Minister of Finance, Camillo Gonsalves says the main opposition New Democratic Party (NDP), “is a party of cash grabs”.
“China is a cash grab; passports is a cash grab,” he said of the NDP’s policy to switch diplomatic representation to sever diplomatic ties with Taipei and recognise Beijing.
“Toll booth on Sion hill is a cash grab,” the East Kingstown MP said, referring to an idea floated by NDP candidate for Dwight Fitzgerald Bramble, which he later withdrew.
“The ULP, on the other hand, has detailed actual implementable plans. We have a record of bringing those plans to fruition. And when I talk about plans, I’m not talking about a meme on Facebook. I talking about plans that we have thought through that we have analysed, that we have funded and that are underway as we speak.”
Gonsalves, who is seeing a second term as MP for East St. George, said his Unity Labour Party has a plan to make the Argyle International Airport work through the creation of new hotels.
“We have a plan to improve our competitiveness and efficiency through the construction of our modern port. We have a plan to expand the blue economy with fishery centres. We have a plan to create jobs in hospitality, construction, logistics, ICT, agriculture, fisheries, medicinal cannabis, professional services, and health care.”
Gonsalves said that the ULP has a plan that is being implemented to bring Sandals Beaches resort – to take over the failed Buccament Bay Resort, which has been shuttered since December 2016.
The party also has a plan to bring Holiday Inn Express, and Marriott Resorts, to the country, he said referring to the two companies that will manage two hotels that the government is building.
The minister also spoke of Royal Mill Hotel, a private sector investment at Ratho Mill.
“Look in the history of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, we’ve never had hotels like that come into mainland St. Vincent. And it’s because we have a plan,” he said.
“We have a plan to grow our economy without selling our passports and our patrimony,” the minister said, referring to the NDP’s proposed citizenship by investment programme.
“We have a plan to make us more resilient to climate change. Look around at the river defence and the sea defence all over this country. And we have a plan to continue improving our health care with a modern Lewis Punnett home in Glen and an acute referral hospital Arnos Vale.”