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Opposition Leader Godwin Friday. (iWN file photo)
Opposition Leader Godwin Friday. (iWN file photo)

St. Vincent and the Grenadines is in deep economic crisis, with the reality being masked by the propaganda machinery of the Unity Labour Party (ULP) administration, Leader of the Opposition, Godwin Friday told Vincentians in New York on Sunday.

“First of all, we are in deep economic crisis in St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” the New Democratic Party (NDP) leader told a town hall meeting in Brooklyn.

Friday told the event that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said last year that between 2009 and 2016 the Vincentian economy grew by 0.2 per cent

“That is less than one half of one per cent. In an economy as small as ours, we should be having, 8, 9, 10 per cent growth for there to be actual progress,” he said, adding, “And the future doesn’t look much brighter.”

Friday said the ULP government talks about “all their accomplishments.

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“Yet, the unemployment rate in St. Vincent today, according to the IMF again, is higher than it was in 2001.”

He noted that in 2016, the IMF said that the unemployment rate was 25 per cent.

“We believe it is higher, but that is the official figure, so let us use that.”

He pointed out that in 2001, when the ULP came to office; the IMF said that the unemployment rate in SVG was 20.9 per cent.

“We have actually gone backwards in terms of the creation of jobs.”

He said that the national debt is worse than in 2001, when the debt service ratio was below the average for the rest of the Eastern Caribbean.

“Today, it is higher than the average. In fact, it is the highest in the Windward Islands,” Friday said adding that the public debt also continues to grow.

“When this government came to office, it was less than 600 million dollars. Now, it is 1.6 billion dollars and we don’t know whether the money has been spent productively.

“Because you see, it has not generated the kind of economic growth to create employment for our people.”

He further said that SVG has the highest taxes and lowest wages in the OECS.

“Check it out from the eastern Caribbean Central Bank figure,” he said.

“So with all this talk about the wonderful things that have been going on in St. Vincent, that is just propaganda. It’s good public relations. They could sell snow in Alaska because they are very good at telling people what they want them to believe, not what is real. But I said at the outset about the genuine commitment we have to the people of this country tells you that a New Democratic Party government will never function in that way.”

Friday said that an NDP administration “will never use the office of government, the gift of gab to seek to mislead, to seek to bamboozle our own people.

“What is the point of political office if you are not looking out for the people you govern?”

He said that someone told him recently that in politics, winning rather than the truth, matters.

“But if the truth does not matter, what do you win? Where do you go? I don’t intend to take the rest of my life to waste it in trying to take advantage of other people. So when I tell you I am committed to this, that I do this for the love of my country, because I believe we can do better in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. You can take that to the bank,” said Friday, who became opposition leader two years ago.

10 replies on “ULP propaganda masking economic reality in SVG — Friday”

  1. Ok I get it the other guy is doing nothing to help the situation and there are a bunch of problems which you so eloquently laid out, my question is what are your solutions to the problems. Please lay out your plans to solve each problem you have laid out or are you waiting until you get there only realize that you too have no solutions. I am neither a NDP nor a UPL supporter and I haven’t lived there in a long time and really have nothing at stake. Too many times politicians lay problems out just to criticize and don’t have the needed solutions.

    1. If you read more carefully the solutions are easy to read. Please realize that often stating the problem and how it came to be a problem often very obviously dictates the solution. In other words: stop doing certain things that create the problems in the first place.

  2. Still waiting 17 years later to hear ACTUALLY what the NDP will do….

    They seem to not realize, the anti ULP campaign is futile.

    1. Oh please!
      All of you very much pro ULP people pretend that the NDP has no solutions to all the problems caused by the incompetent top ULP idiots. The main solutions are so easily stated. Firstly: STOP OVER-SPENDING We are spending money that many generations into the future will have to pay back. This causes the government to raise taxes just to pay the interest on our debt. Secondly: Lower taxes to encourage investment and thereby creating jobs, thereby increasing revenue. (this can only be done when we stop over-spending on things like our over-expensive and under-used airport).
      All of you big ULP supporters come onto these sites and pretend that the NDP has no solutions. The biggest solution is to stop over-spending. Eustace joked one time that he should propose building a bridge to Bequia just to get votes. It amazes me that big ULP supporters like yourself and C. Ben think Vincentians are too stupid to not notice that to stop doing stupid things is the main solution to solving problems that are caused by doing stupid things….duh!

  3. Dr.Friday i dont think nobody is saying or believing wonderful things are going on in SVG, If they said such a thing they must not be living in SV , I dont presently live there but know better …….I do believe that some are saying the future looks brighter based off of the potential projects that are currently signed off on and yet to begin plus ones that have completed and if you need me to name them , you definitely have a problem .
    The continuing problem with all NDP bashing of the ULP is …….Dr Friday has yet to state any blue print layout for the future of SVG. . no strategies, plans ,and projects, except for flip flopping on foreign alignment policies between Taiwan and China.

    1. Another big ULP supporter that enables the economic collapse of SVG. Friday has a far better plan than Gonsalves. People like you believe that spending and spending and spending is a great thing. You should wake up one day to realize exactly THAT is the problem!
      Any idiot can propose ways to spend money. Friday is not that way, therefore he is the better solution for SVG.

  4. Charles Hasterdine says:

    So far Friday seems to be an honest man. I cannot say that about our Prime Minister. People like C. Ben David will tell you that the NDP offers nothing and that the ULP is the better party. The way I see it is that we have been lied to over and over again by the present government. All they know how to do is meet in a back room and figure out ways to spend our money on things that have not worked to help us. At the same time ignore our infrastructure like roads. Actually they are spending money that we do not have. In other words they have borrowed us so heavily into debt that I do not know what future our children can possibly have. They give away things at election time and many believe they can survive without a job. I appreciate that the NDP has not made any wild promises that they either cannot keep or that will cause vast suffering in the financial future of our children. The question is: How are they going to clean up the mess created by the spendthrift ULP?

  5. Thank you, Dr. Friday, for sharing this information. They say the unemployment rate is around 25%, I believe that the real figure is much higher. How is it possible that the opposition doesn’t have access to information concerning the people’s affairs. Where is the democracy? I looks like our country is being run by oligarchs.
    I’ve read elsewhere that some parts of the Grenadines are all but sold to foreigners, You see ads on the internet that they are selling off the islands.
    I can also see that the ULP propaganda machine is firing on all cylinders. They are in the news every day advocating their programs and achievements. They even refuse to work bipartisan on problem of rising crime.
    I hope you get elected Prime Minister so that we can have a much needed fresh start. And, when you get there, implement the freedom of information act. so that the there is transparency in the peoples affairs. And people can see for themselves what the real state of affairs is. Good luck.

  6. I’ve lived in the BVI for the past 11 yrs and was home during the last Carnival. Carnival is a festive time but the looks on peoples faces told you a whole other story.Vincentians are struggling more than ever to survive.Begging in Kingstown has increased 500% in the last few yrs and you could see the desperation on their faces.There’s complaints about the lawlessness ,victimization,cost of living and the fear in the people’s eyes is pervasive.It’s very sad indeed.

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