NDP will fix unemployment issues in SVG – Leacock
While the Unity Labour Party (ULP) administration has no solutions for the problems faced by Vincentians, it has figured out a way to keep people on their side.
“The government has figured us out,” opposition politician St Clair Leacock told listeners of Nice radio on Wednesday.
Referring to the COVID-10 stimulus payments to persons in different categories, the Central Kingstown representative said: “….You need 600? That could keep you quiet; you need 300, you need 200?… A 50 dollars will do, and you just figure that every man has his price, and you targeting the poverty of the country strategically and buying people.”
He however noted that despite this, he is confident that people have a resolve to get rid of the ULP government.
He said after one month of the COVID-19 pandemic, everything went haywire, indicating that the economy was in bad shape even before the pandemic.
“The whole tourism close down and that mean the economy collapses immediately because agriculture was never on any foundation to pick up the slack, and all they could rely on is the stimulus money of the tax payers and they seem to have had an overabundance of contributions,” Leacock said.
The vice president of the New Democratic Party (NDP) said this country has received support from the World Bank, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), the World Health Organization (WHO) and friendly governments like Taiwan and the private sector among others.
“Had it not been for the generosity of the world and business community I don’t know what would have happened to Vincentians,” Leacock said.
The politician told listeners that persons who did not have jobs before COVID-19 are now going to have to wait even longer to find a job and that is why the Leader of the Opposition Dr Godwin Friday says if the NDP gets into power, the party will work relentlessly to create jobs.
“We will do this by firstly admitting we need more help…if St Lucia can do so successfully, if Dominica can do so successfully, if Grenada can do it successfully, the four of us together are called the Windward Islands, so if three of the four can show how they have been able to stabilize their economy; in some cases turn it around, in other cases make use of it for budget support, in other cases use it for what they call sustainable development …” Leacock said.
Leacock said that from observation, while there are no St Lucians, Grenadians or Antiguans in SVG looking for jobs, Vincentians can be found around the Caribbean and further afield, “… because they have all come to the realization and that is the crisis upon our hands.”
He said one can also look at the taxes collected in the country, his estimate is $100 million through Value Added Tax (VAT) alone, “and every last penny is not enough to pay the interest on the loans that we borrow, nothing left back to run the country.”
Going further, the veteran politician said if one looks at many of the constituencies, there are persons who are having problems buying schoolbooks and hundreds of persons in the country have children who have medical conditions and hundreds of dollars in medical bills they cannot pay.
He also said government also has no plan to fix what he referred to as “dilapidated” medical centers, and other buildings in the country.
He said if the NDP gets into power, they will look at the Citizenship by Investment (CBI) program, and how to keep the tourism sector alive while revitalizing the agricultural sector by doing among other things, finding niche markets.