in Central America. First, as productivity and economic activity go up — helping to raise overall incomes — individuals are more incentivised to engage in legal activity, such as paid work in the manufacturing sector, or owning a small business. This means that criminal activity becomes less attractive.
Policies that promote more jobs and higher productivity — such as better infrastructure, lower barriers to entry for new firms, and more efficient tax systems — are keys to strengthening and sustaining growth in our economy.
Reducing crime is necessary to help the development of our country.