September 24, 2004
Opposition takes issue with $100 million hurricane damage

What is the real cost of the damage inflicted on this country by Hurricane Ivan? As far as Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace is concerned, it’s certainly not in excess of $100 million that the ruling Unity Labour Party regime has indicated.
Eustace told a press conference Tuesday that the government stated figure is “grossly inflated.” {{more}}
Eustace this country’s Prime Minister from October 2000 to March 2001, boasted of having more experience than Dr Ralph Gonsalves experience in dealing with fiscal matters.
“I have a good understanding of how the international community operates,” Eustace said. According to him, the inflated figure “is not in the interest of the people of SVG.” And he has therefore disassociated himself and the NDP from the damage estimates presented by the government.
Eustace pointed out that international bodies would come in and make their own assessment and if they find any wide variation: “We are looking for trouble.”
He added, “our credibility is on line.”
The Opposition Leader was adamant that the public understands what was going on.
He pointed out that while they may have been willing to help, they will not be willing to waste money.
“Eustace pointed out that he was not against SVG receiving overseas assistance, but stressed, “we must be fair and transparent.”