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$100 million worth of land given out to Vincentians – PM

$100 million worth of land given out to Vincentians – PM

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In keeping with the Unity Labour Party’s (ULP) belief that all Vincentians have the right to have safe and comfortable homes, 54 residents of Glen/Fairhall have been presented with letters offering them title to the lands which they have occupied.

The ceremony, which was held at the Fairhall Government school saw a large turnout of persons from the village who wanted to be a part of the celebration.{{more}}

Prime minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, while giving his feature address, stated that so far, the government has given out 5,000 lots of land, each averaging 5,000 square feet, at a total cost of about $100 million, which has been pumped back into the economy to help the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Gonsalves said before the ULP came into office, lands in Glen were sold to people of Glen at $3 per square foot but under his government residents will pay the lowest possible cost for the lands.

“Lands were sold before we came to office…at $3 a square foot up here. The land which is sold now that which is recommended by the ministry of lands…for $2 because they say they can’t even pay for the surveying.

“But I have told them that they must look at it again…and I would like to see something come off the $2 and before Christmas we might see that and Christmas might come earlier that some may think,” he added.

Gonsalves, who is also minister of national security disclosed that the current market price for the lands is $8 per square foot.

He told the audience that the Glen/Fairhall has seen a lot of development, especially in the area of education.

The Fairhall Government School which was completed under that ULP is one of the primary schools that includes a free early childhood education centre.

Gonsalves told the audience that before 2001, only about 25 per cent of three to five year olds were attending early childhood centres and day-care centres.

“We do big things like giving people lots for their lands and putting up street lights, but we also do small things to make the children’s lives safer and to make them be able to play in safety; because we love the people of this constituency and the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines.”

The prime minister also stated that he has ensured that the centres open at seven and close at five to cater to mothers who are working.

“Now when you tell me that a government like this is not concerned about the upliftment of women, I want to ask you who are the persons who have benefited in addition to the children, but the mothers, who are seeing their children properly cared for and they as independent women can enter the marketplace and earn a livelihood to help to strengthen and uplift their family,” Gonsalves stated responding to the allegations that the ULP government does not care about women.

Gonsalves stated that because the government is aware that many of the families have occupied the lands for ‘donkey years’ they wanted to give them the opportunity to use the lands to improve their quality of their lives and those of their family and children.

He also noted that because the government knows that these are hard economic times the government has reduced the cost of the land.

“The government decided a long time ago because housing is a human right where people are living on their lots for a long time even though the land belongs to the government, we would make sure that you get the land at a knock down cheap price because you have already put your hard sweat and sometimes your family blood into that land,” the ULP candidate for North Central Windward stated.

“We have been trying hard to make sure that all Vincentians own a little piece of this rock and own their own home and own or get access to material to build up their homes and expand.”

Gonsalves told the audience that owning lands is not just the right of rich people, but of all people.

Clayton Burgin, who represented the area from 2001 to 2015, while delivering his address thanked the people of the East St George for allowing him to be their representative for the past 14 years. He stated that unlike the previous parties the ULP knows what true development is.

“This is another part of the thrust to give people title to property that they have been living on…we in the Unity Labour Party are ensuring that people have title to their land.”

He asked the residents to embrace current ULP candidate Camillo Gonsalves and show him the same and even more love that they showed him.

“I am now asking you…the same love or even more love I want you to give my fellow candidate who I pass on the mantle to. I want you to show you the same tremendous love and even more and I know he is getting more.” (CM)

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