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News from St Vincent:




St Vincent & the Grenadines
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Letter: Spin doctors on parade
Published on August 27, 2012Email To Friend    Print Version

Dear Sir:

The state of St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) economy can only be described as abysmal in the last four years, as negative economic growth dominates the country. With another year’s projection upon us, the spin doctors are out on parade. The 2012 projection of a 2.0 percent projected growth looks better than 2011’s real growth. Really?

Let’s do a little digging into the numbers. For 2011, the projected growth was supposed to be 0.4 percent as predicted by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank and 0.8 percent by the SVG government. However, the actual growth was negative 0.4 percent.

So the questions then become, are we actually going to meet the 2012 projected growth? Did the 2012 projected growth take into consideration the rebound of the banana industry after hurricane Tomas? Or did the 2012 projected growth take into account the current destruction of the banana industry by the Black Sigatoka disease?

From accounts out of SVG, it seems like the agriculture industry is in tatters. Therefore, how are they going to make up the continual downturn in agriculture in the 2012 projected economic growth? Is it by the boys in the hills or by the soap powder in the seawater?

Even the private sector is also contracting as seen in the laying-off of more workers in this recent go around. Not to mention the businesses that have closed down and others that have left our shores for greener pastures in neighbouring islands. But then again we were told, “We are doing better than our neighbours.”

I guess this leaves SVG with tourism and taxation as the only areas to carry this projected growth. However, tourism is too cyclical and vulnerable to changes; for example, government instability or a devastating hurricane can affect tourism. Also, with the world economy still struggling, tourism is an iffy sector at best. Disposable income is still hard to come by many people in the USA, Canada, Europe and elsewhere. Thus tourism remains slow in the region.

Folks, with taxation already killing Vincentians, it’s going to kill us even more. Because that’s all we are left with, taxation! Added to the 15 percent VAT (value added tax) are increases in vehicle licensing, birth certificate, and LIAT (partially state owned) rates. Then there is Vinlec’s (the electricity company) surcharge of around 50 percent or more of your total electricity bill.

Earlier this year, we had increases in domestic and commercial water, solid waste, and sewer rates. Also recently announced, the increase in airport departure tax. And not to be out done are the new housing and land taxes we have still to come your way. Oh, the changes in the National Insurance Services (pension reforms) will undoubtedly add to the further taxing of the people. Taxation killing we!

There is no job growth and people continue to lose jobs. However, the solution to the government money problem and economic growth is to tax the people more. Still, the spin doctors continue to spin in SVG about 2012 projected growth. Go figure!

Peace and justice and get real.

Lenford O’Garro
Washington

P.S. I can just hear the spin doctors, what about construction industry? Well, Buccama seems to be in trouble. Also, any bump in construction by the Taiwanese building the terminal building for the airport is eaten away by SVG paying the Cubans working on other aspects of the airport.
 
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Comments:

Simon Anderson:

THE "SPIN DOCTOR" IS COMMENTING ON...SPIN!

What more can the International Monetary Fund (IMF) do to convince anyone that indeed St Vincent, economically, is actually growing at TEN TIMES the rate of the UK?

The IMF has clearly stated that the world (international) economy has shrunk over the last few years. They have gone on to note that St Vincent economically, IS GROWING AS FAST as the USA.

The IMF just published their report (which anyone could GOOGLE) proving that St Vincent, this year, is growing at MORE THAN TWICE as fast as Barbados.

What are we going to do about the DOUBTING THOMAS'S AMONG US?

The good book says it well:
"THERE ARE NONE SO BLIND AS THOSE WHO WILL NOT SEE."

Cadwall King:

Here we go again, they are back in town one more time. Lenford O'Garro another doom and gloomer, a pessimist, naysayer, please take off off blinkers and try to contribute something positive for the benefit of SVG, why don't you? if, you are a true Vincentian! enough already! stweeps>>>

D. Markie Spring :

Lenford, your assessment of the environment in SVG is spot on!

Before I go on, there is one thing that you have forgotten, remittance has also help our economy as a large part of the Diaspora are committed to helping their families, now more than before.

Our economy is is shambles, but not confined to what you have stated only in your letter,but to lack of 'know how"

As you can see the cry and excuse has always been the "global economic downturn" don't get fed up, they will come with this nonesense all the time. You pointed out correctly that our neighbours are doing far better than us, although it is said they their leaders are far less qualified than our leader and the fact remained that we are all part of the "global econmomic down turn" It looks as though we are waiting for the crisis to correct itself rather than gathering our men together and create and implement workable strategies.

Vincentinas will continue to feel it because those who are unemployed have to pay more on almost evertyhing they ourchase - we often wonder where are they going get the money to pay.

Our leader need to establish industties in SVG to get the economy going. Can we manufacture orange, tangerine, sour sap,guava juiced instead of buying Sunny D Light all the way form the US? or orange juices made in Barbados?

SVG had economic potential, but there is no visionary leadership.

Yes! I constructively criticize the gov't its my job it my right..... its the only way we will move forward.

Lenford, if you checked, only 2 Ralph's surrogates defend his insiduous behaviors, ULP supporters have already made their minds to change their government come next election.

Imaging the setbacks in SVG yet they create the perfect environment that does not exist.

Where is our intregity?

Richard Huggins:

Boy Simon [Powa] you have no shame. This is the same cat who had all kind of foolish things to say about the IMF when they told us that SVG had all those years of negative growth. In fact the word used by Ralph and subsequently POWA was SCHIZOPHRENIC. They were trying to tell vincies the the IMF had no idea what they hell they are talking about, now all of a sudden the IMF has spoken and we must listen. How quickly they forget. Great piece Lenford and Simon Anderson aka Vincy Powa is the number one spin doctor

Simon Anderson:

SO LYING MARKIE SPRING SAYS THAT "DUMBO" IS SPOT ON.

Should that be the case, then what does lying Markie Spring have to say about the IMF's findings?

ALSO

What does lying Markie Spring have to say about his Dec 6th, 2010 article about pre-election violence in Chateau?

In these very columns, lying Markie Spring wrote a column INFORMING the public that 4 ULP men attacked, kicked and mercilessly beat 3 NDP women.

The article is entitled, "A political war with bloodshed."

HOWEVER, the exact opposite is true, BUT LYING MARKIE SPRING HAS NO SHAME.

Spring still keeps showing his lying face on these columns.

WHAT A DOG!!!

Patterson:

It is important to remind ourselves of the background to Lenford O’Garro in Washington USA’s post here and now. This post of his stems from a previous post by Simon Anderson published on August 10, 2012. In that post Simon had given us the facts from the IMF regarding Caribbean GDP.

(Gross domestic product (GDP) is the market value of all officially recognized final goods and services produced within a country in a given period. Simon post was headed “The IMF, the Caribbean and GDP” Hence SVG’s GDP value would be the value of all the goods services produced in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Firstly Simon wrote the following; “The International Monetary Fund has just completed its projected GDP growth findings in its latest World Economic Outlook report. The findings included therein put the lie to the crap which the NDP in St Vincent and its cronies continue to falsely spew concerning economic growth in St Vincent. It clearly shows that comparatively, St Vincent's economic affairs are being responsibly conducted.” Apology for quoting the form of language that Simon used but that is what Simon wrote at the time.

So what was the outlook for SVG according to the IMF economic forecasters? Now one would have assumed that all Vincentians would be delighted at this good news quoting Simon again that “the report shows GDP growth projections for 2012 and 2013, where St Vincent's economy is one of the best in the entire Caribbean.”

Indeed quite obviously who would not wish to be the powerhouse of the world but sadly the power house of the world SVG is not. We are just a small nation of just 110,000 people the majority of whom presently that is over 25 years of age has hardly had any extensive secondary education to speak of.

Nevertheless, Simon went on to quote him; “Here, I will show the comparison of the various Caribbean countries, and even include the USA and the UK to show that comparatively, even among these highly developed countries, St Vincent is outstripping them in projected growth and development.” Bravo one would say!

Surely the news that SVG’s projected growth according to the IMF, as being the best in the Caribbean, should bring some cheer to us all Vincentians you would think but no, not one bit of it. Most certainly not from Richard Huggins, Markie or Lenford O’Garro!

Indeed Simon tells us that the projected growth for the UK in 2012 was in the region of 0.2% for the USA 2.0% and for St Vincent 2.0% a figure that was above that of Antigua/Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, St Kitts, St Lucia and Trinidad.

But just listen to the cynicism of Lenford O’Garro in his Washington comfort “From accounts out of SVG, it seems like the agriculture industry is in tatters. Therefore, how are they going to make up the continual downturn in agriculture in the 2012 projected economic growth? Is it by the boys in the hills or by the soap powder in the seawater?”

From his Washington comfort Lenford sits in his secure employment laughing at our presumed predicament in agricultural export. Does Lenford have the same laugh for the Car workers and others in Detroit? In Detroit whole neighbourhoods have been abandoned but does he hold the same cynicism for the US authorities? Does he laugh at the almost 2.7mil unemployed in The UK? Does he make fun of the vast numbers that are unemployed in Europe and around the world in general?

Lenford writes “Even the private sector is also contracting as seen in the laying-off of more workers in this recent go around. Not to mention the businesses that have closed down and others that have left our shores for greener pastures in neighbouring islands.” Lenford does not tell us which businesses in his words “that has left our shores for greener pastures in neighbouring islands”? Businesses relocate for varying reasons we know! But which businesses have left SVG and why he does not tell us?

Lenford goes on “Disposable income is still hard to come by many people in the USA, Canada, Europe and elsewhere.” If indeed that is so in the developed world where Lenford lives and laughs at us here in SVG how does he propose we could do better than the developed world, we spin straw into gold?

Lenford tells us “Folks, with taxation already killing Vincentians, it’s going to kill us even more.” His defender Markie tells us “Our leader need to establish industties in SVG to get the economy going” obviously with money obtained by “Our leader” from yet even more taxes no, no, no! From more borrowings if not, thereby the state demanding yet even more taxes from us to service the debt or by our spinning straw into gold!

Lenford says “Earlier this year, we had increases in domestic and commercial water, solid waste, and sewer rates. Also recently announced, the increase in airport departure tax. And not to be out done are the new housing and land taxes we have still to come your way. Oh, the changes in the National Insurance Services (pension reforms) will undoubtedly add to the further taxing of the people. Taxation killing we!” So says Lenford who lives in Washington USA in his comfort!

However at the same time Lenford would advocate higher wages for workers in the existing public sector, lower consumer prices in the domestic utilities and an expansion in the economy but he does not tell us how he intends to square the circle! Oh’ one forgot, spin straw into gold!

When Lenford writes “There is no job growth and people continue to lose jobs. However, the solution to the government money problem and economic growth is to tax the people more.” Lenford has not yet told us how he proposes to meet the balance of payment issue without the taxes, resulting as a result of foregoing the taxes, for SVG.

No doubt he would propose a tax holiday, the forgiving of taxes to the nation and spin straw into gold. With the gold we could pay the civil servants, (including doctors and nurses, teachers and security personal) meet our debt obligations and mend the roads. Which government need Taxes? SVG has no need of taxes! Just spin straw and see how the SVG’s treasury fills up with Cash!

One has no idea what Lenford means when he writes “ …any bump in construction by the Taiwanese building the terminal building for the airport is eaten away by SVG paying the Cubans working on other aspects of the airport.” Perhaps he would care to explain however our government just can’t please these people!

The one Markie writes: [Our economy is is shambles, but not confined to what you have stated only in your letter, but to lack of 'know how"] Perhaps Markie if previous administration had given more attention to secondary education their just might have been more persons engaged in wealth creation for the nation as a whole!

Markie adds: “Our leader need to establish industties in SVG to get the economy going. Can we manufacture orange, tangerine, sour sap,guava juiced instead of buying Sunny D Light all the way form the US? or orange juices made in Barbados?” Wealth creation in any nation for your information Markie is the role of its citezons and not the state Markie but you would not know that after all you are just only a glorified book keeper and a sick one at that!

Markie continues: “SVG had economic potential, but there is no visionary leadership.” This delusional unlearned glorified bookkeeper thinks he has what it takes to be the PM of SVG in his sick state and even further thinks that he knows how to organise the politics and the economic resources of SVG.

No doubt he is going to make a start by building a state cannery for the “manufacture (of) orange, tangerine, sour sap, guava juiced”! Oh’ yes with yet more taxes! No, no, no! With state borrowings paid for with yet more taxes!

As Markie went on he writes: “Yes! I constructively criticize the gov't its my job…..” Who one may ask employed Markie to criticize the government? In Markie’s mind he switches from leader of the opposition to PM of SVG sometimes. In this instance he is here the leader of the opposition in SVG!

Moreover Markie has employed pollsters and have obtained soundings as he writes: “…..ULP supporters have already made their minds to change their government come next election.” Yes, yes Markie knows that because his pollsters have given him that information!

What Markie means by this: “Imaging the setbacks in SVG yet they create the perfect environment that does not exist.” Only he knows no doubt he would tell us later!

Patterson
Kingstown Park
SVG.

Lenford O'Garro:

So Caddy, are you implying that I am not a true Vincentian because I questioned whether or not the projected 2 percent growth is possible? For your information, I am as much a Vincentian as you are. And as we say in Vincyland, “Me navel string buried ya!” Or as “GAO” put it his song, “Ah ya me born! Ah ya me come from! I am ah Vincentian!”

Simon Anderson:

Miss O'Garro I will not doubt your identity, but we in Vincyland have the dubious distinction of also producing holes as well. Which one are you?

Peter:

COOeeeeeeeeeeeee! Watch this space, intelligent service will be resumed as soon as possible.

I am in London, returning Monday.

Lenford O'Garro:

Seriously, Patterson? Are you forgetting about the following utterances, “We are on the cusp of an economic takeoff and what happened in the US with the banks can’t happens here.” It is this type of political economical shenanigans that has led another minister of government to proclaim, “things are so good in SVG that people are sending money to their families in the US.”

Even more disturbing was the legislative salary increase to civil/public servants. It was not negotiated by their respective unions and they were told to take it or leave it! Then over a year and a half ago the civil/public servants were told if the economy improves they will get the legislative salary increase. Together with all the tax increases in the country the people are still told no austerity measures in SVG.

So, if there are no austerity measures as the PM said and things are so good in SVG, why are the people being taxed to the brink and the civil/public servants are not given their legislative salary increase? Also, why SVG has four consecutive years of negative growth? Who is fooling whom? Who is being cynical?

Who said publicly that agriculture is dead and a thing of the past? The government minister. Who claimed they had the plan for bananas? Who took over the banana industry from the banana farmers and failed to spray, which Led to the devastation of the banana industry by Black Sigatoka and Moko disease? The Prime minister and his administration (aka the government).

Do you understand how remittances play a vital role in the SVG economy? Do you understand why there are offices of Western Union and Money Gram in SVG? Do you remembered the very long lines at these offices before the recession in the US? Do you remembered the hundreds or thousands of barrels to SVG each year, especially at Christmas?

So, you believe because I am living in the US, all is fine and dandy. The streets are paved with gold and sliver and the rivers and streams are flowing with milk and honey. News flash! Sorry to bust your bubble, they are not! Things continue to be rough in many countries. You need to get yourself a copy of Winston Soso’s song “New York” and listen and understand the lyrics.

Patterson:

To be sure, you Lenford O’Garro who lives in Washington who is the party who embarked on a cynical path when you wrote “There is no job growth and people continue to lose jobs. However, the solution to the government money problem and economic growth is to tax the people more.”

It is you Lenford O’Garro who lives in Washington for your own reason, who gives the impression that the USA and the world were having it so much better than us here in SVG! No doubt Simon Anderson post of the 10th August caused you to write questioning “With another year’s projection upon us, the spin doctors are out on parade. The 2012 projection of a 2.0 percent projected growth looks better than 2011’s real growth. Really?”

You Lenford O’Garro who lives in Washington give the cynical impression that we here in SVG were being hard done by through our Government measures! Indeed you question the projection of a 2012 projected 2.0 percent growth but were you justified in your approach?

Japan's industrial output unexpectedly dropped in July as a slowdown in global demand hurt exports.

Trade ministry figures showed output was down 1.2% in July, a steep reversal from the 0.4% rise recorded in June and way out of line with analysts expectations of a 1.7% increase.

Arjuna Mahendran from HSBC Private Bank said the most "alarming" part was the decline in exports from Japan to Europe, as a slowdown in the latter hurt demand. "That is really of concern because it means this manufacturing slowdown [in Japan], negative growth in the industrial sector, will continue for some time," he Arjuna Mahendran said. One may therefore ask why would SVG be expected to be better placed to “weather the storm” in the existing world economy?

Eurozone unemployment at new high: Unemployment across the 17-nation eurozone hit a record 18 million in July, the EU statistics agency says. Some 88,000 more people were added to the jobless total, but upwardly-revised data for June meant the unemployment rate remained at 11.3%. Eurostat said the (18 million) 18,002,000 jobless in total was the highest since records began in 1995.

Unemployment in some of the Nation states:

The highest unemployment rate in the eurozone was in Spain, at 25.1%. The lowest was in Austria, at 4.5%. The highest increases in unemployment rate in the eurozone were registered in Greece (from 16.8% to 23.1%), Spain (from 21.7% to 25.1%) and little Cyprus (from 7.7% to 10.9%). Spain and Greece, which are struggling to tackle sovereign debt and banking crises, recorded jobless rates of more than 50% in the under-25s age-group. Again one may therefore ask why would SVG be expected to be better placed to “weather the storm” in the existing world economy?

Global food prices have leapt by 10% in the month of July, raising fears of soaring prices for the planet's poorest, the World Bank has warned. The price of key grains such as corn, wheat and soybean saw the most dramatic increases, described by the World Bank president as "historic". From June to July this year, corn and wheat prices each rose by 25% while soybean prices increased by 17%, the World Bank said. Only rice prices decreased - by 4%.

The organisation is urging governments to bolster programmes to protect their most vulnerable communities from the increase in the cost of food."We cannot allow these historic price hikes to turn into a lifetime of perils as families take their children out of school and eat less nutritious food to compensate for the high prices," World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said. Once again one may therefore ask why would SVG be expected to be better placed to “weather the storm” in the current world economy?

As people in the US and Europe are learning, when one’s government decides it has to get its finances in order, the results can be quite painful. Either raise taxes or cut spending or even both! Why should SVG be any different and to be better placed to “weather the storm” in the existing world economy and to have a different model to financing itself?

As the housewife knows when hubby brings home less money she reduces her spend. When Government revenue declines it ought to be prudent and reduce it’s spend! However some Government spend are on- going and are most difficult to reduce such as Teachers pay, Doctors and nurses pay, Security personnel expenditure, and spending on key administrative civil Servants, for the simple reason it is most difficult to reduce their numbers and continue to function well as a state.

Note the Greek’s case (a)The Greek state already has more debt than it can repay (b) In order to keep paying government workers wages it still need to borrow even more money however other EU governments has agreed to lend them more money but only on one condition that the Greek government gets its borrowings and spending under control. The EU for its part recommended that the Greeks not only cut their immediate spending but also raise taxes.

Now how do You Lenford O’Garro who is fortunate to live in Washington USA, the USA who is best placed to recover from the down turn in world business activity propose the SVG Government avoid a Greek scenario?

Simon Anderson:

DAY 4 .....3 DAYS LEFT

PETER, YOU STILL HAVE NOT ANSWERED THE QUESTIONS.

If you do not answer them in 3 days, I will be forced to expose you to the readers and to the world in general.

1) Do you know Brian Alexander?

2) Who is Brian Alexander?

3) Does the name Brian Alexander sound familiar in your mind?

4) Is Brian Alexander a very good friend of yours?

Now Peter, you have been advised by Allan Palmer that I am the Commissioner of Police in Bermuda, SO DO NOT LIE!

Signed,

COMMISSIONER OF POLICE.

Patterson:

In your cynicism Lenford, know this that following on from the recent St Kitts and Nevis government’s “stock-of-debt” restructuring deal with its Paris Club of creditors we have recently learnt this much Lenford, that another close neighbour of ours in the Caribbean here, Belize, has missed a US$23 million bond interest payment to its creditors on August 20, 2012 as the world economic crisis continues and small countries struggles with their income expenditure finances.

Also adding to the world of gloom, the Euro Zone manufacturing output across the 17-country euro zone nations shrank again in August 2012, according to a widely-watched industry wide survey. The Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) showed that the euro zone region's manufacturing sector contracted despite its factories cutting prices and in China, China's PMI fell to the lowest reading since November 2011. This therefore my dear Lenford is the industrial and commercial world environment that SVG finds its self living in.

It is also noteworthy Lenford that earlier this year, Moody the rating agency put the ratings of Germany, France, Netherlands and the UK on a negative outlook as it said that these nations were all exposed to the region's debt crisis, hurting their creditworthiness altogether and now Moody has lowers the entire EU region rating outlook to 'negative'. How would the EU’s fortunes affect us here in SVG we may well ask!

Indeed Moody has also said that the negative move reflected the negative outlook for the ratings of the EU's key budget contributors namely Germany, France, Netherlands and the UK .Might we not add this reality that when these big guys sneeze that we the small ones catch the cold?

Moreover, it is noteworthy also that according to Moody Germany, France, Netherlands and the UK together account for (almost half) about 45% of the EU's budget revenue. Indeed, it is also noteworthy to observe that since Germany, France, Netherlands and the UK together account for about 45% of the EU's budget revenue thus what happens in these countries affects all of the others in the EU and across the world as a whole. The UK in particular has many, many individuals who support their families back home here in SVG.

Further in its latest forecast Moody has now lowered its outlook for the entire European Union's AAA credit rating to "negative" and has also warned that the bloc's rating could be downgraded. The ratings agency said that in case of "extreme stress", the AAA-rated member states were more likely to service their own debt obligations rather than "prioritise their commitment to backstop the EU debt obligations".

Moody for its part also added that if the AAA-rated member states were to default on their debt obligations, there were likely to be defaults on the loans that back the EU's debt and the bloc's cash reserve was also likely to be stressed.

"Hence, it is reasonable to assume that the EU's creditworthiness should move in line with the creditworthiness of its strongest key member states," Moody said. Hence with this continued turmoil in the big nations the jobs outlook in those big countries, indeed remain bleak at best! Moreover some of these would be workers have families whom they support back home in SVG. Therefore we could do without your cynicism Lenford!

As this gloom continues in these big nations, the latest figures from China another big country showed its manufacturing activity fell, to a nine-month low in August 2012, adding to fears that its economy is slowing faster than estimated.

Also within the euro zone nations, traditionally stronger countries like Germany and France has failed to provide upward growth support to the weak ones within the euro zone. Moreover in Germany is now showing its sixth monthly fall in a row as shown on its Purchasing Managers Index in August 2012 as the gloom indeed continues.

Hence this is the milieu now and in the last few years the choppy background Lenford O’Garro to which SVG a small nation of just 110,000 people with little manufacturing base and little earning capacity has to earn its way in the world and to collect taxes to pay its public service workers. We could therefore do without the cynicism from the like of you Lenford O’Garro and the unlearned prattle of D. Markie Spring.

Who for our information Lenford O’Garro are these Spin doctors that you write about and which are on parade and of whom in your cynicism you write? Please do tell?

http://www.moodys.com

Wo r l d E c o n o m i c a n d F i n a n c i a l S u r v e y s
http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2012/01/pdf/text.pdf
World Economic outlook
April 2012 (Growth Resuming, Dangers Remain)

Lenford O'Garro:

Patterson, it is a preposterous idea that I or anyone as a Vincentian cannot question the proposed growth or policies of the government because we live in the US. I give my reasons why I do not believe the two percent is possible. Did you miss them? Did you miss in my follow-up the point about remittances?

Who is being cynical? You have a government who is telling the people “We are on the cusp of an economic takeoff, we are about to reap a harvest, what happened in the US with the banks can’t happens here and no austerity measures in SVG.” Who is being cynical?

Patterson, you can tried as the government did to blame 9/11 and the world economic downturn but the SVG government is at fault for the sad state of the country. The government showed no fiscal responsibility. Their established statutory corporations were at the heart of the demise of the National Commercial Bank. How did the government help the former government owned supermarket (Marketing Board, aka Food City)? Their plan was to outspend and closed other local supermarket, owned by people who they claimed do not support them. How did that work? It resulted in the selling of the former government owned supermarket. British American Insurance Company (BAICO) and Colonial Life Insurance Company (CLICO), Nano’s, Stanford’s and Millennium Banks, where was the government oversight?

It bedeviled me that a third world country government will get money from the European Union (EU) for agricultural diversity program and return millions to the EU unspent. The government has taken away lands from farmers. The cassava, arrowroot and dasheen projects all has failed. The fisheries project in Owia failed, the building is closed. Have the government met the EU fish exports? The government claimed agriculture is dead, then proceeded to destroy banana industry. Now the government is trying to hang their hats on a cocoa project brought forward by the opposition platform, which the government rejected as colonialism and a form of slavery.

The US government place their money in stimulating the US economy unlike many countries in Europe. Greece in particular tried austerity, it did not work. Historically, stimulus has shown to be the way to go. You cannot tax the people more, if they have less. It causes more contraction (less spending by the people)! Therefore, the big difference is that the SVG government is doing austerity measures on the people like Greece. Unlike the US, the SVG stimulus package (the building of airport) was given to Cuba instead of, to the people of SVG.

Furthermore, the government is rubbing it in the face of the private sector by owing them millions of dollars and choose to give a no bid contract of seven million dollars to a Jamaican company. More of SVG’s stimulus money being shipped overseas, instead of to the people of SVG. Who is being cynical? Who is fooling whom?

By the way, here are some businesses that has leave SVG shores for greener pastures in neighboring countries: Church’s and Mario’s to Guyana, the Chinese restaurant that was at Villa to St. Lucia, and the asphalt company also to St. Lucia. Don’t tell me you are living is SVG and you are unaware of these?

Peter:

Just take a shopping trip to Gittens, they are on the brink, you will cry with shame.

Patterson:

You did indeed give your reasons why you did not believe the two percent was not possible Lenford O'Garro but your views are what they are just views and as you have not identified yourself as an economist the weight to which one would give to your views lenford are somewhat light. Moreover as I would not ask my dentist for investment advice so too I would not ask a biologist for economic advice.

You indeed had cause to mention a number of quotes from individuals whom you said spoke for the government and as I have no idea who or in what context they made those remarks I cannot comment perhaps you could make reference next time you write.

For my part I have never made reference to 9/11 in any of my writings therefore you are mistaken but the economic downturn I would say are having profound effects throughout the region and to deny that would indeed be most foolish for the IMF, the World Bank, The World Economic Forum's (WEF) and the OECD have much to say on that subject.

The loss of ownership of the National Commercial Bank can in no way be the cause for an economic downturn in SVG. Ownership is ownership and the bank still continues to exist and remains one of the best performing banking institution in SVG. The government giving up control of “Food City” as far as I know is indeed a good thing as it is my view that the Government should leave commercial enterprise to the Business community but that said one cannot see how the divesting of that small commercial enterprise could be the cause of the downturn in economic activity in SVG.

Indeed the loss of British American Insurance Company (BAICO) and Colonial Life Insurance Company (CLICO) is indeed a loss to the spending public who would like to spend their own cash now trapped in the assets of those failed companies! However, no Stakeholder in SVG lost any funds in the Millennium Banks so it is difficult to see how it failing caused any downturn in SVG.

Central to your argument Lenford O'Garro if one understands you correctly is that you expect the SVG government to go on a spending spree however, one would just have to ask you Lenford O'Garro , spend what? You advocate here an American like “stimulus” but with what Lenford O'Garro? SVG is not the UK or USA! You had cause to mention the Greeks and no one is going to lend the Greeks until they cut, cut, and cut! That is just the reality!

You cannot have it both ways Lenford O'Garro that is to advocate efficiency on the part of government and when they get the best price in purchasing for our tax dollars outside SVG because to it that was the best price possible you then grumble! Moreover Lenford where have you identified the skills for building the Airport in SVG?

Now as stated previously companies relocate for a number of reasons and as I understand it “the Chinese restaurant that was at Villa” has relocated because their rent was too high now what has that to do with Government?

It would seem Lenford O'Garro that you are in denial about the state of the world economy because I say again you are secured in Washington and in comfort.

Here Lenford O'Garro for your information is some of the facts of the economic environment where even the big countries such as Australia, India, UK, and China are finding it difficult!

The UK has risen to eighth from 10th place in an annual study of global competitiveness. The World Economic Forum's (WEF) survey said the UK had benefited from a more efficient labour market compared with more "rigid" European economies. The UK too has now spent billions during the downturn!

The US economy fell from fifth to seventh place, although WEF said it remained the top innovator.

Switzerland topped the table, followed by Singapore and then Finland in the survey of 144 economies.

The ratings are compiled using public data as well as executive opinion. The survey placed China as the most competitive major emerging economy. China however has suffered some decline in demand!

The WEF said the UK had benefited from "clear strengths such as the efficiency of its labour market" and praised the UK's "sophisticated and innovative businesses". The Global top 10 Countries are (previous year in brackets) 1: Switzerland (1)2: Singapore (3) 3: Finland (4) 4: Sweden (3) 5: Netherlands (7)
6: Germany (6) 7: United States (5) 8: UK (10) 9: Hong Kong (11) 10: Japan (9) http://reports.weforum.org/global-competitiveness-report-2012-2013/

Source: World Economic Forum http://reports.weforum.org/global-competitiveness-report-2012-2013/

However, the body said that the British macroeconomic economic environment - ranked 110th, down from 85th last year - was hindering competitiveness. The British Treasury said it "welcomed" the report, saying the UK's improvement was down to the government's reforms.

The report uses 12 categories to assess a country's ranking: institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic environment, health and primary education, higher education and training, goods market efficiency, labour market efficiency, financial market development, technological readiness, market size, business sophistication and innovation.

There is in Europe a north-south divide, The WEF survey showed a clear divide between Europe's northern countries and the troubled periphery economies which are suffering from recessions. In total, six European economies are in the top 10 - Switzerland (1st), Finland (3rd), Sweden (4th), the Netherlands (5th), Germany (6th) and the United Kingdom (8th). But the southern euro zone economies are ranked much lower, with Spain in 36th place, Italy 42nd, Portugal 49th and Greece 96th.

The southern economies, which are at the heart of the euro zone sovereign debt crisis, have suffered a chronic lack of competitiveness and low levels of productivity that led to unsustainable imbalances in the economy, followed by rising unemployment.

The WEF urged an overhaul of labour regulations "sooner than later" as one of the necessary reforms to restore growth. Switzerland maintained its top position thanks to its scientific institutions, a strong collaboration between academia and business sectors, high spending on research and development as well as its high rate of patenting per capita, the WEF said.

The US ranking has continued to fall due to weakness in the overall economy as well as worries among businesses towards what they perceive as government meddling in the private sector and distrust towards politicians.

The WEF warned that in the US, despite being the world's top innovator with the likes of Google and Face book, political gridlock over fiscal tightening could dampen growth prospects. The survey cited an inefficient government bureaucracy and tax rates as the two biggest impediments to doing business in the US.

US manufacturing growth remained sluggish in August amid falling exports and weak employment, according to two closely-watched surveys. The Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index was 51.5 last month, a notch higher than 51.4 in July. A similar index by the Institute for Supply Management showed a small contraction, with a score just under 50.

A score above 50 indicates growth, and below contraction. Both surveys pointed to a slowdown in new orders due to weak demand for US products and as businesses hired fewer employees. Mark Wingham, an economist at Markit, said: "If the PMI does not pick up substantially in September, third quarter manufacturing growth will likely be one of the weakest since the recovery began.

"US manufacturers took a more cautious approach towards hiring more staff in August, with the rate of job creation the slowest since December 2010," he added. Latest US jobs data is due to be released early September, and economists forecast 120,000 jobs were created in August down from 163,000 in July. The US economy grew by 1.7% in the second quarter.

http://www.ilo.org/global/topics/youth-employment/lang--en/index.htm

Global youth unemployment will continue rising over the next five years, according to a new report from the International Labour Organization. The effects of the euro crisis will spill over from developed to emerging economies, the ILO says, pushing youth unemployment to almost 13% by 2017.

The ILO warned that many young people have given up hope of ever finding a job. The report calls for government-backed jobs and training. The ILO points out that some countries where youth unemployment is relatively low, such as Austria, Denmark and Sweden, have successfully introduced such programmes.

"Schemes using employment guarantees and an emphasis on training could help get jobseekers off the street and into useful activities, providing a safeguard against further economic stress," lead author of the report Ekkehard Ernst said.

The report says that although youth unemployment in Europe is forecast to fall slightly in the next few years, this is not likely to be because more jobs are available. "Much of this decline in the jobless rate is not due to improvements in the labour market, but rather to large numbers of young people dropping out of the labour force altogether due to discouragement," the ILO says. "These discouraged youth are not counted among the unemployed," it adds.

The euro zone crisis will impact on emerging economies in East Asia and Latin America as demand in Europe slows and exports decrease. Youth unemployment is rising in these emerging economies. The Middle East and North Africa have the highest rates of youth unemployment and will continue to do so, the report says. Even though the number is expected to fall slightly in North Africa, the report estimates it will still stand at 26.7% in 2017, with the Middle East projected to have 28.4% of its young people out of work by that date.

On Wednesday 4th Sep 2012, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble ruled out a third package of aid for Greece, but stressed that it would be staying in the euro zone."The costs for Greece are already very high and therefore we cannot have a new programme for Greece," he told German radio. Greece was given an 110bn-euro package in May 2010 and a further 130bn Euros in October 2011, along with a 100bn-euro debt write-off. European President Herman Van Rompuy is due to meet Greek leader Antonis Samaras on Thursday 5th Sep 2012.

Greece's international lenders have suggested measures including increasing the maximum working week to six days. It is one of several unofficial proposals to liberalise the labour market and increase government revenue, contained in a paper seen by the News wire. The proposals were not included in the original bailout agreement signed with the Greek government. Inspectors from the EU, IMF and European Central Bank, known as the troika, are due in Greece this week.

They are writing a report, due in October that will decide whether Greece receives its next instalment of bailout funds. Greece needs the next payment of 31.5bn euros ($39.6bn; £24.9bn) to allow it to continue servicing its debts.

Proposals in the document from the troika included: Setting a single rate statutory minimum wage,

Reducing regulatory burdens, Making work schedules more flexible, setting a minimum daily rest of 11 hours Eliminating restrictions on the minimum and maximum time between morning and afternoon shifts.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Central Bank (ECB) and the European Commission - the group of donor bodies known collectively as the "troika" - are examining whether Greece is making sufficient progress towards reforming its public finances.

Greece is currently trying to finalise a package of 11.5bn Euros ($14.4bn; £9.1bn) of spending cuts over the next two years. It is also being asked to put in place economic and structural reforms, including changes to the labour market and a renewed privatisation drive.

The measures are needed to qualify for the next 33.5bn-euro instalment of its second 130bn-euro bailout. Greece needs the funds to make repayments on its debt burden. A default could result in the country leaving the euro.

As the downturn continues slowing growth in key markets such as China and India has hurt demand for Australia's resources and impacted the sector's growth. To make matters worse, prices of commodities such as iron ore have also fallen in recent months, hurting mine companies' profits. That has forced some companies to put their expansion plans on hold, hurting investment in the economy.

Australia's economic growth rate slowed in the second quarter amid a drop global demand for its resources and lacklustre domestic consumption. Growth was 3.7% in the April to June period, from a year earlier. That is down from 4.3% annual growth in the same period last year.

Compared with the previous quarter, the economy expanded by 0.6%.There is fears that Australia's growth may slow further as demand for its resources slows."We are moving into a fairly risky phase of the Australian economy with the mining sector looking a bit ragged," said Shane Oliver, chief economist at AMP Capital Investors.

That is the state of affairs my dear Lenford O'Garro but according to you SVG with only 110,000 people and very little by way of resources can go on a spending spree with an American stimulus plan!

http://www.ilo.org/global/topics/youth-employment/lang--en/index.htm

http://www.smh.com.au/business/investor-alarm-as-mining-loses-ground-20120905-25eqk.html

Wo r l d E c o n o m i c a n d F i n a n c i a l S u r v e y s
http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2012/01/pdf/text.pdf
World Economic outlook
April 2012 (Growth Resuming, Dangers Remain)

http://reports.weforum.org/global-competitiveness-report-2012-2013/

Lenford O'Garro:

Patterson or whoever you are, you can try to spin and talk about Moody’s and Europe but the reality is on the ground in SVG. The deplorable state of the infrastructure, the potholes, Little Tokyo, the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital and too many more to mention. No wonder, back in 2006 “I-Mad” calypso summed it up well, “St. Vincent mash-up and Ralph is to blame!”

SVG has scant resources and therefore requires proper planning and diligence management and maintenance of those resources. This requires fiscal responsibility and restraint, sensible investments, honest assessments and proper handling of the country.

If you are going to sink everything into an airport, you better be using it as a stimulus package for the nation in this hard guava crop season. Not a stimulus for Cuba!

Do you understand what 800 million dollars or a billion dollars project (aka the airport) could have done for SVG’s economy?

You have got to be kidding! You cannot see that SVG’s stimulus package was given to Cuba. Plus what should have been an additional injection of stimulus to the economy, the seven million dollars was given to a Jamaican company. What the matter, companies in SVG do not carry cement, lumber and galvanize?

It’s time for you to wake up and stop all the long talk. Goodbye!

Peter:

Hi! Lenford, spot on, we could of had a new hospital and good agriculture, still had a banana industry.

Its all in the airport.

At least all that we know of.

Where did the million US dollars in cash come from, and where has the new US millions in cash come from? Shared by just a few.

WAKE UP AND SMELL THE SULPUR

Simon Anderson:

PETER, AH MEAN BRIAN ALEXANDER, why did he Police pick you up at work?

Did it have to do with the missing money at PH Veira?

What happen to the Ottley Hall money, Brian?


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