Green Party wants pound of flesh
Front Page
June 22, 2007
Green Party wants pound of flesh

by Karen Palmer 22.JUN.07

“The money is not a privilege, it is an entitlement.”

These were the resounding words of Ivan O’Neal, as he spoke of the SVG Green Party’s request for a subvention from the government in the amount of EC $50,000.{{more}}

As leader and co-founder of the Green Party, O’Neal explained subvention is necessary for the opposition’s sustainability, and said it is their right to receive financial support under the English Westminster model of government. The funds, he said, are allocated towards necessities such as office accommodations, staff expenses, rent, and electricity, and are paid by the clerk of the House of Assembly upon authorization of parliament. He said that according to the SVG 2007 budget, the opposition New Democratic Party had received a subvention of $112,940 and is expected to receive $115,008 in 2008, and further noted that a subvention was made to the ULP upon Dr. Ralph Gonsalves becoming leader of the opposition in 1994.

When asked to comment on criticisms regarding the party, O’Neal’s comments can best be described by the old saying “it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog”. He loyally defended the knowledge and expertise of his party, insisting that regardless of their numbers they are “a force to reckon with academically”. O’Neal also shared the story of the German Green Party, originally ridiculed for their politics but now considered fierce competition as well as the most successful Green Party in the world. He said the SVG Green Party has proven legitimacy by contesting in the 2005 election and formulating a philosophy, and stated that they have waited two years to request subvention in order to avoid speculation of greed and haste.

It was also stated that the Green Party has considerable ideas to move the economy forward, including the proposal to sell excess water to interested countries such as Holland, which could bring profit of $200 a month per household. O’Neal states that currently the government is begging and borrowing in order to sustain the economy, making reference to the fact that for every $1 we export, $5 is imported, and explaining that a “broad based economy driven by 15-20 variables” is needed in order for economic growth.

O’Neal said the SVG Green Party is justified in its request, and he does not believe it will be denied by the Prime Minister.