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St. Clair Leacock

Central Kingstown MP, St. Clair Leacock. (File photo)

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Central Kingstown representative St. Clair Leacock says the Unity Labour Party administration is implementing his much-touted constituency Development Fund concept, despite their expressed opposition.

Leacock has suggested that such a fund be set up to finance small projects in constituencies, saying that their execution could help with unemployment, while facilitating infrastructural development.

“Mr. Minister of Finance, it’s not my prerogative to be in the business of the Unity Labour Party but we have to be striving for efficiency and effectiveness,” Leacock said in the Budget Debate.

He said that Opposition leader Godwin Friday had asked him to examine the budgetary provisions for the Ministry of Urban Development.

Leacock said this is an important ministry, “largely because it deals with infrastructure and construction, construction being one of our greatest drivers of job creation in our economy; nobody can fault that.

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“When I looked at page 501 in the Budget and I saw and heard the honourable minister speaking about local government, I put my head over my mouth and then moved it over my head and bawled.

“Because I want to know if this is the same government that says not over their dead body they would ever subscribe to the notion of a constituency development [fund]. But here it is,” Leacock said.

He said that the fiscal package speaks to establishing “local government services to cover the entire country by establishing four new offices at Sandy Bay, Stubbs, Fountain and Questelles”.

“And now he wants to go on to bring some of them to Canouan and other places,” Leacock said.

He said that the ministry’s summary by programme “stole the cake”.

This is a ministry that recurrent budget is $12 million. But of the 12 million, 6 million is a grant to the Argyle International Airport. So you have a ministry with a $6 million recurrent budget with 40 employees, less people than a staff nurse is responsible for, or the superintendent of prisons, or the Fire Department or the Coast Guard; transmission, distribution, generation — several departments, hundreds in St. Vincent and the Grenadines run departments in excess of those numbers and they don’t need a permanent secretary and all of this paraphernalia,” Leacock said.

“This ministry could have been amalgamated with others because when you go and look at the capital side of the programme, page 736, first of all, we established Argyle International Airport as a stand-alone entity, but through the backdoor, central government is still funding it…

“You would have thought that they’d begin to do some of those dynamics for themselves,” he said of the airport, which began operating four years ago this Sunday.

“And then you see the ministry being charged with the important subject of energy efficiency. All of that can be easily downloaded to VINLEC who would do a much better job and has far more greater expertise than does that ministry,” the Central Kingstown MP said.

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5 replies on “Gov’t brings constituency fund through back door – Leacock”

  1. Avatar Of Kingsley SimmonsKingsley Simmons says:

    I am puzzled, so please help me Mr. LEACOCK: Am I to believe that the concept ” Community Funding” is interchangeable with that of “Local Government”? While I don’t know what Community Funding means, Local Government implies a body of locally elected members charged with the day-to-governance of the local constituency, thereby giving the local people a representative voice in the decisions affecting THEIR LOCAL COMMUNITY. Does Community Funding mean the same thing? Putting your head in your and bawling suggests you think it does; and that’s what puzzled me, because it surely DOES NOT!

  2. The problem is that Leacock is just much smarter than most people in the field of Economics. He is able to see the BIG PICTURE and SMALL PICTURE at the same time; but those in government are too concentrated on one or the other without seeing both. That, along with the poor, macro economic philosophy is why we have all the economic problems.

  3. Local — “belong or relegating to a particular area ”

    Constituency- The whole area cover.

    The Local Government was concentrated in the Towns in SVG namely Kingstown, Calliaqua, Georgetown, Layou, and etc.
    They was not responsible for the wider areas. Calliaqua did not service Villa, Rathomill, not even were the Parish Hall area which is fall under Golden Vale.

    The point here the Local Government Funds was for the running of the Towns .

    What is being Considered The Community Funding or Constituency Funding is for Covering the whole area And not localized.

    Where as local funding did not.

    The Elected Members was running the Towns (Town Board) which was a political backdoors for manipulation and were the cows did get fatten politically and many run for higher offices.

  4. Avatar Of Nathan 'Jolly' GreenNathan 'Jolly' Green says:

    They will never admit it was your old idea revived and rewrapped to make it look like something else. Mr Leacock we all know so don’t worry. All the ideas they have ever had they steal from people like you. They are incapable to think of these things themselves.

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