After more than 16 years in government by Dr. Mitchell and his New National Party administration; the status quo basically remains the same.
The sad situation is that the people of the tri-island state cannot boast of enjoying a better quality and standard of living, than they were experiencing for the last ten years – in fact the standard of living has deteriorated a great deal.
Initially, Dr. Mitchell was handed a country with a national debt of just over EC$500 million, with credit worthy status. Dr. Mitchell and his government wasted no time to exploit the resources of the state in a reckless and irresponsible manner.
During his tenure from 1995-2008 the country amassed a national debt of EC$1.8 billion with minimal economic results to show.
It was during those years that personal income tax was abolished….also the virtual sale and giveaway of millions of dollars worth of properties such as Mt. Hartman, Levera, Ballast Ground, Grand Beach, and other prime pieces of properties.
Further, it was under Dr. Mitchell’s watch that the ”Bandeirante Aircraft” went missing until this very day. For those of you with recording memory; prior to hurricane Ivan and Emily, Grenada was steering down a deep economic hole, a situation that befalls us due to failure by Dr. Mitchell to heed the advice of the IMF and other reputable financial institutions that advised against subscribing to a “non-income tax system of governance.
Since then that policy has failed miserably and it is that more than anything else that is responsible for the economic crisis the country is in today.
Today, the sad realities of those pitfalls have landed us into the jaws of an IMF homegrown program. This program has been having devastating effects on the local economy and the lives of most Grenadians.
It is ironic to hear, Dr. Mitchell and his administration boast of upstaging a glorious recovery of the Grenada economy. One may ask the question, what have Dr. Mitchell and his government did since assuming office in 2013 to directly benefit the local economy?
Statistic shows that Grenada now has the highest unemployment rate in the region with youth unemployment now standing at over 50%. The administration is doing little to help the youths find sustainable jobs. The youth are frustrated with the Imani program from the standpoint that they are not able to make the transitions into permanent and sustainable jobs.
To make a bad situation worse a barrage of taxes, duties and levies – over 26 of them – were forcefully imposed on the small working force, resulting in some people losing their homes and other possessions.
The IMF structural adjustment will conclude in December of this year.
The question is can Grenada survive on its own without IMF continued support? Will the many taxes that drive up the cost of living be lifted? What measures have the Government put in place to help raise taxes to run the economy, pay salaries and pay the bondholders approximately EC$40 million every six months?
History shows that the National Democratic Congress administration, always takes the best approach towards solving Grenada’s economic problems by strengthening the various pillars of the economy, in order to produce more tangibles.
George Brizan did it successfully, a similar approach was taken with the Tillman Thomas administration, but the process was undermined by Dr. Mitchell and a group of rebels working within NDC.
Today it is clear as to who they are and what they were up to. Look in the Senate, look in the Cabinet, look in the ministries; they are all there helping to defend their personal interests and the cause of Dr Mitchell and his New National Party.
Finally, as we approach the election silly season, I will like to urge especially the youths to be vigilant and pay attention to the many issues that matters most to them, while at the same time resisting the political hype and grandiose promises such as “work you want, work you go get” and Laptop and Tablets for all school children, also the money for vote campaign.
Let wisdom be the principal thing and in getting the understanding of what really matters and what is at stake. Be assured a better Grenada is possible with the National Democratic Congress.