President of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Teachers’ Union, Elroy Bouche. (iWN file photo)

President of the Public Service Union (PSU), Elroy Boucher says he hopes that the Unity Labour Party administration can come up with measures to relieve the tax burden on Vincentians.

And, he is endorsing a citizenship by investment (CIB) programme, a policy on which the government and the main opposition New Democratic Party is divided.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines remains the only independent Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States country without a formal CIB programme.

The Ralph Gonsalves administration, which opposes the programme, says it amounts to selling passports.

The main opposition New Democratic Party, however, supports the programme, saying that it can help to fund a significant chunk of the national budget.

Boucher voiced his support for CBI programme in SVG at a PSU press conference on Wednesday.

“… I’ve heard the opposition put forward the suggestion that the government can make use of the citizenship by investment programme. And I just can’t understand the reluctance to get involved. Every OECS country is using this programme and it is financing a great part of their budget,” Boucher said.

“St. Kitts is the leader, I think, in this regard. It is financing a great part of their budget. This programme has allowed these governments to lower the taxes on their people.”

Boucher said he is “mind-boggled” by the ULP’s stance on CBI.

“ … we elect you to govern and govern in a responsible way to make our living conditions better.”

He anticipated the arguments  “about passport and passport”

“St. Kitts has been voted the least corrupt country within CARICOM. The least corrupt and they are running this programme,” Boucher said.

The union leader said that instead of taking the advice of the opposition, the government “would rather find ways of taxing workers, the citizens.

“And I am of the view that a responsible government needs to listen to all of the ideas and see how best they can put policies in place to relieve the burden, the financial burden of workers and their families.”

In its “People’s Budget” response to the national budget in January, the opposition restated its support for a CBI programme.

16 replies on “PSU head supports citizenship by investment”

  1. Rafael Stefania says:

    SVG is lagging again. I will keep my comment brief because if I really say what I should say it might be offensive to some people.

    1. Ralph Gonsalves has his own covert “citizenship by investment policy”. He says he is against it publicly but supports it in practice. Ask Dave Ames and many others about that.

  2. Nationalist says:

    You cannot move out of poverty by selling passports. The comrade has taken a courageous stand and should be commeded for this.

    1. Well we are in deep poverty despite not “selling” passports. Several developed countries have a version of the CBI so what is the real reason why such a poor country with low wages and high unemployment as ours is not using this as part of a strategy to move forward. The current position is not working. Doing nothing about poverty and high unemployment is not courageous.

      1. Unfortunately it won’t work, the CBI programs are on their way out, all of the Govts know it, and the repercussions on the ground for the indigenous populations will be felt for generations to come. The best decision ever made was to Stay Away from the CBI. I can say this as someone who works in said industry.

    2. The truth is that CBI has helped many of these small countries very much. Most of the negative comments are just not true. Beside Ralph Gonsalves HAS a CBI program but he does it in secret, such as Dave Ames has admitted. iDude is certainly wrong. Many countries have turned to CBI as a means of additional income.

  3. C. ben-David says:

    Citizenship has long been granted to certain, select persons out of the PMO without any accountability or transparency. That’s how the PM wants it and that’s how it will continue.

    I’m not saying that selling such passports is lining the PM’s pocket but it just doesn’t pass the smell test.

  4. C. ben-David says:

    Transparancy International’s ranking is deeply flawed because it downplay the elementary fact that perceptions of government corruption and actual, proven cases of corruption are not the same thing.

    1. I agree with you again. i have been to countries that have low corruption and they say the corruption is higher than average. Then there is the USA, Very much corruption but they say it is low. Although Saint Vincent has corruption, it is at least lower than the USA. See Hillary Clinton, How more corrupt can you get? She is so well connected Trump cannot even get her locked-up, but the most corrupt, such as John McCain never go to jail

  5. It must be understood that DREGs has spent the last 17 years trying to reduce Saint Vincent to a citizenship of peasants. Because only the most ignorant peasants vote for him. To bring in people who are willing to pay big money for citizenship is contrary to the Marxist-Leninist doctrine of destroying the middle and upper class.

    People with money would never vote for a person such as DREGs and would probably end up funding counter DREGs movements to rid the nation of him.

    In fact I doubt many people voted ULP in the last three elections, which were stolen through the ballot box rigging and bribery.

    The creation of the Marxist-Leninist State of SVG is almost complete, like Cuba a family will be the only beneficiaries of wealth whilst everyone else can scrummage in the gutters.

    Its all very well the Unions complaining now, they helped put him there and their members continue to help keep him there. If they want to change things simply make sure there members vote him out, and insist on elections without bribery and corruption.

    I noticed today that the island of Cyprus are offering citizenship for US$2 million.

    Along with these people comes a continuing stream of income as they employ gardeners, maids, drivers and all sorts of people. They spend big money building their homes and perhaps even bringing industry and trade to the islands.

    The stand by DREGs is for a selfish reason only, his refusal to allow the sale of citizenship’s benefits the clan and dynasty, helps compound and keep them in power. Such citizenship’s may be good for the people but that simply does not matter one iota.

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