The main opposition New National Party (NNP) has outlined eight reasons why the electorate should return the Keith Mitchell-led team into public office.
Addressing party supporters during an NNP rally at Telescope Playing Field, St Andrew last week Sunday, Shadow Finance Minister Anthony Boatswain said that a major economic and financial crisis is looming over Grenada under the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the NNP was better able to deal with the problem..
According to Boatswain, an NNP led government will be an action-oriented one and will operate on the basis of consensus as the key to policy formulation and implementation, will be a more fiscally responsible government and will increase spending on public sector investment programme.
The former government minister sought to entice Grenadians to look towards his party since it plans to offer the electorate more incentives and an enabling environment for the private sector to invest more into the country.
In addition, Boatswain said that if the NNP is brought back into power, it will restructure the tax regime to make it more conducive and responsive to economic growth, will seek to renegotiate treaties and agreements that have been placed on Grenadians thus creating a disadvantage to the local economy.
The Opposition has been accusing the Tillman Thomas-led Congress administration of negotiating a bad treaty with neighbouring Trinidad and Tobago to delimit the boundaries between the two States.
The current rulers have sought to set the boundaries in order to put Grenada in a better position to tap its offshore oil and gas reserves.
Boatswain promised that a new NNP regime will restore the micro enterprise project that provides soft loan financing for persons in the rural areas who cannot afford to approach the bank due to a lack of collateral.
In reference to the division that exists within the Congress government, Boatswain said that those involved had simple put a marriage of convenience together out of pure hate for former Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell but the arrangement has now failed.
Charging that after four years of nothingness, it is now time for a divorce (between the two factions of the NDC) as evidenced by the two separate events held at La Tante, St. David’s and Gouyave in St. John’s to celebrate the ruling party’s fourth year in office.
Boatswain warned that Grenadians are already heavily taxed and as such any more taxation is not an option and that any attempt to do this will be counter productive.
He said there are only two options available to this Government – go on bending knees to the Washington-based International Monetary Fund (IMF) and ask for a bailout or vacate the seat of Government.
“Call fresh elections because for Grenada to grow NDC must go”, Boatswain said, adding that Grenada is in this present economic and financial predicament as a result of unrealistic budgets and implementation of wrong policies by the Thomas-led government.
He accused the NDC rulers of using the global economic fallout to mask its incompetence and impotence in office.
“Better days are coming … The shelf life of the NDC government has expired… you can ensure the quickening of the burial of the NDC by doing what you have to do, register and when the time is right go out in your numbers and vote overwhelmingly for the New National Party”, Boatswain told supporters.
In its 13 years in office from 1995 to 2008, the NNP was accused of taking the national debt from around EC$373 million to a whopping EC$ 1.8 billion due to a massive borrowing and spending spree on non-productive projects such as a National Stadium and guaranteeing loans to questionable foreign investors like those linked to the so-called Ritz Carlton hotel at Mt. Hartman.