“Lift SVG Higher”, the Unity Labour Party (ULP) slogan for the next general election, is a very appropriate mantra as St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) “economically, is at rock bottom right now”.
This is the view of Dwight Fitzgerald Bramble, an opposition candidate in the upcoming general elections.
“I am recognising and realising more and more that St. Vincent and the Grenadines needs a rescue mission. This country, economically, is at rock bottom right now,” he told his New Democratic Party’s (NDP) virtual campaign rally last Thursday.
“The only way we can go is up. So when you hear people talking about lifting SVG higher, they are correct because where we are right now it’s only up we could go,” said Bramble, who is the NDP’s candidate in East Kingstown.
Bramble, an economist, compared the performance of the Vincentian economy under the NDP administration, which was in office from 1984 to March 2001 and under the ULP government, which has been in office since then.
“I want to make some comparisons here quickly because it baffles my mind when a government which has been in office for 20 years, 20 consecutive years, still refers to things that an NDP government did and didn’t do 20 plus years ago.
“So since they want to make comparisons, let’s make some comparisons. And I’m going to focus a little bit on economics tonight, simply economics because when you hear the NDP talk about jobs, jobs, that is the prescription to revive our country and to revive our economy out of the economic coma, within which we find ourselves right now,” Bramble said.
He said that in 2019, SVG recorded 1.3% economic growth.
He said that economic growth occurs when an economy produces things.
“And you can only produce when you have jobs. So when we produce at a growth rate of 1.3%, the lowest in the OECS (Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States), it tells you that we have a problem. And that is simply because there aren’t enough jobs to create the kind of activities to help us grow.”
He said that from since 2010, the economic growth rate in SVG has averaged 0.6%.
“Let’s make a comparison. Since this country became independent in 1979, the highest growth rate in our economy was 5.9% in 1988 under a New Democratic Party government.”
Bramble said that since independence in 1979, SVG’s lowest economic growth was in 2012 and 2013, when it was 0.6%.
“Leh we make comparisons. Over the 17 years when the NDP was in office, St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ growth rate averaged 4%.
“Since 2001, our growth rate has averaged 2%. That is less than half of what we experienced under an NDP government.”
He said that when the NDP left office, the unemployment rate was about 19%.
“Twenty years later, under this current administration, our unemployment rate is 26%. That means more than one out of every four persons who’s capable to work is not working.”
Bramble further stated that when the NDP left office, the youth unemployment rate was about 35-36%.
“Today, the youth unemployment rate is 46%. That is almost one out of every two young persons that you see walking around doesn’t have a job. So this is a government who promised us 19,000 jobs in 2010 and in 2015. Check the manifesto,” he said.
“And I challenge anyone to refute any of this information that I’m giving you here tonight. This might sound boring to some of you, but facts don’t lie. The data don’t lie. And when we have the facts, the only thing that they can do is go after me personally.
“And I like that because when they go after me personally, that’s more support for me because Vincentians are fed up with that kind of nonsense, Vincentians are fed up. St. Vincent and Grenadines needs hope right now,” Bramble said.
He said that some persons come to him asking about the NDP’s plan.
“Ah wah mek a change but’,” Bramble said, imitating the persons’ questions.
“What but? When you’re rock bottom, the only place we can go lower than this has undergone. The only place St. Vincent and the Grenadines could go right now, economically, is underground. And when you go underground, you know what that means… We are responding to the needs and the realities of our country,” he said.
No! things can get much worse! Look at Haiti. Look at much of Africa. Although the ULP is a total disaster in economics, the global economy was much better during the time the NDP was in office. Nevertheless during this same period MANY COUNTRY’S ECONOMIES HAVE IMPROVED! The SVG economy has certainly gotten worse, meaning the ULP certainly was not, has not and is not doing what it should have been doing.
We have to end the “demand side” (heavy borrowing) economics and institute more “supply side” (job creation). That comes from lower taxes and less government but more efficient government with streamline policy changes. Unfortunately the ULP has done the opposite of what is needed to be done. The NDP government of the past was also making similar mistakes but the global economic conditions were more favorable then. Even though many look at Ivan Oneal as a “crazy man” he has credentials that are extraordinary, especially his contribution in making Singapore the wealthiest per capita nation on Earth. I suggest our politicians consider what he has to say.
The time is here now..no body saw covid coming but Preparation comes with vision and vision has disaster preparedness in its planning just in case we have a plan B to fall back on.
Jobs definitely drives the economy..but I remember somebody saying ..i dont care about nex generation i care about finishing Airport. Next generation is the ones who has to pay for Airport…and without jobs and economic growth. ..I think we get the snap shot..
The next Government needs to Drive Economic activity hard..””you cannot squeeze the hands that trying to stir the pot” , otherwise you cant eat.
100 % duty on vehicles older than 12 years poor people is the one suffering for that. Yet they still have to buy gas pay insurance maintain vehicle. The money still goes into the economy wether the car cost 200 or one thousand.
If it going to be a problem put a crusher on the island to crush the vehicles and shipp the steel out of country recover some of that money and lessen the environmental impact of derelict vehicles.on Island. And create jobs.
Recovering and recycling used vehicle oil for export also
A good idea.
These little things makes a big difference in our small economy just like long term garbage control and disposal
In especially in our capital city.
That is the face of SVG that’s what is seen first..we must work harder on that.
And please please please do not dispose of illegal drugs and cannabis by burning tires..on national Tv …there has to be a cleaner way.
It sends the wrong message…yes it was disposed of but at what cost environmentaly.
We can grow Holistically …just keep the big picture in perspective…jobs are the blood of our country…lets get to work.
One thing for sure, we now do know the outcomes in both Cuba and Venezuela when the red shirts take control of an economy, that is, if we do not wish to acknowledge our own decline into constant begging to support the failed U.L. P policies. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ah9i3R9pRpg
Question: Does Ralph Gonsalves’s Economics work? Answer: Count the number of people out of work in St Vincent and the Grenadines and are also likely to remain so for the foreseeable future unless there is a change in government. And long after this old confused man have departed to his maker leaving the rest of Vincentians to continue sucking salt!
It would be more appropriate to use “Lift the Gonsalves/Frances family dynasty higher”
Everything that is currently happening, road rebuilding, cash handouts, the great quadrennial distribution of building materials.
Only when they are gone will we know the truth, only then can we bury the lies.
Vote them out!
Nathan, I’m worried about the teeeefing, my Zimbabwean friend says rigging.
So you should be Grace because they can only be elected if they cheat. So cheat they will in every possible way. How will they be stopped from cheating, that is the problem?
Julian Francis has gone very quiet like he does prior to every election. Does anyone know what he is currently up to?
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