HON ARNHIM EUSTACE- St Vincent & Grenadines next Prime Minister
The Hon Arnhim Eustace attended St Vincent Boys’ Grammar School. He attended Sir George William University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in economics, and a master’s degree in economics from University of Windsor in Ontario, Canada.
In 1977, Eustace joined the Caribbean Development Bank in Barbados. He rose from Administrative Officer through the ranks of the institution, ultimately becoming Director of Projects before repatriating to St. Vincent in 1993.
In 1985 Eustace was for 18 months seconded by the CDB to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) which assigned him to the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines to review and implement changes to the public finance system and to manage government finances as Director General of Finance and Planning.
Upon his 1993 return to St. Vincent, Eustace was appointed Fiscal Adviser to the Government of St. Viincent and the Grenadines.
From 1993 to 1998 Eustace was chairman of WIBDECO as well as the Joint Venture Holding Companies in the UK. He headed the Windward Islands negotiating team for the acquisition of GEEST Bananas in a joint venture with Fyffes of Ireland. Eustace was chairman of the National Insurance Scheme (NIS).He was also the Government Director on the board of the East Caribbean Group of Companies.
In 1998, he resigned from the public service and ran for political office, winning the East Kingstown parliamentary seat (which he has won for the past 4 consecutive elections by increasing margins of victory). Following the 1998 general election, he was appointed Minister of Finance, Planning and the Public Service. Later that year he was offered the post of Deputy Secretary General of the Commonwealth Secretariat, which he declined.
In 2000, Eustace was elected leader of the New Democratic Party and upon the October 2000 retirement of Sir James Mitchell, became prime minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines until the NDP’s loss at the March 2001 General Elections.
Eustace remains president of The New Democratic Party and Leader of the Opposition. In the three general elections his party has contested since he took the helm, the NDP has risen from 3-12 to 7-8, within narrow reach of forming government.
CHAMPION FOR THE POOR
Opposition Leader the Hon. Arnhim Eustace is calling on the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) to have a mechanism in place that would minimize the amount of Vincentians who will be receiving a lump sum payment instead of a monthly pension.
Mr. Eustace, who recently raised the issue of the lump sum payment Vincentians will receive if a total of five hundred contributions are not made, said this issue is one that every Vincentian should be concern about.
The livelihood of many Vincentians is at stake because the one off payment they will receive will not sustain many of them for more than a year.
It is therefore imperative that the government and the NIS find a solution to deal with this issue.
Buccama Bay Resort
“Pay the people their money”. This is the call being made by Opposition Leader the Hon. Arnhim Eustace, in regards to the situation at the Buccama Bay Resort, where there have been constant complaints of workers not being paid on time.
Speaking on the New Times programme, The Opposition Leader urged the government to make efforts to protect the rights of the workers, especially local contractors, whose payments are long overdue.
Eustace added that Harlequin Resorts has a history of incidents in which they are negligent in the payment of their workers, and the Opposition will not stand by and allow our local workers to be victims of this.
He made it known that he is very sensitive to the pleas of Vincentians, who rely on wages to provide for themselves and their families, while adding that any government has the obligation of protecting the rights of its citizens.
In response to statements made by Harlequin Resorts that he is creating unnecessary alarm, Eustace said that he must speak out on this issue, as he cannot simply allow an investment company with questionable reputation to come to this country and put undue pressure on the local workers they have employed.
CLICO / British American
Raising over US$225 million dollars could possibly be a feat that the OECS government may not be able to accomplish, leaving persons who invested in special annuities in CLICO and British American in a bind.
Leader of the Opposition the Hon. Arnhim Eustace disclosed this in response to a parliamentary question on whether any OECS governments has indicated its contribution to raising the US$ 225 million, the Prime Minister indicated that this had not yet been done.
He revealed that the US 150 million dollars that was pledged by the government of Trinidad and Tobago has now been reduced to US 50 million dollars.
Eustace said this implies that the expected contributions from OECS governments will have to be increased. Given the current fiscal situation of the OECS countries, it is unlikely that these governments will be able to afford any significant contribution, he added.
With the Banana Industry showing no signs of recovery the New Democratic Party will soon be outlining its proposals for the recovery of the Agricultural sector, with special reference to bananas.
This was disclosed by the Opposition Leader the Hon. Arhnim Eustace. The party has been meeting with both crop and poultry farmers throughout the country, who shared their concerns for the industry while making suggestion on what can be done to revive the agricultural sector.
Members of the Opposition Party have berated the government for their general mismanagement of the banana industry and the late sigatoka spraying programme that has placed the industry in serious decline.
The NDP is of the view that under the ULP Government Bananas have seen their worst days in relation to its contribution to GDP.
We must not be distracted by the side shows created by the ULP to shift the debate from the real issues that confront us here in our blessed land. We must stay focus and continue to discuss these issues that affect our daily lives. We must keep on discussing: the sad state of this country’s economy, the demise of agriculture and the disrespectful way the ULP is treating our farmers, the state of our health service, the deplorable conditions of our roads, the low morale of our public sector workers, the high cost of living, the increased cost of gasoline, why the three (3) teachers who contested the last general elections for the NDP have not been re-employed and so many other issues that affect us from day to day. However, the time has come for the ULP administration to go! It’s time for the NDP to govern this country.