Too Much Pressure – ULP Must Go
As the ULP administration continues to mismanage the country’s economy, life is becoming harder and harder for Vincentians. The demise of Agriculture, the decline in the Tourism sector, the nonexistence of Manufacturing, the continuous rise of Unemployment and the slump in the Construction Industry are proof that the ULP administration cannot effectively managed the affairs of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
The Present Situation
As you traverse St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the cry is loud and clear, ‘things hard’, most Vincentians are meeting it real hard. They are unable to make ends meet. The farmers’ income has reduced appreciably, in some cases no income at all. The unemployment and underemployment situation are caused for concern. Many homes have had their electricity and water disconnected because they cannot pay their bills, and the 15% VAT on basic food items is making it extremely difficult for the poor and working class to survive.
At the end of the 2011-2012 academic school year, hundreds of students graduated from secondary schools and the SVG Community College. While some students will be pursuing studies at a higher level, others will be seeking employment. The government has not released any vacant post for the year to create employment, and the private sector is not employing on a large scale. Where are these young people going to find employment? What are they supposed to do after years of studying? This ULP administration has failed the youths of this our blessed land and it should be held accountable for not providing employment for our young people.
Presently, most parents are in the process of making preparations for their children to return to school, and they have already begun to encounter difficulties in their preparations. They are unable to collect the necessary textbooks from the Book Loan Scheme, a programme which was started by the NDP and criticised by the ULP. They are being told that the government ordered the books late, so they have to purchase the books. It begs the question. Why were the books ordered late? Also, parents have to comply with the high registration cost in some schools. Where are these poor parents going to find the money to buy textbooks and register their children?
Although Vincentians are feeling real pressure, very soon we will be called upon to dig deeper into our pockets to pay more for departure tax and property tax. Departure tax will be moving from $40.00 to $50.00, an increase of 25%. Property tax will now be charged on the actual value of the property instead of the rental value.
This ULP administration intends to tax the day light out of Vincentians after it has mismanaged the country’s economy. We have seen it with VAT and the recent increases in the 2012 budget, but where is the tax dollar going? That is the question most Vincentians are asking. The roads are in deplorable conditions, there is a shortage of medication at the hospital, schools are in need of repairs and the 3% salary increase has not been paid to public servants. The ULP administration does not have a clue as to how to manage the economy. Therefore, the time has come for NDP which has creative and novel ideas and a competent team of men and women to manage the affairs of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Under the ULP administration crime has increased drastically, and the ULP must take the blame and responsibility. However, it would appear that the ULP administration either does not concern or does not have what it takes to stem the flow of criminal activities here. We have not been hearing from the Minister of National Security who happens to be the Prime Minister as to how to deal with this serious problem. We must not forget that in 2001, the ULP’s campaign was focused on crime. They said that they would have been tough on crime and the causes of crime, eleven (11) years have gone and the situation remains the same, another failure for the ULP administration.
The NDP is concerned about the crime situation and believes that the following steps should be taken to enhance detection and develop a more responsive and accountable Police Service.
- Implementation of the spiritual, Social and Redemption Charter as the prime mechanism to deal with issues pertaining to our emphasis on the prevention of crime.
- Increased Police manpower to focus on beat and other patrols
- Establishment of visible police presence in communities, especially those with high crime rates.
- Reduction of response time
- Improvement in the collection and value of evidence in crime investigations to deal with crime and the causes of crime
- Establishment of a Crime Prevention Department
- Introduction of the Crime Stoppers Programme
- Introduction of tougher sentences for sexual offences
The NDP’s priorities are clear: better prevention and detection of crime, more effective prosecution of criminals and enhance rehabilitation to reduce the revolving doors offenders. We will deliver tough action on drug dealing and crimes of violence, and will strike a better balance between punishment and rehabilitation and give our Police and Prosecutors the manpower, tools and financial resources they need to make St. Vincent and the Grenadines a safe and liveable community
In the last General Elections, the NDP presented a comprehensive programme to the electorate of this country. A programme with a number of projects and Foreign Direct Investment; had the NDP given the opportunity to govern, we would have seen the implementation of these projects, and there would not have been the need to increase the tax on Vincentians as what we are now experiencing from the ULP administration, which has certainly lost its way and continues to fail Vincentians. We are fed up, we are feeling too much pressure and it’s time for the ULP to go, that’s what majority of the people are shouting.