Eustace launches with 86-page economic plan
Special Feature
November 25, 2005

Eustace launches with 86-page economic plan

With wife, Jennifer and daughter Maia at his side and 14 candidates standing behind him, the New Democratic Party’s, NDP’s, leader Arnhim Eustace was well supported as he was launched on Saturday, November 20, at the Victoria Park as the candidate for East Kingstown.

But it must have been the overwhelming show of support from the thousands who wore their yellow T-shirts and packed the stands and the grounds area despite a brief but heavy shower that specially touched the Opposition leader. {{more}}

As he took to the podium with one of his signature songs, “By the Rivers of Babylon,” his enthusiastic supporters sang on, even after the tune had stopped. Acknowledging this gesture, Eustace smiled.

But his countenance quickly changed into “serious mode” as the former Minister of Finance and Prime Minister held up the NDP’s 86-page Economic plan for this country titled “The Key to Economic Development- Unlocking Prosperity for All.”

Eustace described it as a labour of love and pointed out that there were 15 targets set out in the plan, which were established by the NDP team. He stressed that the tourism sector needed to be boosted to support a failing banana industry and cried shame on the 2004 statistics for cruise ship calls to this country compared with other islands like Barbados, St.Lucia and Grenada.

Asking for a kinder and gentler society, Eustace claimed that the Unity Labour Party, ULP, government for the past four and a half years fostered victimisation that did not help the economy, and that it was time to vote them out.

He lamented that too many people were unable to meet their basic needs and stated that the NDP would ensure that this would turn around by making sure that at least one member of each household is gainfully employed. Eustace pointed out that one of the ways that he would do this is to train Vincentians in the area of Information Technology, IT. He promised that a large IT company, which would bring some 2,000 jobs to the country, will be invited to set up here. He said this will not only employ, but train people. He envisioned a knowledge based economy and stressed that IT was the way to go.

In over 5,000 copies soon to be circulated across the country, Eustace said that the party presented the economic plan before the manifesto since the economy was the number one problem in the country.

He said his party will reduce poverty by 50% over the next 10 years, will expand the tourism sector, diversify agriculture and ensure that the business sector received further support. The Opposition leader claimed that the government showed “a total lack of concern” for the basic healthcare of Vincentians who were unable to afford it and that the plan

for National Health Insurance set up by the NDP through the National Insurance Services, NIS, when the NDP was in governance has since been ignored by the ULP administration.

Stressing that he was giving “No idle talk,” Eustace promised that 90% of the workforce would be employed but admitted that there will be challenges to ensuring that this become a reality. The Opposition Leader told the youth that they will be heard and that the NDP supported a call for the youth parliament.

In a passionate voice, Eustace said it was time to go back to the old days and have a nation defined by better morals. He lamented that not even the Church was speaking out against the ills in society and stated that even if there were excellent economic decisions, St.Vincent and the Grenadines will fail without God.