Fri, Jan 20, 2023
When you think of all the money wasted by the ULP regime over their time in office, you have to ask: ‘as a country, where are we going?’ Billions have been spent on the Argyle airport, the Belle Isle prison and various other projects, but these projects are not creating net revenue for our country.
The Argyle airport project was an economic delusion and was clearly no foundation for a strong economy. No cost-benefit analysis was ever produced to show the public that the billions of dollars thrown away on Argyle would actually boost the SVG economy.
It has dragged the SVG economy down so much that poverty is high, unemployment is high and the ULP regime is still forced to go begging to the IMF and Caribbean Development Bank.
SVG Green Party is very concerned that the government will run out of money and will need to go begging again. Since 2001, Gonsalves has used begging and borrowing as an income strategy. This strategy has failed and become a major obstacle to economic growth for SVG, devastating our country with massive fiscal deficits since 2001.
The new project in Kingstown, the sea port, is another example of hundreds of millions of dollars wasted on a project that is not needed, and will not create surplus revenue. More money will be lost on loan repayments and loan interest payments than will be earned from ships using the sea port.
Poor financial leadership and a reliance on begging and borrowing have economically mashed up our country. Since taking office, the ULP regime has been digging a hole to fill a hole, borrowing billions in loans, creating high levels of debt, and thus wasting billions on loan interest payments. The economic strategy of begging and borrowing is a failure.
Our country cannot go forward and achieve sustainable development and create thousands of new, long-term jobs, while wasting billions of dollars on dead projects that do not create net revenue.
According to a business person, SVG’s economy is dying by the hour. The business person is very concerned that the financial and economic situation in SVG will disintegrate, if no steps are taken to stimulate economic growth. Businesses need a strong economy for them to flourish.
The economy has become dangerously weak under Gonsalves’ governance: grass has taken over agriculture; the rural economy has been slaughtered; small and large businesses are going bust and other businesses have their lowest sales in over 40 years.
According to the Leader of SVG Green Party, Warrant Officer Ivan Bertie O’Neal BSc (Hons), MSc, MBA, the SVG economy is getting poorer and weaker. If we do not change direction, SVG could deteriorate to being as failing a state as Haiti and Sri Lanka.
Gonsalves is running the country by guess. Rather than borrowing billions of dollars for and wasting taxpayers’ money on useless projects, SVG needs a government focused on building a sustainable revenue base and creating jobs from Green productive sectors.
A Green government would focus on utilising SVG’s indigenous resources for agro-processing. We should sell water in tanker loads, build a modern fish processing and canning industry, build at least 5 agro-processing factories, build a renewable electricity industry and build a science university.
SVG needs to focus and invest in critical infrastructure that will yield net revenue for the SVG Treasury.