Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves. (IWN file photo)

“Pay for your ignorance.” That is what Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves had to say to lovers who destroy each other’s passports during quarrels.

And the price of that ignorance will be EC$300, CAD$225, US$225, or 100 pounds.

Gonsalves said on Tuesday at the launch of the e-passport that persons are not taking care of their passports.

“We are not taking care of our passports perhaps because we don’t charge enough for them,” Gonsalves said, adding that statistics about damaged passports are shocking.

“I tell you some numbers which will shock you, I am sure. Between 2012 November to 2013 November, the Immigration Department received 941 reports of damaged, lost or defaced passports … and that’s just one single year,” Gonsalves said.

(Read also: Vincentians to pay more for improved passport)

He said that in August 2012, the Passport Office received 25,000 passport books and only 8,201 remain.

“So between August 2012 and November 2013, notice that, just over one year, 16,799 passports were issued. And the express service which we implemented in March 2012 is being well patronized and all of that indicates how our people need a passport and the importance to move,” Gonsalves said.

“We have to increase the cost of replacement. We have too many people allowing their passport to be defaced or wet up. … The number of passports damaged or defaced because of problems between a man and a woman. The first thing the woman goes for is the man’s passport and does something to it, and vice versa.

“Brother [Standford] Hamilton (Chief Immigration Officer) will tell you, the examples are legion. Please, when you have a quarrel with your loved one, just leave the passport alone. Treat it like the Bible; don’t humbug it,” Gonsalves said.

He said that for applications in St. Vincent, the replacement fee will be EC$300.

It will be CAD$225, US$225, or 100 pounds, in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom, respectively.

“Some people feel it should be more. So that when you, as a man, mash up your girlfriend passport, know that you have to pay 300 dollars to replace it.

“Because invariably it come back to the man has to replace it. So pay for your ignorance,” Gonsalves said.

10 replies on “‘Pay for your ignorance’ – PM”

  1. Dr. Dexter Lewis says:

    Gonsalves is right: We do not believe him.

    Elections are approaching and passports are flying out of the passport office like hot bread. Very suspicious.

    The NDP better take very close stock of this potential for abuse.

    1. Leontus D. Davis says:

      The Prime Minister is correct. People must respect their passports. SVG Passport is very safe and important; as a travel and indentification document. Upgrading one’s passport is not an election nor a political issue, it is national development. St. Vincent and the Grenadines E-Passport is among the safest in the world. In addition to that, St. Vincent and the Grenadines is the second county in the OECS to have the E-Passport. This shows St. Vincent and the Grenadines as a nation, is ready and prepared to address very important local, regional and international issues. Bravo St. Vincent and the Grenadines!

      1. Peter Binose says:

        LEONUTTER DAVIS, stop being a silly boy. They have had e-passports world wide for a number of years.

        You need to be asking the question about the previous machine readable passport, the one that got us into trouble with Canada.

  2. The passport is government property as far as I am concern, so they should be charge for damage to property bc that’s ignorance to take a passport and destroy it like that.

  3. Allan Palmer says:

    $300.00 for a passport, what percentage of the average monthly wages does that represents? When was the last time there was a pay raise in S.V.G. THIS MAN IS SICK IN HIS HEAD!

    Where are the people going to get the monies to pay for passport? Is the excess monies going to Airport development fund?

  4. Peter Binose says:

    I was sailing on Sir Freddy’s yacht a couple of years ago when my passport and cell phone, which were in the breast pocket of my shirt fell into the water when I reached over the rails.

    Does that make me ignorant? Is Gonsalves telling us every passport that is damaged, lost or destroyed is done during altercations between couples or lovers?

    The problem is with a liar, they just have to lie about anything and everything, now that is true ignorance.

    Why not just say “now we are skint, we need money because we are broke, so I am going to rip you off with the price of passports”?

  5. nollly prosque says:

    bragging about safest in the world and second country in OECS what does that say .do remember we heard lot of bragging in 2005 with the machine readable passports but lo and behold we were a shamed and was told that we have the most unreliable travel documents, so what we did is destroy the machine readable passports waste of monies and upgrade therefore placing a high price on the passports for the [poor citizen hope all is well.

  6. Vincentians have been paying daily for their ignorance, by electing you into office, and allowing you and your government to destroy our country. I guess we will just have to pay a little bit more until we finally, and permanently get rid of you. You’ll soon be paying for your ignorance at the polls Ralph.

  7. why would some people voice there ignorance over all media source to make themself look stupid. Had it was the US who said that they are hiking up there passport to better standards vincentians living in the us will rool over and take it with out voicing there foolish opinon, just because it mr Ralph who had done so it a fuss. accept the cost or leave it

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