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Camillo’s outlines 10 principles for jobs, growth, sustainable dev’t in 2019

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.”

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.”

Comments (4)

  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.

  2. 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.

    • 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.

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

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