The Unity Labour Party’s (ULP) 2015 manifesto contains several policies and programs that they promised to introduce and implement but never did.
The New Democratic Party’s (NDP) candidate for East Kingstown Fitz Bramble made this declaration recently during a village meeting in Murray’s Village, part of the constituency he is hoping to represent after the November 5 General Elections.
Bramble said that areas like the one he was in have had no activities and projects that have positively impacted the people.
He said that males on the blocks have been written off as marijuana smokers, “knowing fully well that this administration has failed the brothers on the block.”
Bramble commented during his delivery that if anyone in the crowd was able to name a policy or project that the ULP had implemented in Murray’s Village he would reward them with a $100.
After the comment, a man went onto the stage, stretched for the mic and told Bramble to give him “his” money, but Bramble did not allow the man to speak.
Bramble said that for the last 19 years, the ULP administration has shown that they are incapable of governing.
Reading from the ULP’s manifesto, one he described as a “bible”, Bramble said the ULP’s footprint in the country is one of failure and failed promises.
He noted that the manifesto said that over the next five years (2015 to 2020) the ULP promised to consolidate and further extend its existing public policies and programs which have been beneficial to St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG).
“This is the important part here, preamble, moreover, there are several major initiatives for full implementation over the next five year period ending on December 31st 2020,” Bramble read.
He said that among the central pledges were, the further creation of jobs and wealth, the delivery of 12 megawatts of geothermal energy, the modernization of the port and its relocation to Rose Place, the further modernization of the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital (MCMH), the start-up and building of a modern city at Arnos Vale, the rolling out of the most ambitious program ever of road construction and the building of sea and river defenses, the construction of the national stadium, the redevelopment and upliftment of capital city Kingstown, The push to zero hunger and the further reduction of poverty.
Bramble said these are just a few of the failed promises and policies.
“To develop that point a little, further down in this manifesto they promised to deliver 9000 jobs between 2015 and now…but yet, St. Vincent and the Grenadines has one of the highest unemployment rates, not only in the region but the world, and let’s not talk about the unemployment rate of young people,” Bramble said while adding that the ULP always talks about young people but seem to have them only as an entity for votes.
Bramble said there are serious issues that plagued people, one of them being the persons who have died from dengue fever under the ministry of health that was being led by Luke Browne.
Bramble is going up against Browne on November 5.
“In SVG the last time a census was done…the last census was done in 2008…at that time it was determined that in St Vincent and the Grenadines the level of poverty was at least 48.2 per cent of people living at or below the poverty line.”
Breaking down that statistic, Bramble said that 48.2 per cent of 110,000 people is close to 50,000 persons.
“When you are determined to be living below the poverty line, it means…in St. Vincent and the Grenadines you are living on $420 a month or less…that is $14 per day,” Bramble said while adding that the ULP has not done another census or poverty assessment since then.
“But I understand that a poverty assessment was done last year, lots of money was spent to do it and they are afraid to publish the report…but the reality is, you all know and you feel the pain,” Bramble stressed while noting that there are many persons who live on less than $420 per month.
“Almost every promise that this government has made, has failed and that is why St Vincent and the Grenadines finds itself in the economic quandary that it now experiences.”
He said when the ULP came to office, the unemployment rate was 19 per cent and since 2001 the rate has not gone below 20 per cent.
“Right now as I speak to you the unofficial figure is about 36 per cent, the official figure is 26 per cent, but even the minister of finance admitted that because of COVID and this was way back in March, the unemployment rate shot up to about 36 per cent and I am quite sure that between March and now, it has gone higher,” Bramble said.
The aspiring representative stated that the finances of SVG are in shambles as neither Dr Ralph Gonsalves or his son Camillo Gonsalves know anything about economics but have controlled the country’s finances for the last 19 years, giving us the worst economy in the OECS.