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NDP to boycott Parliament

NDP to boycott Parliament


When the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for 2016 are laid in the House of Assembly today, the Opposition members of Parliament will be conspicuously absent.

Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dr Ralph Gonsalves is expected to present a budget Estimate of EC$912 million, which is less {{more}}than the EC$971 million Budget of 2015.

At a press conference yesterday, Leader of the Opposition Arnhim Eustace emphatically declared that the New Democratic Party’s (NDP) parliamentary representatives and senators will be boycotting Parliament today.

“We have decided that it cannot be business as usual in the Parliament of St Vincent and the Grenadines tomorrow,” asserted Eustace.

“It is important that we… send a loud and clear message to the local community and those watching in the region and further afield, that we do not accept… the present Government in St Vincent and the Grenadines.”

Eustace said that after looking over the Budget estimates that will be presented in Parliament today, he has concluded that the Government is yet again spending money that it doesn’t have, and has no idea how it will be attaining said money.

“It’s a very serious and pervasive problem that affects us year after year,” lamented the Opposition Leader.

He also said that for the past nine years, the current administration has been presenting a Budget in deficit – regardless of what the state of the economy or fiscal situation is.

“They spending money they don’t have; providing money on paper that they don’t have, and saying that money will be used to finance this project or that…

“This money is not there!”

Eustace further criticized the Government for not including the actual figures spent in 2015 in the current 2016 estimate; and accused the Government of not telling the truth about the actual amount of outside debt that the country is in.

“They don’t put any actual figures in the Estimates any more. They supposed to show you what happened the year before; they put the same figures as the year before… They hiding it!”

He also questioned how the Government can be telling the public that it will be creating more jobs when it is so heavily in debt – something he claims is currently stifling the economy.

“Our economy will grow more with less? You can’t do it… We can’t continue so!”

Also speaking at the press conference was St Clair Leacock, NDP parliamentary representative for Central Kingstown.

Leacock issued a warning to young persons – especially college students – that the Government won’t be creating new jobs as had been promised throughout the General Election.

“No jobs will be created in the public service for you, the young people coming out of school. But it doesn’t end there, because the Government has embarked on a wicked programme of garnishing the accounts of the private sector… You have been fooled one more time!”

He insisted that the country needs a party like the NDP at the helm in order to improve its economy and take the nation forward.

“The people must get the Government they deserve!”

Vice president of the NDP and parliamentary representative for the Northern Grenadines Dr Godwin Friday acknowledged that many have been questioning how the party can be serving the interests of the people of SVG if its members boycott Parliament.

“The presumption that when people are elected to Parliament… by constituency, that they can only represent them by going to Parliament every day and doing exactly what the Opposition tells us to do. That is a false presumption,” asserted Friday.

“We can represent our constituency, if we choose, by going to Parliament… if we choose, in a particular instance to say that we are going to protest and not go to Parliament. We explained that to our electorate, and we believe that people who elect us stand behind us in that regard…

“It’s not a question of not representing; it’s a question of how you represent, and using the most effective means necessary.” (JSV)