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Minister of Finance Camillo Gonsalves presenting the 2019 Budget to Parliament on Monday. (iWN photo)
Minister of Finance Camillo Gonsalves presenting the 2019 Budget to Parliament on Monday. (iWN photo)
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Minister of Finance, Camillo Gonsalves used the 2019 Budget to outline what he said are “10 principles for jobs, growth and transformative sustainable development” in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG).

The first is that the 17 internationally-agreed Sustainable Development Goals are the bedrock of the nation’s “modern agenda for growth and development.

“These goals and targets, mainstreamed and adapted to the Vincentian context, are the broad conceptual lights that guide our developmental efforts.”

The second principle is that an economy based on multiple, strong sectors is more resilient, more stable, and less vulnerable to exogenous shocks.”

Gonsalves said that in refusing to place all of the nation’s economic eggs in a single sectoral basket, SVG has managed to avoid “the wild cyclical swings and social upheaval that have typified the post-crisis era.”

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He said that a recently released credit analysis by Moody’s noted that SVG is less volatile than similarly-rated countries.

“This is by design,” the minister said.

He added:

“Even as we emphasise other sectors for growth and development, we will not abandon existing segments. Within the confines of typical small-state limitations, we rely on economic diversity to maintain our climate of confidence and stability.”

The third principle he said is that economic transformation requires investment in productive, climate resilient infrastructure.

The construction of public infrastructure — in and of itself — stimulates growth, Gonsalves said.

“But the completed projects, if well-designed and well-targeted, provide the foundation for long-term development. Budget 2019 is focussed on multiple major infrastructure initiatives with transformative potential,” he said.

Ambitious goals and targets must be leavened by an obligation for fiscal, social and environmental sustainability, the minister said, identifying the fourth target.

He said the budget reflects moderate growth and a small surplus on the current account but said economic indicators are only part of the story.

“Budget 2019 commits to prudent fiscal reform and measured adoption of the more far-reaching adjustments to our way of life and production.”

The fifth principle is that the greatest form of social protection is a decent job, and the best guarantors of a good job are education, experience and training.

“Budget 2019 will support job creation, and deepen the scope and reach of the Education Revolution through a marked expansion in skills training and technical and vocational education,” Gonsalves said.

In the context of small island states, social inequality is a massively inefficient and debilitating drag on national development.

“Budget 2019 advances multiple policies to reduce inequality, increase opportunity, and foster inclusiveness — particularly among the youth. Further, the biblical admonition to feed, clothe, tend to and accept ‘the least of these my brethren,’ is also sound developmental policy,” the minister said, elaborating the sixth point.

He added:

“Budget 2019 focuses on the elderly, the infirm and the nutritionally vulnerable with specific initiatives designed to support fulfilling lives by reducing vulnerability and inequality.”

The seventh principle is that crime retards development.

“As such, Budget 2019 targets crime and the causes of crime in new ways and with new tools, including an increased emphasis on community-based interventions and relationship-building,” Gonsalves said.

He further said that while a healthy economy is dependent on a healthy and vibrant private sector, it does not preclude a catalysing role for an active and entrepreneurial state apparatus.

“As such, to complement timely private investments in critical areas, Budget 2019 will allocate public resources to accelerate sectoral growth and national development.”

Developmental transformation is impossible without concomitant enhancements to local healthcare architecture and service delivery, Gonsalves said, as he outlined the ninth principle.

“Accordingly, Budget 2019 reforms administrative structures, while substantially widening and deepening the healthcare offerings available to the

Vincentian public,”

The tenth principle is that “climate resilience, in the form of adaption, mitigation and advocacy, is the sine qua non of modern sustainable development in Small Island Developing States.

“Budget 2019 therefore dedicates unprecedented resources to renewable energy, resilient infrastructure and citizen support in the face of the gathering climate threat.”

5 replies on “Camillo’s outlines 10 principles for jobs, growth, sustainable dev’t in 2019”

  1. ULP wasn’t thinking about development ten years ago but now it’s getting close to elections you going around promising everything. Well if ULP win we know it is because of vote rigging.


    Reading through the above, all that was gathered from this Gonsalves family member was just empty words. The minister speaks of job creation yet there was nothing in his budget that would encourage start-ups or attract small and medium size business investment in SVG, which as we all know, is how job creation often begins. What we have had from this man is again higher taxes that deters spending, squeezes existing businesses and further destroys jobs in a country already suffering from high unemployment.

    Those of us in work who are fortunate to work for our money enjoy spending what we have worked hard for. None of us takes delight when thieves make off with our hard earned wages. Indeed no one has respect for the bum, the Tramp, vagrant, the vagabond, a lazy or worthless person who sits about doing nothing but nevertheless makes designs on our cash.

    For sure there are none who heaps respect on such idle loafer who choose idleness over work. Freedom to work, earn and spend our own money most will often see as sacrosanct. To have some idle bum spend it for us we take as objectionable.

    Yet there are those, often despots and dictators who would see it as desirable that they should reserve the right to spend what we have earned. They take the view that once they have taken control of the state apparatus, only they have the right to organise how we work and spend. They often mask their desires under the name “democratic socialism” or for some the nanny state.

    The renowned Economist tells us that such a behaviour on the part of government can only lead us into serfdom as was so common in Europe in the middle ages.

    The road to serfdom:

    Europe in the middle ages “Person’s in condition of servitude, were required to render services to their lord, commonly attached to the lord’s land and transferred with it from one owner to another very much like slavery.”

    Serfdom was the status of many peasants under European feudalism, specifically relating to manorialism. Manorialism as it were or Seigneurialism was the name for the organization of the economy in the middle Ages. In the Middle Ages economies relied mainly on agriculture. Manorialism describes how land was distributed and who profited from the land.

    A lord received a piece of land, usually from a higher nobleman, or from the king. It was a condition of “debt bondage”. This condition was developed primarily during the High Middle Ages in Europe.

    Why would Vincentians yearning for freedom, in this day and age follow Cuba and Venezuela into Serfdom? Did we not longed to see the back of slavery?

    Is totalitarianism and the nanny state where only government tax and spend, plan our work ( in the case of SVG none work ) and spend our money more desirable to an open and free society where we and we and alone, decide how we work and spend our own earnings? For FRIEDRICH A. HAYEK most individuals given the choice, the matter was a simple one. Freedom first most definitely!

    Quote: “Individualism, in contrast to socialism and all other forms of totalitarianism, is based on the respect of Christianity for the individual man and the belief that it is desirable that men should be free to develop their own individual gifts and bents. This philosophy, first fully developed during the Renaissance, grew and spread into what we know as Western civilization. The general direction of social development was one of freeing the individual from the ties which bound him in feudal society.” And again:

    “In the hands of private individuals, what is called economic power can be an instrument of coercion, but it is never control over the whole life of a person. But when economic power is centralized as an instrument of political power it creates a degree of dependence scarcely distinguishable from slavery. It has been well said that, in a country where the sole employer is the state, opposition means death by slow starvation.”

    “To many who have watched the transition from socialism to fascism at close quarters the connection between the two systems has become increasingly obvious, but in the democracies the majority of people still believe that socialism and freedom can be combined. They do not realize that democratic socialism, the great utopia of the last few generations, is not only unachievable, but that to strive for it produces something utterly different – the very destruction of freedom itself. As has been aptly said: ‘What has always made the state a hell on earth has been precisely that man has tried to make it his heaven.’”

    Minister Gonsalves for his ruling family has many fine words to say, but in the end what we have there from him is more taxes, less freedom to earn, a few government jobs that hardly puts a dent in the vast number of the unemployed here, indeed several thousand that are now seeking employment, where a few Christmas jobs cutting grass cannot solve.

    Thus so our country ever continue down our “road to Serfdom” and ever continues following in the footsteps Cuba and Venezuela, where despotism and dictatorships is leading to much desirable migration for that ever elusive human freedom to earn and spend for themselves.

  3. Several of these 10 principles touch on environmental issues.

    If truth be told, SVG is one of the most environmentally destructive countries in the entire Caribbean. The destructive features include:

    1. unregulated beach sand mining destroys the first line of defense for rising sea levels and hurricane damage.

    2. the depletion of the inshore fishery via a refusal of the government to prosecute chronic breaches of fishnet mesh-size regulations.

    3. the trapping of tiny river fish heading out to sea, a practice called tri-tri fishing, has depleted local fish stocks.

    4. the indiscrimant dumping of garbage in open drains washing into the sea.

    5. the illegal cutting down of huge swaths of primary rain forests for the cultivation of marijuana adversely affecting valley water tables while destroying habitat locales for various species of plants and animals.

    6. the indiscriminant burning of waste material including toxic and environmentally destructive rubber tires.

    7. the import of old gas-guzzling vehicles.

    8. the absence of emission regulations for engines of all types.

    9. the widespread use of pesticides and other chemicals that are banned in most countries.

    10. the absence of sewage disposal facilities.

    11. a refusal to control the illegal building of homes and other structures in environmentaly sensitive areas like public riverbanks.

    12. the absence of tree replanting.

    13. a lack of regulation, let alone inspection, of septic tanks in seaside locations resulting in frequent spillage from ancient facilities.

    14. a paucity of public refuse disposal containers in the capital, Kingstown, and almost none in the rest of the country.

    15. the presence of a largely environmentally ignorant population exacerbating all of the above.

    Though many of the above features are not strictly speaking climate change issues, the overall story is one of environmental indifference by both the government and the general public. Enacting the 10 Camillo Gonsalves principles will change none of these features.

    1. Much of what you say is inaccurate. The government has made much improvement concerning the environment since the last election. Although they have made improvements in the environment and some other areas, they still allow importation of used tires that get burned in black toxic smoke orgies of poisonous smoke. the main problem is that they are very stupid when it comes to Macroeconomics in general. Notice how poorly managed and designed our system is in SVG. Along with the stupid economic philosophy of our leadership, we are always going to be poor and underdeveloped.

  4. In truth Camillo says nothing at all. He gives no specifics, just a feel-good generalization void of any facts.

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