Leader of the Opposition Arnhim Eustace says while it is clear that the economies of the region are in trouble, the Ralph Gonsalves government has not outlined policies to ensure economic stability and growth.

“It is clear from what is being said that much work has to be done in these economies of ours to put our people back on sound footing,” Eustace said on his weekly radio programme on Monday.

“I have been listening over the last few weeks to the problems in Barbados in relation to their deficit. I have listened to some of the measures that they have imposed and I hear little about … what … the government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines is doing to take our economy out of the doldrums,” said Eustace, an economist.

“We are getting to a position where one of these days the bottom will drop out,” he said, adding that too many persons are unemployed and have to depend on Public Assistance.

“… too many of our people are sick, suffering and dying and much of it is related to stress in many cases and serious action needs to be taken by the government of St. Vincent to revive the St and the Grenadines economy,” he said.

Eustace said he saw a report where Moody’s implied that the deficit in Barbados is greater than in 2013. The report again questioned the value of the Barbados dollar against the U.S. dollar, Eustace said.

“All of these things are mulling around out there, but our government is silent on these issues, not coming forward with any meaningful proposals to put people back to work.

“I am not suggesting that it is an easy task, but it can be done and it must be done if our people are to come out of the situation that they now find themselves in.”

Eustace said thousands of Vincentians will need assistance this school year, at a time when funds are low for all institutions.

“That is our situation here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. So, while we jump up and talk about all sorts of things, the bottom line is our economy is in a mess and the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines are suffering.

“That is the reality. … And the time must be that we see some positive policy changes in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, which could improve our situation, remove it from the pit that it is in now, to something more meaningful which will give our people a chance,” said Eustace, a former prime minister and minister of finance.

“We have made proposals in respect of agriculture, we have made proposals in respect of tourism, we have said what we had to say about the offshore financial sector, … agri-business, ICT and what we think can be done and some of the methods I think we can use,” he said of his New Democratic Party.

“But nothing meaningful is being done to address these issues,” Eustace said.

5 replies on “Eustace wants ‘positive policy changes’ to improve economy”

  1. Hellooooooo?

    Mr Eustace, the present government has been spinning top in mud for so many years, why do you think they will know what to do for the economy now? they are now in the lame duck phase now. They have lost the plot a long time ago.

    They’re now preparing for retirement.

  2. Arnim is Always babbling but have no real meaningful remedy to solve what he thinks is the problem facing SVG..except hatred for the PM and will come up with anything that sounds good to him and his followers.As for corruption he is crying Wolves when he is the head of the Wolf Pack..
    This Guy will never be another PM in SVG as long as he live…this guy is so desperate for power and as those with him is fighting for power themselves they are not helping him so he is recommending himself with a CV of past experiences…THAT WONT BUDGE with the Good people in SVG in 2015 General Election…..not even with his hinch men and cronies…

  3. Watching Hard says:

    So Mr. Eustace wants positive policy changes huh. Well so do I, as that is the only way to get SVG and the OECS out of this social and economic valley of despair that we have found ourselves in. I am sure more enlightened Vincentians are also crying out for new policies. For sure, quick fixes like PM Skerrit’s suggestion to pour more money into a bottomless hole of governmental incompentence will not work.

    I think that there are certain fundamental things that first need to be in place to ensure that our societies can turn the corner in improving the lives of their people. These suggestions are not radical. Forward thinking governments around the world and in the Caribbean have already implemented some of them or are in the process of implementing them. Here goes:

    1. Implementation of Freedom of Information legislation in order to facilitate transparency and accountability in government;

    2. Anti corruption legislation and enforcement mechanisms as the laws currently on the books are ineffective for our modern reality;

    3. Setting and satisfying good governance indicators and establishing an OECS peer review mechanism similar to the African Peer Review Mechanism so that each OECS government can be reviewed and assessed by the collective OECS governments against the governance indicators as a way of keeping each government honest;

    4. Well articulated and rational socio-economic development benchmarks must be set after consultation with civil society and after vigorous national and sub-regional discussion;

    5. The establishment of a foundation along the lines of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation in Africa that will dedicate itself to the promotion of socio-economic development in the sub-region and the establishment of a very lucrative prize for good governance to be awarded to the most deserving government actor in the OECS on an annual basis. Such a prize could serve as an incentive to good governance and a discouragement from corruption;

    6. Professionalization of the various civil services and rationalization of their operations;

    7. Empowering women. Its 2014 but it still seems that women, especially in the Eastern Caribbean have not yet found their voice;

    8. Giving a voice to minority and vulnerable groups in the society;

    9. Affording legal aid to all who cannot afford it, and not just for criminal matters. As it presently stands, justice is only accessible in theory;

    10. A multi faceted and concerted approach to tackling crime and disorder at all levels;

    11. In concert with the rest of CARICOM, try to drag UWI into the 21st century so that it can start providing more relevant educational offerings;

    Now all of this is probably a pipe dream as we all know that there is no enlightened leadership in SVG or the rest of the OECS, but without these fundamentals in place no amount of tearing our heads out over Moodys and their reports is going to help us. Maybe this is what Mr. Eustace is thinking? Maybe someone in the ULP is finally discussing these ideas? One can hope.

    Kenton I do hope you publish my comment this time as you seem to overlook some of my comments from time to time.

  4. C. ben-David says:

    Why are the vendors in this photo allowed to pollute Bay Street like this selling their overpriced wares?

    Look and you will see that there is hardly any room for pedestrians to walk. Many are forced to trod on the road where they risk being run over by speeding vehicles.

    There is hardly another country except maybe Haiti that allows this sort of chaotic congestion.

    Oh, yes I know: “People have to make a living.” But tell them to please get out of my face and give me some room while they do so.” This country is in such disarray!

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