Economy in total mess says Opposition Leader
August 25, 2006
Economy in total mess says Opposition Leader

Opposition leader Arnhim Eustace has declared the economy of St Vincent and the Grenadines as being a total mess. Making reference to the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) consultation report on St Vincent and the Grenadines for 2004, Eustace asked “where is the growth?” and “What is Ralph doing?”

At a press conference held at Democrat House last Tuesday August 22 Eustace said that he is very concerned that the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is expected to consistently decline through to 2010 according to the IMF report. The expected GDP for 2006 is quoted at 4.5 but Eustace indicated that the IMF projection sees it being at 2.5 in 2010. {{more}}

Among the host of issues addressed at the press conference, the New Democratic Party’s (NDP) president highlighted the matter of the national debt which is past the billion dollar mark. From what he described as a direct quote from the IMF report, Eustace stated “a continuation of the current fiscal policies of the government will lead to an unsustainable level of debt and crowd out expenditure needed for the achievement of important social and economic goals”

Eustace said that his information suggests that 23 cents out of every dollar earned by government is used to service debt and this figure is increasing. He told the gathering of journalists, veteran and general party supporters that this is an increase from NDP’s time in office where it reached 14 cents.

Accompanied by the occasional desk thumping, the Opposition Leader expressed further concern with what he termed the government’s trend to lean towards borrowing from commercial banks rather than from international institutions at higher interest rates and shorter repayment periods “to avoid supervision and accountability.”