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Ralph thinks people stupid? – Eustace

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The leader of the Opposition and president of the New Democratic Party (NDP) has said that he is “confident” that his party will win the upcoming general election because there is a “swing in this country to the New Democratic Party.”

Speaking on the New Times radio programme on Nice Radio yesterday morning, Arnhim Eustace said that the Prime Minister selecting December 9 as Election Day came as no surprise to him.{{more}}

“I expected the date on or around the 7th of Decem­ber, so I’m not surprised. We have been working hard; we are going to continue and make some adjustments to our programme as we go along, and we will continue to raise as much funds to make sure we carry out our programme…,” insisted Eustace.

“What I’m concerned about is some of the actions you are hearing about. The Voters’ List, you are hearing about Nigerians and what they are doing,” he opined.

“Nigeria is a Common­wealth country, and under our laws they can vote, having lived here for a year, and a particular constituency for six months. What is happening is that some people are attempting to register people only in certain constituencies because they want to target those…”

The Opposition Leader further lamented: “No proper checking is made when people come to register… The place is becoming more corrupt in terms of the registration process!”

Eustace also responded to several points that Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves made about the NDP, should they get back in power, at the Unity Labour Party (ULP) rally held last Saturday at Richmond Hill.

Referring to Gonsalves’ points as “barefaced lies,” Eustace began with the claim that the NDP would stop the construction of the Argyle International Airport and return to it in 2020.

“We said [that] because they were not presenting any figures to the Opposi­tion on the airport and what is happening, we will get some consultants when we get into office to spend a month or two reviewing the situation with the airport. It would be starting back in the same month or two – nothing about 2020.”

He also mentioned that the Prime Minister said that the NDP would stop economically disadvantaged loans and funding from PetroCaribe.

Eustace questioned: “Why would we stop student loans for people who don’t have much income? Why would we do that? I remember my wife and I carried a young student to participate in that programme, and we had to hide when we were carrying her down to town so nobody saw her with us, in case she was blocked from getting a loan. Why would I oppose a loan to disadvantaged persons?”

Referring to PetroCaribe, he continued: “The problem with PetroCaribe, if you don’t have any records, half of it is supposed to be a loan. The Bank of Nova Scotia is saying that that loan is $900 million, but all we hearing about is some going to farmers, some going to housing, some going to laptops. I want to hear how we going to pay back the loan! And when will the loan be registered in the books and the Estimates of St Vincent and the Grenadines? The public of St Vincent and the Grenadines has to face that bill… to pay back Venezuela.”

Eustace noted that the Prime Minister also accused NDP of wanting to stop no-income and low-income houses, as well as cease the distribution of lands.

“We’re looking to reduce the cost of the houses; not stop it!” he countered.

“One of our concerns was loans for low-income houses, and the loan being 30 years long… What we were saying is find a funding source for the housing loans. So if the house cost $70,000, you add on an administrative fee… and you get your house for $85,000 or $90,000. Not paying off no loan for 30 years!”

Additionally, he said: “When I was Minister of Finance in St. Vincent and the Grenadines… we had some houses destroyed near to the sea in North Leeward, and we sold the persons new lots to get houses, not at 10 cents a square foot or 50 cents a square foot; we sold them at a dollar per lot…

“That sounds like a party not interested in distribution of lands to people? We started that system with thousands of acres!”

Eustace also mentioned other programmes that he claims the Prime Minister said the NDP would stop if they regained power, emphatically denying that he would do so.

Instead, he insisted that the NDP – once it gets into power – would expand many of the programmes.

“Ralph think people stupid or something?”

Referring to the Unity Labour Party (ULP), Eustace asserted: “They don’t know what they doing! Making a lot of financial mess in the country.” (JSV)

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