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NDP: We are ready to take reigns of power


If the bell for General Elections here in St Vincent and the Grenadines rings, the New Democratic Party (NDP) is ready and raring to go.

General Secretary of the NDP, Allan Cruickshank made the declaration at last Tuesday’s town hall meeting held at the Democrat House.{{more}}

“The NDP is ready to take the reigns of power,” declared Cruikshank.

The NDP has been hosting several town hall meetings over the last few months and party president and political leader Arnhim Eustace said that he is pleased with the outcome of these meetings.

Eustace, who used the opportunity to highlight several issues affecting the country, said that the town hall meetings have yielded some 24 recommendations from the general public that can make their way into the party’s manifesto for the next elections.

Eustace alluded to the fact that had parliament not been postponed, Tuesday, July 1 would have been a sitting of the House.

He said that people were looking forward to see if the opposition was going to miss what would have been the fifth sitting of parliament, considering that missing six consecutive sittings without leave from the Speaker of the House, has serious consequences, including the seats of the elected parliamentarians in question being declared vacant.

Eustace dismissed suggestions that the concern that he was expressing regarding the rising food prices and the acquisition of loans from the National Insurance Services to aid in the construction of the Argyle Internal Airport, would be better heard in parliament.

Eustace suggested that there is a lack of respect for the Opposition anyway in parliament, saying that when questions are asked of the government by members of the Opposition, the answers are not fully forthcoming.

He however did not say what actions would be taken regarding the next two sittings of parliament, saying that everybody will have to wait and see what the NDP will do.

Regarding the rising food prices, Eustace again called on government to remove the Value Added Tax from more basic food items, saying that while some measures taken by government are steps in the right direction, namely: the $20 additional allowances to persons on public assistance and the six cents subsidy on the electricity fuel surcharge for persons using up to 100 units of power per month, much more need to be done to address the increasingly vexing problem.

He also lamented the rate of inflation in St Vincent and the Grenadines, which he said is around 10 percent now and is the highest in the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States.

He said that with the international airlines and cruise liners cutting back their service to the region due to the high cost of fuel, the tourism industry is also under serious pressure.

“There will be a time when people just won’t be able to cope,” he said.