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Dominica opposition not giving up fight for electoral reform
Published on August 1, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

ROSEAU, Dominica -- The opposition United Workers Party (UWP) in Dominica continues to fight for electoral reform and is asking the people of the island to stand with it.

The UWP held a media briefing on Wednesday morning to update the press of the actions that the party will be taking in reference to the national budget.

Lennox Linton
UWP political leader Lennox Linton informed the press that the party will embark on a series of 21 meetings over the next few weeks.

He says that the meetings will set the agenda for jobs, equal rights and justice in Dominica.

Linton asserted that, with respect to jobs, the presentation of the budget by Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit falls short of the economic growth for Dominica, which should deliver jobs, earn foreign exchange and get the country to a better place.

“Based on what we have heard in the budget, we know that in this upcoming year this oversized cabinet of ministers, the largest in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union, is not going to be able to deliver any more than 1% economic growth,” Linton said.

He added that 1% is below the target set at 3-5% by the Monetary Council of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank. The UWP believes that this level of growth cannot deliver jobs and employment that the economy needs.

Linton said that the UWP’s target is 5-7%, and the presentation of its own budget has made it clear as to how the target will be met.

The budget that the Dominica Labour Party has presented, ignores job creation, has no plans for improving tourism, agriculture or construction, although the prime minister highlighted that these sectors are the leading growth engines of the economy, Linton continued.

On the other hand, the UWP’s 2014/2015 alternative budget is clear on how new opportunities will be created for all Dominicans, especially the youth. A target of 2,500 jobs will be created in these three sectors in the first year.

“The country is dying; the economy is suffering, people are not working, businesses are closing down, people cannot find work to do, the people of Dominica want answers,” Linton said in closing.

Republished with permission of CBN4News
Reads: 13505

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Abel Mocker::

Please permit me some space. The Voodoo economics of election promises - doses that really work in the internet age?

Mr. Lennox Linton with all due respect – the presentation by UWP at local drama house was great political theater – but if you call it a budget even if its’ wrapping are in patriotic veneer by you stating that the UWP – “mission is implicit with the words of our national anthem, Isle of beauty, Isle of splendour, Isle to all so sweet and fair, all must surely gaze in wonder at thy gifts so rich and rare,” – that is just sad.

Linton you claim that your “budget” is clear on how new opportunities will be created for all Dominicans, especially the youth. You claim a target of 2,500 jobs will be created in each of these three sectors (tourism, agriculture or construction) in the first year (2 x 2500 = 7,500) of your proposed administration. That promise is mighty large – how are you going to do so? What is your systematic plan of action to accomplish this goal? Please specify in detail.

Linton you also claim to downsize of some jobs i.e. advisers, ministers etc – because these political appointees who are draining the country. You claim that this over-sized (14) cabinet of ministers, the largest in the ECCU (vs. St Lucia’s 13 or Grenada 11, Antigua 10) (what will be the size of your proposed Cabinet) is not going to be able to deliver any more than 1% economic growth.

For the record - I note that growth rates in the wider Caribbean for 2012 are as follows: Antigua 0.6%; Barbados 0.0%; Belize 0.7%; Bermuda – 4.9%; Grenada - 1.8%; Jamaica 1.3%; St Kitts Nevis 2.0%; St. Lucia - 0.5%; St. Vincent 1.6%; and Trinidad & Tobago 1.6%. It is estimated that the ECCU region will be subdued with growth for the Union estimated at 0.8 percent for 2013 and projected to be 1.9 percent and 2.3 percent in 2014 and 2015 respectively.

Linton you claim that you will be removing “the most binding constraints on our most important growth sectors” - - - can please specify what are those binding constraints and what growth rate will your small size Cabinet deliver? Oh yes you have also made the claim that growth rate “is 5-7 percent and we have been crystal clear in our budget statement exactly how we will begin the process in year one of getting to that stage that will see the creation of 5,000 jobs in the first three years of a UWP government.”

The three sectors above - tourism, agriculture or construction is 2,500 jobs each in your first year - -- with that rate you have already out promised the creation of 5,000 jobs in the first three years of a UWP administration. Linton your claim of UWP’s target is 5-7%, in your presentation of its own fake budget has made it clear as to how the target will be met … can I get a copy to read?

I would like see the details of your estimate of costs, revenues, and resources over this specified period which reflects your reading of UWP's version of future financial conditions and goals it expects to attain. How are you achieving a growth rate of 5-7%? Is Taiwan moving a quarter of their economy to Dominica?

Where is your plan of action for achieving these quantified objectives? Is it going to be a miracle?

Is this by fiat? How are you doing so?

Sir your execution plan? How? Where? Are you opening a new factory? Are you expanding the Civil Service by 2,500 or 5000 jobs? Are you cutting all taxes on the private sector and then that will create jobs?

Linton you have stated that UWP will work along with the Unions to “smooth out issues of salary increases and non-salary benefits … this is important in ensuring that there are minimum disruptions to our budget process and the overall sustainability of our fiscal program,” … you also stated that “in our first budget we will grant increases to public officers, … they will receive 1.5 percent in the first two years and a three percent increase in the third year … we are making provisions for increases as opposed to the zero, zero, zero that the government is offering.”

This increase in payroll – is that where the money is coming from to create 7,500 jobs in the first year and then the other 5000 new jobs in the first three years?

Or is it where UWP will “streamline the government’s spending by reducing waste and improving efficiency within government’s operations.” Is that where the money comes from to create the 5000 jobs? or the other 2,500 jobs in three other sectors?

Mr. Linton you also pointed out that UWP’s mission is to “develop and grow a model green economy that rewards enterprise, puts our people to work for decent wages, give a fair chance to all and secure our place on the global trade of goods and services.”

Is this by fiat, miracle or dumb luck? How?

Mr. Linton – you want our vote – we want a line by line rebuttal of the 2014 official budget; we want a serious review of the estimation of costs, revenues, and resources projected for the next 12 months, and we want you to reflect on the Governments reading of future financial conditions and goals for the continued development of Dominica – tell us where the Government is failing and how you can do it better – with specific details.

Oh, that right – your unprepared UWP party chose to boycott Parliament instead.

You’re pie of promises in the sky pappy show of a drama group posing as a political party need to wake up.

Somehow your promise that UWP will make Dominica the best place in the world to live and work in the WORLD ... oh that makes me feel so much better.

Go figure.


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