Thur. 27th Jan., 2011

No. 6 First Session Ninth ParliamentThursday 27th January, 2011Prayers Motion Appropriation Bill, 2011SuspensionCecile Mckie Vynette Fredrick David Browne Anesia Baptiste Terrance Ollivierre St. Claire Leacock Julian FrancisSAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES THE PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES (HANSARD) ADVANCE COPY OFFICIAL REPORTCONTENTS Thursday 27th January 20111THE PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES OFFICIAL REPORTPROCEEDINGS AND DEBATES OF THE SECOND MEETING, FIRST SESSION OF THE NINTH PARLIAMENT OF SAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES CONSTITUTED AS SET OUT IN SCHEDULE 2 TO THE SAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES ORDER, 1979.SIXTH SITTING27th January 2011HOUSE OF ASSEMBLYThe Honourable House of Assembly met at 9: 05 a.m. in the Assembly Chamber, Court House, Kingstown.PRAYERS MR. SPEAKER IN THE CHAIR Honourable Hendrick Alexander PresentPrime Minister, Minister of Finance, Economic Planning, National Security, Grenadines and Legal Affairs Dr. the Honourable Ralph GonsalvesAttorney General Honourable Judith Jones-MorganMinister of Education/ Deputy Prime Minister Honourable Girlyn MiguelMinister of Housing, Informal Human Settlements, Physical Planning, Lands and Surveys Honourable Clayton BurginMEMBERS OF CABINETMember for North Central WindwardMember for MarriaquaMember for East St. George2Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and Rural Transformation Honourable Montgomery DanielMinister of Tourism and Industry Honourable Saboto CaesarMinister of Health, Wellness and The Environment Honourable Cecil McKieMinister of National Reconciliation Labour, Information and Ecclesiastical Affairs Honourable Maxwell CharlesMinister of National Mobilisation, Social Development, the Family, Persons with Disabilities, Youths, Sports and CultureHonourable Frederick StephensonMinister of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade And Consumer Affairs Honourable Dr. Douglas SlaterMinister of Transport and Works, Urban Development and Local Government Honourable Julian FrancisParliamentary Secretary in the Office Of the Prime Minister Honourable Elvis CharlesHonourable David BrowneHonourable Arnhim Eustace Leader of the OppositionDr. the Honourable Godwin FridayMember for North Windward Member for South Central Windward Member for West St. GeorgeMember for Central LeewardMember for South WindwardGovernment SenatorGovernment Senator Government SenatorGovernment Senator/ Deputy SpeakerOTHER MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE3Member for East Kingstown Member for Northern GrenadinesHonourable Terrance Ollivierre Honourable St. Claire Leacock Honourable Daniel Cummings Honourable Roland Matthews Honourable Nigel Stephenson Honourable Vynnette Frederick Honourable Anesia BaptisteMember for Southern Grenadines Member for Central Kingstown Member for West Kingstown Member for North Leeward Member for South Leeward Opposition SenatorOpposition Senator4SAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY THURSDAY 27TH JANUARY 2011PRAYERS HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: The Honourable Speaker, Hendrick Alexander read the prayers of theHouse.Honourable Members, we are at the fourth day or third day whichever way you want to call it, of our debate with the Appropriation Bill and I need to remind you to kindly check your cell phones and make sure that they are not in a position to disturb or in any way to be heard during this sitting.Just a minute, Honourable Member, and I need to remind us as well that we are participating in what you call a debate and all the rules and regulations as relate to a debate would be observed. The word Parliament, as we know, is a place for speaking and of course that has to be done in orderly manner and so we are going to insist that this is being done as we continue the debate this morning.Honourable Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Education, Member for Marriaqua.HONOURABLE GIRLYN MIGUEL: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. In accordance with Section 12(5) I beg that the proceedings of today’s sitting be exempted from the provisions of the Standing Order Hours of Sitting.HONOURABLE CLAYTON BURGIN: Mr. Speaker, I beg to second the motion.Question put and agreed to.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: When we suspended last night I recognised the Honourable Minister for Health and I am going to invite in a very short while to make his contribution. He will just give me a few minutes let me organise this gadget so that I can get his time properly.HONOURABLE CECIL MC KIE: Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, I rise to add my voice to the debate on the 2011 Appropriation Bill as laid before this Honourable House. Mr. Speaker, before I go into my debate I would like to take a minute and a half to throw something into the air. I hope that I will get the two minutes back at the end of my remark [laughter].5Maybe un-parliamentary but over the past days I sat and listened and looked across the table at the debate from both sides of the House, the setting here is very adversarial, I must say and I listened to the remarks on the other side and from time to time, I could not help but conclude that some of the Honourable Members on the other side wanted to support a number of things in the budget, but they just needed to oppose for opposition sake. The two nights ago while I listened to the debate, not the debate but the presentation of President Obama, State of the Union Address, I realise that both sides found the necessary ground to intermix and sit among each other. It may not be possible in the debates on the Estimates or the Budget, but maybe on a question for example of wellness, maybe we can have persons on both sides mix with each other and present messages that complement each other. So that is something for the Minister to consider ...,HONOURABLE SABOTO CEASAR: A joint venture proposal. HONOURABLE CECIL MC KIE: A joint venture proposal [laughter] of getting us together on somegrounds.Mr. Speaker, there is no doubt that the global financial crisis has hit just about every country on the globe. We cannot hide from this reality, we have to live with it and we have to adjust ourselves to it. And this is why I compliment the Minister of Finance and his team and the various Ministries for coming together and crafting what I would term as a practical budget. I am sure that if Members on the other side were on this side, they would have been forced to make the same adjustments so it is not a case that we are hiding behind the global realities.I heard from this side of the House various presentations on the productive sector, tourism, agriculture, finance, the economy, on the social side love and care, foreign realities and strategies, *land of policies and matters of security, labour, spiritual upliftment, all of them pointed to the fact that we are faced with a situation of doom or gloom or helplessness. In fact, all of the presentations put forward related to positive plans and strategies to take this country forward for the year 2011 [applause].Mr. Speaker, I want to endorse the proposal for improvement on the word ethics throughout the various Ministries. I like the call for Ministries to be accountable and for individuals to be responsible. I agree that we must work smart, we must manage prudently and we must avoid wastage. We all know these things, Mr. Speaker, but I think it is time for us to observe them in a very practical way.How do we stimulate the economy? I appreciate the initiatives for the removal of stamp duty in the case of persons who are making investments and who are making serials for the first time. The removal of the demand charged for businesses which will result in a net savings position, the reduction of the lifting charges on containers and the availability of soft funds which will hopefully be taken up by the Credit Union League to allow the establishment of small enterprises to assist with the development of our economy.The revenue measures, we heard from the Minister of Works in the debate on the Estimates the fact that he was going to pursue an aggressive programme as far as road repairs are concerned. This no doubt would help with the reduction of maintenance costs for not only the Ministries but individuals in our society and where the area of health is concerned, persons would be able to drive much easier on our roads reducing stress and also reducing our health bill.6Mr. Speaker, I would like to take some time to address some of the Ministries that will impact upon the area of health. I applaud the Education Revolution [applause]. This initiative addresses all aspects of our development from pre-school, primary school, secondary, tertiary right up to adult education. What is going to happen here, Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, is that like Sunny Banks indicated we hope that within the shortest possible time we will become the most educated nation in the region and Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, an educated nation means that we will be able to analyse better, analyse more and therefore we stand a better chance of encouraging our population to observe healthy lifestyles thereby assisting with our development while we reduce our health bill [applause].In the field of agriculture, we are promoting diversification in the agricultural sector. We are also encouraging increase in our fish yields. We are encouraging our nation to eat healthy and to look at their diets. Again Mr. Speaker, the plans as outlined by the Minister of Agriculture would see us being able to achieve the objectives of the Ministry of Health of improving on our lifestyles and reducing our health bill.Airport and tourism – Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, there is no doubt that the International Airport at Argyle will be a reality in the year 2012 [applause]. This means that we will have an increase of visitors to this country and as a responsible Ministry of Health, it is our intention to ensure that we are prepared and that our people are prepared as [far as] possible to deal with the realities of an International Airport and what will be derived in terms of benefits to St. Vincent and the Grenadines.Social Development – Mr. Speaker, we heard from the Minister of National Mobilisation, Social Development etc. of the intentions of that Ministry to ensure that they continue with the YES Programme, that they continue to assist the persons in our society who is challenged and who cannot take care of themselves. What this means, Mr. Speaker, as simple as it may be that these persons will be in a position to earn an income whether it be by stipend or by assistance and how many times have we heard persons on the YES Programme or the elderly who are more prone to become ill, indicating I cannot wait until I get my money from the YES Programme or Social Assistant Programme so that I can purchase the necessary medications so that I can be well and that I can enjoy a better standard of living. This programme, therefore, Mr. Speaker, is very important and would assist in us being able to achieve the objectives at the Ministry of Health.We heard also from the Minister of Foreign Affairs the fact that we have an aggressive and progressive foreign policy and we have continue to work along with our friendly countries, nations to assist us in the development of our health programme based on this relation.Mr. Speaker, I want to move on to the most substantive health aspects of my presentation. It is the desire of the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the Ministry of Health to provide optimum health care services to the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. We appreciate the fact that a substantial part of the budget has been assigned to our Ministry, Health, Wellness and the Environment and our programming for this year will endorse the fact that we have taken this responsibility seriously and we intend to carry out a very aggressive programme even though we exercise the aspect of prudence.Very importantly, and I mentioned it in my debate last week, we now have the two health planners physically located at the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment. This is a significant development and already we can see the benefits. Coordination will be easier and better. We will be able to look at our strategic plan for72007 to 2012 in a setting that will allow for discussion and for us to move forward together on the same page led by our health planners.The Milton Cato Memorial Hospital – Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, a lot of persons think that what happens at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital is what health means in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and that Health is all about what happens at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital. My presentation will show that there are many other aspects of health, but that the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital is a critical part of the health services, particularly, the primary health services in this country. It is for this reason why we have identified in the budget quite a bit of funds that would assist in the improvements at this facility. We would all agree that there is a need for a face lift at that institution. We have $500,000 available through local funds and during the course of the year, we will also have available to us part of the $33 million that will come through the 10th EDF. What do we intend to do? Make access to this institution smoother, more controlled and favourable. Create a more pleasing look to the eye of the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital. Make the entire premises environmentally friendly for staff, patients, visitors and for all users. Create improved working conditions to stimulate, improve productivity and patient recovery and make visits to that institution an experience.Machinery, Equipment and Implements – Mr. Speaker, we also are cognizant of the fact that we must always look at the machinery, equipment and implements available for use at this institution. In some cases, we have items that are no longer functionable and this would be after much use, we have damaged equipment, breakdown of machinery and some obsolete. There are always need to replace these, repair them or upgrade them. The fact is we get a lot of assistance from time to time from our overseas friends and individuals and organisations, but Mr. Speaker, we have funds available to us and we will use these funds to assist us in procuring the necessary items needed to upgrade the operation at the institution.Last week I made mention, Mr. Speaker, to the fact that a CT scan was on the cards for that institution and today I can further confirm that by next week a CT scan would arrive in St. Vincent and the Grenadines for use by the persons who need it in St. Vincent and the Grenadines [applause]. No longer would we have to send overseas, Mr. Speaker, our patients to obtain medical attention there and I made the point that the use of a CT scan is now the norm, it is the run of the mill, a service that will be expected to be obtained at any primary medical facility and we hope that in the shortest possible time we will be able to solve this challenge that we had for some time.While on equipment, Mr. Speaker, over the last two weeks we received three sets of donations of machinery, equipment and implements at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital all of which will impact positively on the delivery of health care services in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. First of all, through the assistance of our new General Surgeon, Vincentian, Dr. Samuel Hazell with a donation from the St. Francis Charlestown Hospital of South Carolina we received a cryostat machine. What is a cryostat machine, Mr. Speaker? Previously, when a medical intervention was made, somebody was cut, we would have had to go in, take samples, and stitch the patient back up, send the biopsy for analysis, ask the patient to return in a few weeks or months and then there was a possibility that we would have had to go back in and do another set of medical intervention. This bit of machinery would allow us to do the cut, do the analysis of the biopsy within 15 or so minutes and make a determination of what was required, stitch the patient back up or do more biopsy if it was8needed. In other words, we now, we do one operation rather than two or three as the case may be, very useful bit of equipment.We also had donated through this source a dermatome machine to allow for skin graphs, laparoscopic instruments and all of them already have been put to use at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital. I would want to say special thanks to Dr. Hazell and his team and to the donations from the hospital and I ask us to really show our appreciation [applause].Mr. Speaker, the second assistance would have come through the Republic of China on Taiwan and this is an on-going programme with the Taiwanese. From time to time they would make donations of equipment to the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital and last week they donated 130 pieces of equipment, machinery and implements to assist with our operation at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital. Mr. Speaker, over the years they have also assisted with capacity building, training of our medical personnel and they have indicated that they will continue this process. Again thanks to the progressive foreign policy of the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines [applause].Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, the third donation came through the efforts of Dr. Steve Nanton a Vincentian living in the USA and he worked along with Mr. Paul St. John and the Lions Club of St. Vincent on this project. And last week we were able to receive significant bit of equipment that would allow us to perform various interventions in terms of endoscopy and colonoscopy. Members are asking me what is this all about.HONOURABLE CLAYTON BURGIN: How them say you nah know the difference between phensic and cafenol [laughter]?HONOURABLE CECIL MC KIE: Mr. Speaker, over the past two weeks we had screening of over 200 Vincentians to see if they are qualify for these procedures. What these procedures are all about is using a tube with a camera in the case of the endoscopy; the tube will be inserted at the upper end of the body and will go down into... [applause]HONOURABLE SABOTO CEASAR: You pass the test already man, [laughter] you are doing well comrade. HONOURABLE CECIL MC KIE: Down into the throats and the intestines and observed whether there areulcers or any challenges in that area [applause]. In the case of..., HONOURABLE SABOTO CEASAR: You make us proud.HONOURABLE CECIL MC KIE: In the case of colonoscopy the tube will be inserted at the bottom opening of the body [laughter] the lower opening of the body [applause] and examination will be made...,HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Just a minute, Honourable Member, I appreciate and understand the enthusiasm of the strangers in the gallery, but I am asking them please to desist from participating in any way in the debate. Thank you, continue.HONOURABLE CECIL MC KIE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and what this would allow is the examinations of the colon so that early detection could be made for colon cancer and remedies effected.9As important, Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, with the fact that this team and they are actually in operation right now at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital, they also worked with something called a ‘pill cam.’ It is a small item the size of a tablet and the patient is expected to swallow this pill cam and it would go all the way through the system, taking thousands of images with it as it goes through, recording them on a small digit similar to cell phones and then these images would be transferred to the computer where you can see it like a movie and make determinations of any challenges within the body. Tremendous bit of modern machinery [applause]. This will be done over an eight hour period and then the pill cam at some point in time would be passed out of the body through the natural means.Mr. Speaker, very important, significant developments in the area of health in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. And in fact, Dr. Nanton has a team of four with him presently and the intention is to establish a foundation here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines call, the Mc Kennon, which is the donor group, the hospital from the USA, South Dakota as well as Olympus the manufacturers of the machinery and they intend..., Dr. Nanton intends to establish a foundation in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. This will allow for more donations and more visits by the team so that they can eventually have a dedicated unit in St. Vincent and the Grenadines where they can perform these procedures. Thanks to Dr. Nanton, his team and all who partnered with him [applause].Mr. Speaker, this brings me to the question of overseas mission, because the mission of Dr. Nanton and his team will be one of 13 that will be effected over the course of 2011 and we will see procedures performed by these visiting teams in ophthalmology, paediatrics, neurology, and general surgery, paediatric eye care, paediatric orthopedic surgery, endoscopy and colonoscopy as I just outlined cardiology, ENT orclalo-plastics, neo- surgery and general neurology.Mr. Speaker, five of these visits would be carried out by the international hospital for children and last week I made mention of the importance of this programme to St. Vincent and the Grenadines where thousands of our children benefit, thousand, millions of dollars are saved, both to the patients and to the country and this programme will be an on-going one and in fact, many children from the wider region now benefit from this programme with the ultimate objective being to have a facility that can conduct these surgeries all year round. What a programme, long may it be continue.Mr. Speaker, staffing, there is no doubt that the increase in demand on the medical system has necessitated constant improvement in terms of numbers and quality of service that our staff has to deliver. In this regard we are happy that over 27 new posts would have been allocated for in the budget and in fact, we expect that over 42 positions will be filled over the 2011 year. Mr. Speaker, we are also cognizant of the fact that we must continue to upgrade our nurses and doctors and medical professionals and we would continue to implement programmes that will build capacity and this would also be placed on a high list of priority for the year 2011. In fact, the nurses of this country they are formulating a national strategic plan for nurses which would guide us in terms of our nursing requirements for the year 2011 and beyond.New initiatives, Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, I mentioned last week the fact that we were spending too much money on the purchase of medical oxygen and during the course of 2011 as indicated in our budgetary allocation funds have been provided to establish an oxygen plant which would allow us to create our own medical oxygen and have it at our disposal at all of our medical facilities. This is going to allow us significant savings in terms of the bill [applause].10Another initiative, Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, would be in the field of the provision of an improved ambulance response as well as ensuring that we have the appropriate trained persons always available on our ambulances as they go out to ensure that the patients gets to their destination safely and we have initiated discussions in that regard and over the next couple of months we will..., it is our intention to finalise these discussions and come up with a plan to assist us in ensuring that this service is up to optimum.We have also initiated on-going discussions on improving our management systems at not only the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital but all of our medical facilities. This would have been initiated some time ago, but we think that it is necessary to bring the management of all of our facilities up to what is required and desired locally and to bring us up to speed with what is expected in the 21st century. We will also intensify our discussion on the issue of implementing a national health insurance programme and the appropriate legislation to allow such a programme to come into being. Now in both cases, both in terms of the modern hospital management system and team as well as the national health insurance aspect, we already have documentation available and it is our intention to have these form part of the on-going discussions so that we can come to a conclusion on these matters.Clinics, centres, hospitals – we also have funds available which we would use in 2011 to impact on refurbishing, improving just about all of the health centres throughout the length and breadth of this country. These improvements would come in one form or the other, but the most significant of them would be done in Bequia where it is the intention to construct a new health centre down there as well as refurbish the existing Bequia Hospital and these projects will be done under the Basic Needs Trust Fund. That project should have commenced in 2010, but unfortunately there were circumstances which did not allow that to happen, but the project will be implemented during 2011.Polyclinics – we all know that the polyclinic at Stubbs is completed and that the necessary properties have been identified to allow the construction of the polyclinics in Buccament and Marriaqua and again, with funds available from the European Union, we would embark on the construction of these projects at a later date. What these polyclinics would do, Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, is to decentralise the provision of primary health care in this country. Spread throughout those three regions it would allow us to have persons in those areas instead of coming to the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital attend these clinics and therefore take the weight and the load off of the central facility at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital. We have already began addressing the staffing needs of these institutions and we have already indicated that they will offer a wide range of services including attention to persons suffering from HIV/AIDS and SDIs as this would be incorporated into the natural care given under our primary health care system.Mr. Speaker, the modern medical complex at Georgetown. I also mentioned this project last week. Funds available, project going along smoothly, again this would further decentralise the availability of top quality medical services in St. Vincent and the Grenadines in particularly the offer of services in dialysis not now available and I am sure that everyone in this country would be looking forward to the completion of this facility and this commissioning so that we can have these services available to a wider cross-section of our society [applause].The Mental Health Facility and the Lewis Punnett Home, I think the Honourable Prime Minister indicated that we are awaiting further funds from the EU to assist with the refurbishing of these facilities much needed,11but in the meantime, we have been looking at the allocation of staff at these facilities and some of which are cater for in the budget for 2011.The ultimate intention, Mr. Speaker, is to consider seriously the relocation of the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital and as such $100,000 has been budgeted for to assist in initiating the necessary feasibility study to have that facility relocated and we also had discussions with other willing donors who would assist us in this feasibility study and identify all that would be required in that regard. This however is an on-going process and we would hear more about that possibility as time goes by.Other positive initiatives – Mr. Speaker, despite what has been said in many circles there are a lot of positive things taking place in the medical field. Let us look at some of them. The Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, we have been extending tremendous service in the medical field. For example, 14 bursaries have been extended to students to attend the Local Trinity School of Nursing and who would have done so over the past two years that that school has been in operation. I was fortunate to have attended the most recent white coat session where we have four Vincentians inducted into that programme and indeed, I do not think that we recognise the benefits that school has been bringing to our people and I want us to really applaud the Government and the Trinity School for that partnership [applause]. We also extend four scholarships to students attending the St. George’s University in Grenada. Sixty students are presently studying in Cuba to become nurses; six students receive 75 percent of their tuition settled at the faculty of medical science at St. Augustine.The Nursing School – Mr. Speaker, we continue to train some 100 nurses from year to year, a significant programme that must be continued. We remember, Mr. Speaker, when it was suggested that why should we train nurses and have no place to place them. But what has been happening, we have been able to start what can be termed an industry. We now export nurses to many Caribbean countries, North America and Europe, all over the world we have nurses [applause]. We have believe it or not 60 or so nurses stationed at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Barbados and we are currently processing about 22 nurses for a possible placement in the Trinidad and Tobago market. What an achievement, Mr. Speaker? Long may this programme continue, let us continue to turn out our nurses and have them represent us at the highest level in all of these countries [applause]. We must be reminded also, Mr. Speaker, that some $1 million has been made available by the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines to nurses, police, sportsmen, cultural artistes to assist in their personal development and this facility is available to them.The Health Information Unit – Mr. Speaker, a very important development in the health aspect in this country. In the very near future this project should be fully commissioned and would assist in the improvement of reporting mechanisms, make available an accessible patient data, it would improve our monitoring and accounting capabilities, it will allow data analysis, the streamlining and control of medication distribution that will avoid duplication and wastage.The Bequia Rehabilitation Plant – and this is still in keeping with important developments in the health sector. The Bequia desalination plant has been conceptualised; funding has been identified and is available. What we must do now, Mr. Speaker, is to get the partners involved in this project to continue speaking with the Central Water and Sewerage Authority, because this body is going to play a critical role in the management of that project upon its implementation. What that project is going to do is to use solar energy to allow the12transformation of salt water into fresh water because we all know that water is a challenge in the Grenadines and in particular in Bequia. This project will be carried out in Paget Farm and hopefully, its success would allow us to replicate this programme throughout the other Grenadine Islands or where ever necessary in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.Mr. Speaker, we heard yesterday from the Minister of National Mobilisation the fact that two years ago the Sports Department would have instituted a wellness programme which has been successfully run by that Department. The Ministry of Health also would have engaged a number of personnel in that Ministry in discussing the wellness revolution. In fact, we have a draft document in terms of a policy to take that programme forward. Wellness has now been placed under the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment and discussions would have been initiated across Ministries to ensure that we establish again in a very short time the various stakeholders across the Ministries, outside of the Ministries that would assist us in implementing a true national wellness programme. These aspects will take into consideration physical wellness, wellness in terms of health, mental wellness, spiritual wellness and environmental wellness and Mr. Speaker, it is expected that Members of the House would assist in leading the drive for wellness in the various communities because we intend to implement this programme throughout all of the constituencies in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. We want to have the most, well Parliament in the Eastern Caribbean. So we look forward to the support of all Members of the House.Lives to live, another very important initiative Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, we have the necessary data, data that would allow us to identify some of the items that we could obtain and provide in the shortest possible time. Items that would be able to address the needs of some of the mental and physically challenged persons that exist in our society and Mr. Speaker, while we wait the necessary funds to fully implement that programme; we think that in conjunction with the Ministry of National Mobilisation that we can get going on this programme to assist these persons in enjoying a better standard of living.Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, we now has an office of the Pan American Health Organisation located in St. Vincent and the Grenadines; this has been a recent development. It is being manned by a Vincentian, Ms. Wilson. That organisation has assisted us over the years in implementing a number our health programmes, assisting us in building capacity, assisting us with training, assisting us in technical matters. In fact, post Tomas recovery that organisation assisted with US$40,000 in that regard. And a further $20,000 has been identified to be contributed to the OECS, PPS (Pharmaceutical Procurement Services) to assist again with post Tomas recovery. We are sure, we are confident that with the placement of an office here that this will further enhance our relationship with that organisation which would lead to greater assistance from PAHO.Mr. Speaker, there are five elements that I want to identify which would show without a shadow of a doubt Members of this House as well as persons throughout St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Mr. Speaker, if you can tell me when I have 15 minutes left.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: You have half an hour left.HONOURABLE CECIL MC KIE: Okay, Mr. Speaker. Throughout the length and breadth of St. Vincent and the Grenadines to show why our health services and health systems is better than we really think that they are. Mr. Speaker, we have been able to establish a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at the Milton Cato13Memorial Hospital as well as a Paediatric Critical Centre Unit. What these units do, Mr. Speaker, is to allow us to have our babies in environments that would allow them not to be exposed to infections and the start at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital as well as the Ministry of Health would have worked hard to ensure that these units were put in place. Because what we have seen over the years is that our babies, our young children, they are placed in the same environment with other persons and they are exposed to infections particularly when they come out of medical interventions, so we applaud this and it shows that we do in fact have facilities that are comparable.Mr. Speaker, we continue to appreciate the fact that our delay, the time in which a person goes to the Accident and Emergency Unit, the time that they have to wait before they receive attention while we need to improve in this area that in fact it is better than most of our neighbours and in fact other more developed countries than St. Vincent and the Grenadines. We are not resting on that, Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, we are working to see how we could reduce this waiting time and with the placement of these new persons, medical professionals into the system we hope that the time would be further reduced and so enhance our health delivery at all of our medical institutions.Mr. Speaker, we have also been able to achieve much in the case of filling of prescriptions. I know sometime last [inaudible] that was a matter of much debate, but when we look at the figures, Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, what we see is that over the last ten years we have moved from a situation where we were filling prescriptions in the 60s, 66 percent I think is the number and we have taken that figure up to over the 85 percent minimum bench mark that is required from all countries. In fact, over the last two years our percentage would have been close just above 90 percent and that means..., and not only at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital, but at the out districts as well that our medical system we are satisfying 90 percent of this prescriptions that are presented at all of our medical facilities and I think that must be applauded [applause].Procurement, Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, we had a recent meeting the Ministry of Health with personnel from the OECS, PPS (Pharmaceutical Procurement Services). That body was established in 1986, in fact, St. Vincent and the Grenadines was one of six founding members of the PPS and that body was established to bring down the cost of pharmaceuticals to the countries of the OECS. All nine members now participate and because that organisation buys in bulk they have been able to bring what is called the surcharge down from about 15 percent a couple years ago, to the existing 11 percent. What happens is that PPS buys the various pharmaceuticals in bulk at a reduced cost because they are buying in bulk and then they sell to the OECS countries who are members with an 11 percent surcharge markup. It means that these countries are able to obtain pharmaceuticals at a lower cost than if they had to go and buy on their own. So it is anticipated that annually, the PPS save some $3 million through this process and that St. Vincent and the Grenadines saves about $500,000 through our purchases through the PPS.But what that body has confirmed to us is that St. Vincent and the Grenadines, we are one of the largest purchasers through that service. In fact, we are the top purchaser for a number of years at 25 percent, but over the last two years we were surpassed by St. Lucia who is now at 25 percent and we are 23 percent. But in addition to that, Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, the information also confirmed that we are one of the better managers of our accounts. In other words, we are at the top in terms of settling our bills based on the requirements of the PPS [applause]. They indicated that again there was a challenge last year, which came14about due to our misunderstanding, but this was quickly ironed out and we are able to move forward with that programme. We have held discussions with them as well relative to looking for new markets. Are there other markets out there that we can get these items at an even lower cost? We have discussed with them cleaning up the existing lists, because on their lists of pharmaceuticals would be items that either no longer used or other items have come that will be preferred, so they need to do some cleaning up of their list to make it leaner so that the information in terms of their reporting would not show that these items are basically not being filled.And in that regard, Mr. Speaker, in terms of looking for new markets, we are working with them relative to following up on discussions held by members of our Ministry as well as the Honourable Prime Minister for procuring pharmaceuticals from our friendly countries. This of course would need a lot of study and a lot of careful thinking out and the PPS has indicated that they will work along with us in that regard and again, this has been the result of the positive foreign policy of the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.Mr. Speaker, I want to move on to more data, maternal mortality rate again that is something good that is going for us. In St. Vincent and the Grenadines our maternal mortality rate which is the death of mothers in child’s birth remains negligible with only two deaths in 2009 and two deaths in 2010. It means, Mr. Speaker, that we are doing very well in that regard. What about the infant mortality rate, we have reduced this rate from 17.1 per thousand in 2004 to 14.2 per thousand in 2010 although single digits would have been preferable, Mr. Speaker, and ideal we are still among the lowest of the 11 reporting countries of the Caribbean with the lowest being at 11. Mr. Speaker, again this means that we are doing well in that regard.Our immunisation coverage remains among the best in the region. Overall average of 95 percent has been achieved by St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Our general mortality rate of 6.5 percent per one thousand also compares favourable with those in the Americas. Mr. Speaker, it is for this reason why we have initiated discussions at the Ministry of Health to look at the possibility of recognising all of these wonderful achievements and we are going to expand those discussions to the other personnel in the Ministry, because we think that it will be important for us to have an annual medical awards programme where we will recognise persons for their outstanding work in the Medical field [applause].Mr. Speaker, I move on to the concept of wellness. I indicated earlier on that wellness is now firmly placed under the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment. We are going to ensure that the citizens of St. Vincent and the Grenadines utilising our health education unit and department, they recognise the importance of healthy lifestyles that they are conscious of the fact that we need to address squarely the question of non- communicable diseases, the fact that we are suffering severely when it comes to diabetes and hypertension and that these are diseases that can be addressed if persons take time off to understand what is healthy and important for them and what they can do to reduce the possibilities of these diseases or in some cases if they have it, to live comfortably even if they are plagued by these diseases.The question of the environment, Mr. Speaker, I want to compliment the Central Water and Sewerage Authority for the tremendous work that they have been doing in ensuring that we continue to receive a top water supply as well as to enjoy good solid management procedures. Over the years, the CWSA they have ensured that they continue to work on their own in some cases with partners to enhance their capacity and they have ensured that they continue to look at building, improved, increased, storage facilities throughout the length and breadth of St. Vincent and the Grenadines that they continue to identify the areas where there are challenges and that they15continue to ensure that they provide the top level service that the persons in St. Vincent and the Grenadines expect them to.Mr. Speaker, what they have done is to work along with the various Ministries to provide this service. We must compliment them for having a very reliable and available water source. We must commend them for the quality of the water that they provide even in times of storms. We remember years gone by, Mr. Speaker, when after a storm we could not drink the water from the taps for many weeks because it was filled with a lot of sediments, now Mr. Speaker, let us take for example Hurricane Tomas, when the storm ended you could have gone to your tap and you could have seen clear water [applause].HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: You have 15 minutes Sir.HONOURABLE CECIL MC KIE: We also realised that they are able to respond rapidly in the case of challenges in all of the various communities. We realise that during the dry season, Mr. Speaker, when others are crying out for shortages all around us, that we in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, we always have ample water although we have to ration at times, but we always have storage to ensure that our people are satisfied at some time.Mr. Speaker, we also must compliment the workers at what we call the sanitation department for continuing to do an outstanding job of keeping our community, Kingstown, surrounding communities very, very clean even after major activities [applause]. And we want them to continue to realise that we appreciate and we recognise this and that we encourage them to continue to work hard to ensure that St. Vincent and the Grenadines is kept clean.Mr. Speaker, I want to touch on the aspect of climate change. Mr. Speaker, it is well documented that climate change is a significant and fast emerging threat to public health and safety. The Ministry recognises this and we expect that over the year 2011 that we would continue to implement measures that would mitigate against the advances of climate change. Climate change impacts on us through natural disasters including, hurricane, storms, heat waves, floods, droughts, rise in sea levels, coastal devastations and diseases.Mr. Speaker, the programmes that we will roll out for 2011 would allow us to manage this phenomenan in four ways. To do vulnerability and risk assessment, data management, strengthening legislation to address climate change and public education and outreach on the subject. Mr. Speaker, we take this aspect of our operation very seriously. Climate change is serious business and we must be prepared to mitigate against its effects.Mr. Speaker, for the next 10 minutes I want to focus on the constituency of West St. George.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: That is 12 minutes.HONOURABLE CECIL MC KIE: 12 minutes. Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate the people of West St. George for recognising the fact that Cess was best for the West [applause]. I have worked among the people of that constituency and also by extension St. Vincent and the Grenadines for many years. I did it because it came from heart, it is probably my calling, I enjoyed it, I loved it and I will continue to do so for maybe 5, 10, 15 years, who knows.16Mr. Speaker, within this year I would work with the people in that constituency to implement what is called the West St. George Manifesto, because what we have done in that constituency is to capture the challenges, the ideas and the thoughts of the people of West St. George into a document, some of which was displayed in one of the newspapers about two weeks or so prior to the elections. One of the things that we are going to do immediately is to re-establish and strengthen the existence of what is called, “area councils” they are like local governments and they are spread throughout the nine polling divisions of that constituency. These councils have provided useful service over the years and we would strengthen them to further provide the link between the representative and the people of the constituency. We will continue to work with the schools in the area, we have five primary schools, we have one secondary school and we have Technical College, Teacher’s College, all in the constituency of West St. George. And we will continue, I have been working with them over the past year and will continue to work with those institutions to ensure that assistance is provided as far as possible so that they could carry out their various programmes throughout the course of the year. We have already started work on the Belair Hard Court and that project is well advanced and should be completed within the next two, three months and this would allow that community to reengage in sporting activities as well as allow the West St. George Secondary School and the Belair Primary School to utilise that facility.The Belair Clinic would be one of the clinics that would receive some attention. There are some works to be done on that clinic and some attention would be applied during the course of the year. We would also look at of course the Minister of Works would have identified work to be done on the Vigie Highway and West St. George looks forward to that programme being completed. We will also, Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, pursue our objectives of developing a number of potential tourism sites throughout the constituency at Upper Cane Hall, Gomea, Dorsetshire Hill and these sites would provide employment as well as opportunity for persons in the constituency.We also over the course of this year will be looking at the development of the Dorsetshire Hill Playing Field and we want to expand the Playing Field. We have held discussions that are on-going and I hope to conclude that in the shortest possible time. I have done a number of sporting activities with the persons from that area and they are looking forward to that project being completed. We worked along with the Central Water and Sewerage Authority and a water tank is now constructed at Airy Hill at Belmont, or Jack Hill as some persons know it as and very shortly the persons in that area would receive pipe borne water for the first time. Again thanks to the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.Mr. Speaker, I look forward, the entire West St. George looks forward, to the opening of the brand new spanking West St. George Secondary School [applause] biggest in the country, most beautiful in the country. This facility is going to take education in West St. George to another level and I am sure the Minister of Education would agree with that. We also have an opportunity adjacent to the school to develop a full sized playing field. In that constituency, there are two small playing fields, one at Belair and one at Dauphne that cannot accommodate full sized sporting activity, so therefore, we look forward to that playing field adjacent to the West St. George Secondary School to allow the sportsmen and women in that area to develop and while we are at it, we will look at what can be done to the existing small playing field at Belair, how can we utilise that again for the development of the sportsmen and women in the area. The existing West St. George Secondary School, there is a school of thought that we maintain that as a school another set of ideas that indicate that we17should convert that into a Skills Training Centre. That is still before the jury and a decision would be taken on that on due course.Low and no and middle income homes, we are pursuing the possibility of purchasing land in the area. There is no land in the area that we could use for this project, so we are pursuing that possibility so that we can satisfy the demand of persons in the constituency in this regard. And Mr. Speaker, the new city at Arnos Vale, come it must be said about the Argyle International Airport and once the E.T Joshua Airport is closed that area will transform into a city of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. We have Kingstown the town, we hear about Sandy Town being developed in Sandy Bay [laughter], we will now have the first city in St. Vincent and the Grenadines at Arnos Vale and what we are doing, because I started that process some four years ago, what we are doing is preparing our people to take up opportunities that would come with the development of that new city through employment, through business opportunities and that discussion will be on-going so that our persons who understand the importance of the development of that area and that they [are] placed to capitalise on it and not just persons from the area, but persons from throughout St. Vincent and the Grenadines [applause].Mr. Speaker, it was said that materials were used to buy votes in the last General Elections, but Mr. Speaker, really and truly if you go around the length and breadth of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, you would realise that assistance was given to persons who were in need, persons who suffered damage from Hurricane Tomas and if you do your investigation, you would see that there are a number of persons still waiting and longing for assistance in that regard. The Honourable Prime Minister has indicated that we will continue to work with people who still have that need. So if we continue to work with people who have that need for the next couple years, would it be said that we are buying votes for five years going into the next General Elections? I do not think so, Mr. Speaker. I think what we are simply doing is trying to assist persons from all of the constituencies who are in need and who we must work with to assist them in getting back going [applause].Mr. Speaker, the various committees, the various groupings who would have worked along with me during the last General Elections, I say a very special thank you and I think they have all committed to work along with me to ensure that we continue to see progress and development in the constituency of West St. George. Having said that Mr. Speaker, it was my pleasure to have contributed to this debate and I wish the Appropriation Bill and the Budget of St. Vincent and the Grenadines safe passage. Thank you [applause].HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: All right thank you. Honourable Senator Frederick I recognise you, just give me a minute. Okay, you can sit for a minute, I will call you, I recognise you. All right, as soon as the noise lessens you can begin.HONOURABLE VYNETTE FREDERICK: Good morning, Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members. Mr. Speaker, may I crave your indulgence so that you might start your clock on a particular issue which I do believe is important first to all of the Honourable Members to be just mention very briefly this morning, Mr. Speaker, I believe that in order to sufficiently address debates such as these and to address in particular information technology, one ought to be able to use the technology to address this particular area. Mr. Speaker, of course over the past day or two, notes have been going to and fro discussing whether it would be possible for us to have the use of laptops and other creative ways of enhancing the debate. I do recall quite apart from being a Member of this House and that a powerpoint presentation was used one year by the Honourable Prime Minister in presenting the Budget and I thought that was an interesting and welcome innovation at a time when on both18sides, we see the importance for the use of information technology and the proliferation of information technology. I took the opportunity to communicate with former Minister of Telecommunications and IT in Jamaica, Phillip Paulwell who indicated that in presenting his own Budget, making his own Budget presentation on the Government side, he was stopped for using his laptop and that caused him to actually strategise and cause the Government to come to a decision about the laptop policy and to change the Standing Orders, the Rules of the House to accommodate the use of technology. It is with pleasure that I acknowledge your own personal interest in technology and I look forward to speedy acceptance of the changes that would be necessary to facilitate that sort of use. Indeed if the Parliament cannot be seen to lead on the information technology and its proliferation then it would be hardly possible for us to genuinely be seen as encouraging the general populist to embrace such technology. So I just want as an aside to say that and to say that I am disappointed in not being able to point out some sources that are reflected in the documentation that have been provided in these Estimates, to point out exactly what the realities with them using the technology. I have printed web pages which I think is an affront to why that technology exists. I have printed pages and will endeavour to use what Tecki’s refer to as primitive paper to have the conversation that would more validly have been made using the technology, but I appreciate the limitation and look forward to the limitation no longer exist very soon.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Just a minute. Honourable Member, I recognise and understand what you are saying, but we have had some basically private discussions on this matter and like you, I too, I am disappointed about a lot of things not happening and I have pointed out to you how we can have some of these things remedied. Of course of which you mentioned and I hope that you would be among those persons who would help to spearhead us arriving at fulfilling our meeting some of these demands or requirements or changes as the case may be. I do hope so. You may start the debate now.HONOURABLE VYNETTE FREDERICK: I am gratified, Mr. Speaker, and I look forward to articulating the position from this side of the House with regard to matters pertinent to IT. Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask that you give me a notification please when I have 10 minutes to go.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: I surely will.HONOURABLE VYNETTE FREDERICK: Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, I rise to make my contribution to this budget debate by first reiterating most wholeheartedly the position as enunciated by the Leader of the Opposition and the Honourable Member for East Kingstown, indicating that the budget as presented is shameless and impractical and I hope to use this very document to indicate and to prove just how impractical this budget is. Indeed, it is designed to provide a fictional comfort to the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. I will refer to pages 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83 and 84 and indeed I will also refer to the Ministry of Culture from page 173 through to 186 and I will refer to the final report of the SVG Policy Framework and Development Strategy for Cultural and Creative Industry Development, a document which I know rest with the Government, prepared for the Business Gateway Project of the Centre for Enterprise Development by Lloyd Sambre and Erica Smith, a Strategy Document that is referred to in these papers. I will also refer to an ICT Strategy and Action Plan for St. Vincent and the Grenadines from 2002 to 2006 that rests with the Ministry of Telecommunications, Science, Technology and Industry updated in 2004 which I believe now will be available through the Prime Minister’s Office as my understanding that that is the basis from which Telecommunication would be handled.19Now Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, the Honourable Prime Minister actually used two words in his budget presentation at page 21 which struck me. He was speaking in reference to the Education IT Project and that is my short way of saying it and I trust that it is understood, the project to which I am referring. It is at page 21, he said that it was truly an amazing and transformational project and I want to use those words to apply it to what Information Technology can do, because I agree with him that IT can have an amazing and transformational impact if it is properly implemented and used to create a knowledge based economy in a country and this was one of the areas which the New Democratic Party had hoped that we will be able to point in St. Vincent in through employment and the proliferation of Information Technology, IT as a lifestyle, a way of life in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.And I take you now to page 74 and 75 of the Estimates and I point out to you, Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, why I think that the approach of the Government towards IT is selling us short on what is possible in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Let me say that in the 2010 Estimates, at page 533 there was a Mission Statement of the Ministry of Telecommunications which has been relegated now. It says that it will facilitate the development of communications and I am quoting directly from the previous Estimates of 2010 at page 533. To facilitate the development of Telecommunications, Science, Technology and Industry in St. Vincent and the Grenadines by creating the enabling environment for economic diversification through improved competitiveness, productivity, standards and the application of appropriate technology.Now if one were to actually think about that, you get a sense of where the Ministry is going and that is the point behind any Mission Statement. But when we look at the treatment meted out to technology today, it is not manifested anywhere in the Office of the Prime Minister’s Mission statement. Nothing about the amazing and exciting Information Technology possibilities are enunciated. We go to page 74 and we see a heading of Telecommunications. Now why I think that this budget is so impractical is that we have to look at the evidence of how implementable it is and what the level of implementation has been..., what the record has been for this Government, it is important to look at that and in looking at that I cannot say that I am hopeful even for that transformational IT in education project. I cannot say that I am hopeful that it would implemented in such a way as to get the maximum benefit that IT can bring to such a project and indeed to our young people and to the nation as a whole. Let us look at what has been happening, let us look at the status of the 2010 result indicators as it refers to IT very quickly.The Mission Statement does not mention IT. Funds are being waited upon; still looking for, page 74 in order to reduce access time to the Government website interestingly they are awaiting funds to acquire equipment to facilitate faster internet access. Well those in the technology world must be smiling, because if the Government does not have a plan to sit down with the stakeholders who provide the actual backbone and redundancies to increase bandwidth in St. Vincent and the Grenadines to provide faster internet, buying equipment to facilitate faster internet access, well we go see what they buy. They are awaiting money to improve the Government website. The e-Transaction Act exists, but it is not operational and it is instructive to me that the Honourable Minister of Tourism in trying to explain why no hits were generated on his..., or reservation hits were generated on the website discoversvg.com, the reality is that while 261,000 hits actually happened, while 121,000 plus people wanted information on got it, while 111,000 people actually went to specific niche pages, pages that refer to specific markets in our product, nobody could generate a reservation. Why, because according to telecommunications the e-Transaction Act exists but it is not operational. What that means in a very practical20way is that nobody could actually go on that website, book and pay to reserve a room. There is so much evidence out there that says to us that if someone goes to your webpage the way to hook them is to get them to commit by actually making a payment and the reality is that since 2002 if I am to go by this strategy that was in place in 2002 e-Commerce was one of the major things that that strategy sought to address. We were told by the Prime Minister that he signed a strategy on the opening of his budget debate. He signed a strategy for 2010 – 2015. I still want to know what is the status of the 2002 – 2006 strategy document, 153 pages to create a knowledge based society as put forward by the Government side which we have yet to see implemented. Of course that is the if we go on the basis of what the budget tell us and that is why I believe it is a wholly impractical exercise that is not going to bear the kind of fruit that it ought, much to the disappointment of the Vincentian people.Let us move on. Fifteen TV programmes on Science and Technology no work done on that, what a Government. They were supposed to have three workshops again, Technology, these are all pages 75, 76, they did one workshop and I am particularly interested on page 77 the intention was to implement two online ICT courses, they conducted an extended online ICT course in SISCO IT essentials via web-X. They had participants from Antigua, St. Lucia, Dominica and the USA okay that is one course that was done. Then they say that they researched to upgrade the NCTI website and they give the source where we could go and actually look for the website www.svgncti.cog to include a particular interface. Now let me break this down. What it is, is to include the ability for teaching to happen on that website for you to actually be able to go on there on be taught this perhaps frankly this second ICT course. So they looked at it, they researched to see whether the interface was there. So yes we know it is there, but it has not been used to implement the second course and they said that they established the NCTI on Facebook. I want to repeat that especially for the people who are listening to me streaming online will now go over to Facebook to look for the NCTI webpage on Facebook.Mr. Speaker, this is it, this is the NCTI webpage on Facebook, a blank space on a social network that is it. But you put it as something that you have accomplished in Telecommunications and IT in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. And you want us to believe this budget? What a Government. [Interjection] thank you, thank you, debating Estimates is not debating budget, preparation 101 compliments the NDP.Now we look and I want to point out Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, that there is an omission in the result indicators, again we looked at 2010 to be able to see exactly what is supposed to be happening now in 2011 because this is a doable budget, a hopeful budget according to my friends on the other side of the House. Again one of the indicators was they were to prepare and publish an eReadiness assessment. We were told, and this is at page 539 in the 2010 Estimates, we were told that a contract was awarded and that work was on-going, but low and behold, in these Estimates there is nothing to update us on how eReady we are. Since 2002 this strategy was for us to be eReady, but we have a 2010 document which I hope is different to the 2002 document. From as early as 2002 St. Vincent was represented in Italy and Barbados discussing eReadiness, this year nothing, nothing in the indicators to point out where we are in that, but this is a very hopeful budget. What a Government.We are to look forward to finding out all Government IT equipment by 2012 and yet we are told that we have a strategy going forward for IT development, but next year we will hear what kind of equipment the Government has. How could you be expected to implement and come up with a strategy if you do not know what you have?page21image3519221We look forward to this strategy on the airport. At page 544 of the 2010 Estimates trace of studies were to be conducted to assess the progress of beneficiaries of training under the NICTTP and NCTI that are two programmes being run to educate young people in matters of IT. And I draw your attention now to page 79, again they repeat it which meant that it did not happen, the tracer study did not happen to assess the progress of beneficiaries, so it is going to happen this time, but there is no status update as to what is happening with it. Have we done it? We do not know. They said that the study was in progress and will be complete in April 2010. There is nothing here to say that the study was completed and you could find the outcome of the studies somewhere on line. That should be a minimum given the fact that this is Information Technology we are talking about. It is blank, there is nothing there, there is no bullet point, no information, and there is no status update on that. But I will say that 1,921 people actually trained under the project so they attended classes, but 46 percent of them actually went ahead to be certified. So this project obviously, this programme needs to be looked at and looked at seriously because you do not even have a 50 percent pass rate.At page 78 we are told that an SVG Policy Framework and Strategy Paper for the development of the Cultural and Creative Industry Sector was prepared. Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, I have the final report of that document. I will make it available especially to the Minister of Tourism and the Minister of Culture, because when I listened yesterday to the presentations from my learned Honourable friends on the other side of the House, it is clear to me that neither of them has seen this document and this document quite frankly must inform the conduct of business in the Ministry of Culture for the years to come if you are seriously looking at making culture a proper sector contributing to your economy. We are talking about unemployment and underemployment and yet we do not understand the value of the cultural practitioner as an independent contractor of his services not needing to do anything other than practice culture to earn a dollar. Not enough is being done to develop culture in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and why do I say this? Because yesterday if I am to go on the strength of the presentation of the learned Minister of Culture who spoke for a grand total of 1 minute and 5 seconds on Culture in St. Vincent and the Grenadines I will be solely disappointed. And in that 1 minute and 5 seconds what did he say? The most interesting thing that he said to me was that CDC was there, carnival is coming, patrons will be looking forward to improvements in carnival and yet you give the Carnival Development Committee less money this year to effect improvements. How can we think that this is a sustainable and practical budget in light of these realities that are documented here in the very budget that we are debating? Shameless, what a Government.I look again at the ICT sector and I see in the ICT sector nothing is put and we have 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, eighteen areas to address, but there is nothing about improving access speed, there is nothing about improving bandwidth, there is nothing about sitting with the stakeholders to see how it is done with having regard for how it is done elsewhere in the world. Instead, there is also nothing that addresses things like, how do you deal with computer, the waste that computers generate. How are we getting rid of it? You know these are things that would concern anybody, but certainly concern me if we are saying we have a policy that is promoting the proliferation of Information Technology in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and we expect that 30,000 computers will come into this country. No policy on how to tackle what happens when something mash up with one of them says to me that we are not ready and that is why I say I am not hopeful with regard to how that project will be implemented and it is important to note that in the area of technology there is no time that can be spent when you are dealing with technology. You cannot waste time because technology changes at the speed of light, it changes so quickly there is something called obsolete and it would be a disgrace in St. Vincent and22the Grenadines if 30,000 obsolete systems were to be used by our young people, but if we are to depend on implementation like what I have seen when I peruse these documents I am not hopeful that the technology would be employed at a time when it is current and able to benefit the end-user to the extent that it should.Let us look at Culture and I am particularly disturbed when I look at the extent of the relegation of Culture in this new dispensation of ULP governance. Just from a Mission Statement prospective on page 173 nothing is mentioned about Culture in the Mission Statement. Indeed, if I am to understand my learned Honourable friend yesterday, his intention is to fully include..., he looks forward to the full inclusion and participation of the Culture Department in the Ministry. I have yet to figure out exactly what that really means. We have to go to page 180 and that is the page, yes 180 to look at what is happening in Culture.Of course my difficulty with the absence of a Mission Statement has to do with the fact that in the 2010 Estimates at page 431 the then Minister of Culture indicated that the mission of the Ministry, which was a multifaceted Ministry, would be to facilitate the preservation and promotion of cultural heritage as a vehicle for promoting national pride and forging national identity. This year, nothing and this document the final report that is mentioned here in the budget document, the final report speaks specifically to our challenge at the start of the executive summary on page 4 of this document which I do intend to lay before the House if there is any issue with regard to the veracity of the document and the statements contain therein. It says that St. Vincent and the Grenadines faces challenges posed by the digital divide, so immediately culture is impacted and St. Vincent is impacted by the extent of the digital divide.Limited access to education and information in the adequate cultural industry infrastructure, training, access to capital, knowledge of markets and effective regulatory framework also stand in the way of development. In addition, weak copyright systems and enforcement contribute to the proliferation of privacy and prohibits adequate remuneration and this is the document that was completed in November 2009, but today we see a Culture Department that has its funding cut, a CDC that is getting less money for carnival, but this is a hopeful budget man, what a Government.In looking at the indicators in culture, I acknowledge the movement of drama and dance and indeed, there was an intention to host through collaboration on page 181 with the Ministry of Education and other stakeholders a consultation on the development of Arts Programmes in schools and the potential for the creation of a school for the Performing and Visual Arts that consultation is postponed to this year. And if one ought to take a dispassionate look at the area of Culture, everything that is supposed to happen is postponed to 2011 and I say that with regard to preparing a strategic plan 2010 – 2012 for the Carnival Development Programme there is no status update on whether that was actually done. To publish the national patriotic song book volume II there is no status update on this, to hold three consultations with the print and broadcast media to highlight their role as nation builders that is going to happen in 2011 they say and it is interesting that they have postponed the consultation on dance with the potential for creating a school for the Performing Arts while as page 20 of this same strategy document that has been in the Government since 2009 dance and I quote, is by far the most vibrant activity in the SVG Performing Arts subsector. There are approximately six functioning dance groups and companies and 21 schools with groups of dancers there is, however, little evidence of any attempts to incorporate dance with music production and presentation activities such as promotion of music videos and life form and it goes on.23So dance is one of your vibrant areas but you will postpone them and let them hold on until 2011 to do something that ought to have happened last year and if we look again at page 182 to prepare a three year strategic development plan to institutionalise the functioning of the National Cultural Foundation by September 1st 2010 that was not achieved and it is postponed to 2011. But if we look at what those who articulate this strategy are saying, this is the position with regard to the NCF. The NCF remains for the most part and I am quoting from page 23 of the document, the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) remains for the most part inactive, but they are getting $25,000 this year, its mandate appears unclear and in fact conflicts with especially the CDC to organise cultural festivals and the NCF is supposed to develop, maintain and manage the libraries and other cultural facilities and in consultation with the very Ministry of Culture, the submission of advance proposals by the Department of Culture for 2009 says, after 15 years and I quote directly while the number of persons working in the Department has increased somewhat; the structure of the Department has remained the same. It is time to show in the structure of the Department and in staff to operationalise the NCF the serious concern for cultural development.So they are saying please do something about the NCF. They are saying that the NCF is inactive, but we have no three year strategic development plan and it is postponed to 2011 and if I am to go on the 1 minute and 5 seconds spent on culture by the Minister of Culture, I am not hopeful that these things will actually happen this year, hence my statement that this is an impractical budget and indeed a work of fiction.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Honourable Senator what document you say you are quoting from?HONOURABLE VYNETTE FREDERICK: I am quoting from the final report of the SVG Policy Framework and Development Strategy for Cultural and Creative Industry Development and it is actually mentioned under the Prime Minister’s Office, it is mentioned as an accomplishment of the Government that this report is actually done and that mention is made...,HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Go ahead I will check, if it is not..., had not been tabled in the House you will have to table it.HONOURABLE VYNETTE FREDERICK: Mr. Speaker, once you give me back my little two minutes.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: I have not taken your two minutes.HONOURABLE VYNETTE FREDERICK: Oh very well. I am much obliged to you, Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, so what gives me again cause for serious concern is that I listened to the Honourable Minister of Tourism speak about creating, developing a modern tourism industry, he spoke at length about that actually, but in speaking about creating this modern tourism industry not one word was said, as a matter of fact, nothing was mentioned about culture and in this document, and I can give you, one of the points that was made in this document is that on page 17 of this document the lack of adequate linkage between the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Culture is something that was pointed out as being a hindrance to actually helping cultural practitioners to make it as cultural practitioners in this creative and cultural and creative industry that we so want to see develop.24Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, I speak with some passion about this, because I am a cultural practitioner, I am a young person who when I was even younger, I am not yet giving up to the age, when I was even younger, Mr. Speaker, was involved in ex-tempo calypso, involved in dancehall music, involved in rap, involved in dance and the point about it is that cultural practitioners will hardly come into such hallowed halls to detail any sort of displeasure, they run from formality, so that the pain that they feel, the fact that they are being ignored and avoided and the help is not getting out there is something that they will hardly tell you in these circumstances. So I am pleased as a cultural practitioner, a member of Echo and a soon to be member of Amp to say that culture needs to be paid serious attention to. Not 1 minute and 5 seconds of an hour and 15 long presentation on the budget. That is totally unacceptable and if we look at what is even more unacceptable, Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, I turn your attention to page 186 of the document that the Government is asking us to see as hopeful in spite of trying times, shameless.Let us look at what the plans are by September 2011, the intention is to have three seminars with the stakeholders to strengthen institutional capacity of Umbrella Associations such as the Association of Music Professionals (AMP), the Calypso Association, the Craft Association and the Performing Arts Guild. You look down three seminars with all of these people. We do not need 36 weeks for three seminars to take place. So you do not need to give them, these people are eager and ready to do what is necessary once the Government is able to step up to the plate to assist them. I am not speaking from what I am hearing, I am telling you because I am one of these people.Legislative concerns by the 31st August 2011 to submit for carnival approval and update of the National Cultural Policy, which is currently now in draft form, if the only legislative concern for the Ministry of Culture is that the National Cultural Policy is only in draft form, then it means that no attention is being paid to the fact that we have not signed a number of treaties that would lay the framework and foundation for our cultural practitioners to actually benefit under what the world has established to beat the road to culture as an actual sector of the economy and if I am to take what the new Minister of Foreign Affairs had to say about the EPA or did not have to say about the EPA...,HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: You have 10 minutes.HONOURABLE VYNETTE FREDERICK: Indeed, the fact that the CARIFORUM agreement with EPA is not on the front burner of any of these..., whether it be the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Culture or the Ministry of Tourism the fact that there is not a synergy connecting these three Ministries to function to benefit cultural practitioners says to me that this Government is not ready yet.Now I wish to state, Mr. Speaker, for the benefit and I lay to this House the difficulties that have existed and I am trying...,HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Take your time, take your time.HONOURABLE VYNETTE FREDERICK: To actually find the document for those who are doubting what the position is in culture, the struggle to sign on to treaties that will give culture the teeth it needs for the cultural practitioners of hundreds of them to function as independent contractors of that service to earn money regionally and in Europe through the EU CARIFORUM agreement, the teeth have not been established. So25signing the paper two years ago, but not actually going ahead and ratifying the treaties that would make me able as a singer to go to Europe, performed there and get royalties makes it nonsensical to suggest that signing the paper two years ago is enough.And part of being a pressure group at CARICOM is to come to the table with all your i’s dotted and your t’s crossed, so that if St. Vincent goes ahead to actually ratify the treaties and they sit at any CARICOM level, it is really interesting that that was stated, because at a meeting of the IFCCD in Trinidad on 17th July, as a matter of fact, it was the 8th July 2008 the [interjection] yes, carnival Tuesday, I recall because I was missing carnival to attend this meeting indeed and at that meeting I sat on a Committee that said that sub..., and I actually tabled the then Minister of Culture, I actually tabled her name..., Mr. Speaker, I hope that the interruptions are given credit to my time, so I will ask the Honourable Member to continue because I need about ten minutes more to actually nail the coffin shut.Indeed, now I wrote an email to Minister Baptiste coming out of this meeting and I will share it with you which spoke to in 2008 the difficulty of not ratifying these Conventions. At this meeting, it is interesting to note at this meeting the Honourable Minister was selected to be the Minister who at a CARICOM level would push the ratification of this actual treaty, the UNESCO Treaty Convention on cultural diversity. So it instructive to hear the cross-talk to say that that is a CARICOM problem, because we actually empowered our Minister of Culture, the then Minister of Culture to take it to CARICOM to iron out the problems, but indeed, it did not happen there and from the basis of what I see here not much is intended to happen to benefit culture.Indeed, it was said [interjection] and look yours up there look him right there, you see him? Good. I hope that all is well with you and that carnival is in full swing and successful. This is my email to the then Minister of Culture. I hope that all is well with you and that carnival is in full swing and successful. I am in Trinidad attending a meeting on behalf of the CCLSVGSC that is the (Caribbean Copyright Link of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Steering Committee) that meeting is being put on by UNESCO and IFCCD and it is looking at the need for ratification of the UNESCO Convention on cultural diversity that is not the whole but I am certain that you are aware of the Convention. To date that is in since 2008, St. Vincent has not ratified the Convention. I also note that the Copyright legislation has not yet been proclaimed, this was subsequently happened. We also are not signatories to the Rome Convention and a number of others which we think may position St. Vincent artistes, artisans and others in culture in a position to access opportunities whether they are EPA based or through this Convention.In the meeting you were lauded for your efforts in culture development and at your local level and it were taught that you would be an excellent person to champion the ratification of the Convention regionally. On this issue you will hear from your working committee which the conference has established to lobby for region-wide ratification of the Convention.On the issue of copyright protection and our becoming a signatory to Rome and other Conventions, I hope that you will be able to meet as a Steering Committee with you to discuss these and of course other issues pertinent to culture. Is that possible? We are very concerned that the necessary legislative protections are not there since 2008 Mr. Speaker, and since we have not signed on to certain WIPO endorse treaties, that is the World Intellectual Property Officer in those treaties, we worry that St. Vincent will be left out of the loop and our people will be at a disadvantage where cultural development and the development of the industry is concerned.26We look forward to hearing from you on these issues, as I do believe we all share the desire to see culture emerge as an industry and a viable sector in our economy.It is written with a genuine interest in culture, but 1 minute and 5 seconds devoted to culture in the year 2011, three years after says to me, Mr. Speaker, that the Government is absolutely not serious about giving culture the respect and the push that it deserves. What a Government.Now Mr. Speaker, the connection between Tourism and Culture cannot be ignored. I want to say that you cannot have the development of a modern Tourism Industry without culture. As far as I am concerned from the presentations made here today, not today, but during this week by my learned Honourable friends on the other side, there seems to be a disconnect from the fact that what is to happen is to be the actual governing of the country through these sectors. Instead, we are left waiting and I know for my friends Asford and Theobalds and for Hassan, I will choose whose names I call for obvious reasons and they will know why, Mark, Geof, everybody in Echo, one thing about culture you know, Mr. Speaker...,HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Honourable Member, you will wrap up kindly, wrap up for me. HONOURABLE VYNETTE FREDERICK: Surely. HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Thank you.HONOURABLE VYNETTE FREDERICK: One thing about culture I will say, Mr. Speaker, before I enter into speaking to West St. George for two seconds, two minutes as a matter fact, surely Mr. Speaker, one thing I will say about culture...,HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Kindly allow the Member please to wrap up.HONOURABLE VYNETTE FREDERICK: Surely, Mr. Speaker, one thing I will say about the Culture Ministry and about the cultural practitioners of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, they do not see politics ahead of culture and what it means for the promotion of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in a most genuine way and we have to thank them and recognise them for that, because we sit on different Committees at a local level to push culture and it has nothing to do with what is devoting capital or those bodies that sits.Now, first of all, Mr. Speaker, and let me say thank you for the opportunity to represent in this..., I want to thank the New Democratic Party for the opportunity to represent in this Parliament the interest not just of the people by and large, but of the more than 2000 people from West St. George who actively went out to show their disdain for what was the Government’s practice under the representation of the prior representative, the then Honourable Mike Browne who is not present. Indeed, I appreciate the efforts of my constituency division of the people of every part of that constituency who were feeling the pain of what it meant to exist under incompetent governance as they articulated it.Mr. Speaker, I listened attentively to the Honourable Member who has been chosen to represent these independent minded people of West St. George, all of them and he would agree with me, not just independent27but resilient, active, very interested in sports, but plagued with all of the issues that affect each and every constituency and they including the more than 2000 who would have voted for me would have been listening today most attentively to what the intention of the elected representative for the constituency is with regard to what needs to happen for the people of West St. George. They would be listening and we will all be listening and looking at how this Government and especially the representative in West St. George intends to implement the changes that he outlined were to come, changes necessary because representation in that constituency was woefully lacking and that is why they understood and appreciated it.So Mr. Speaker, I look forward to the West St. George Secondary School, I do look forward to that school being able to benefit the young people. I look forward to a programme being developed to ensure that the difficulties that our young people in West St. George face are addressed and addressed properly. Mr. Speaker, there is so many young people in West St. George who are finding it hard to make their ends meet, who are finding it very difficult for..., their parents are finding it difficult to send them to school and they need special attention to be paid.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Wrap up for me now.HONOURABLE VYNETTE FREDERICK: And I will say, Mr. Speaker, that I look forward to the day when the more than 100 people who live in the Poleyard will benefit from running water, Mr. Speaker. It is not a joke, it is not something to be laughed and scoff at, water is a right and indeed, it ought to be given to the more than 60 children and the adults who live in the area of the Poleyard. Thank you to West St. George, thank you, Mr. Speaker and to the people listening [applause] I am much obliged to you, Mr. Speaker.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Honourable Senator Browne, could you kindly sit until I..., just a minute. To the Honourable Senator who just spoken, it is interesting that..., to the Honourable Senator Frederick, it is interesting while you speak, some information came here to me which means that we really will have to discuss very seriously that question of using powerpoint presentations and so on in the Parliament a matter that we just cannot introduce, because I mean if it has to be effective it is said here that the survey indicates that the Parliament proceedings are listened to by 75 percent, listened to not seen, by 75 percent of the people that show interest and the information goes on, it will be difficult to present the procedure to those on radio as apposed to those on TV with computer or other visual presentations. So you know I am saying it is a matter that we just cannot willynilly try and implement if you want to be effective or you want people to see or know your presentation. So it is not something you just rush to do and so on. And as I insist, it is really a debate that..., it is not a seminar or whatever the case may be.Honourable Senator Browne you have 45 minutes to make your presentation.HONOURABLE SENATOR DAVID BROWNE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I rise to make my contribution to the 2011 Budget Debate. I must first say how I am elated to be standing on this Honourable side of the House being part of the Unity Labour Party that has just secured a historic third term in office [applause].Mr. Speaker, our records of achievement speaks for itself. Mr. Speaker, in reviewing this budget document that is before us, I came to the conclusion and I analysed that there are two simple words, two words, Mr. Speaker, that I can use to give full description of this document.28Mr. Speaker, it is simple, simple in the fact that it is plain, uncomplicated not only in its present form, but also in its application [applause]. It is realistic, Mr. Speaker, because it possesses simple ideas that can be achieved and expected, the Government of this time and a budget of this time.Mr. Speaker, much can be said by the Opposition about this budget, a shameless one and insult to the people of this country, a humpty dumpty solution, Mr. Speaker. Well, from knowledge of story books I would want to say Mr. Speaker, I will put humpty dumpty, snow white and the seven dwarfs and all those impractical not real story on the book shelf, but Mr. Speaker, the document that is before us has real applications to it [applause].In Agriculture for instance, Mr. Speaker, an allocation of $31.6 million $18.9 on the recurrent expenditure and $12.7 on the capital investment, I endorse the Government’s allocation in the budget on the following $1.4 million for the enhancement of the blackfish production in Central Leeward [applause], we know that whaling is part of the Vincentian culture and Mr. Speaker, I applaud the Government for recognising and contributing to the continuity of this tradition. I know the Honourable Minister Charles and representative for the area must be proud for seeing the Government of the day investing in such programme. I support, Mr. Speaker, the allocations of $160,000 to the Agriculture Training Institute [applause]. In 2010 Mr. Speaker, quarter million dollars were invested, the project is almost completed. I heard yesterday the Honourable Member for North Leeward mention about developing young people, but Education Revolution is alive and well in every aspect in every Ministry in St. Vincent and the Grenadines [applause]. At this institute, over 400 farmers, entrepreneurs will be trained.Mr. Speaker, I had the opportunity to travel to Europe and within the Caribbean and visit some of these Agriculture Training Institutes and I must say, Mr. Speaker, what is being provided here, given the fact that we are under tremendous pressure from international economic crisis, is a marvellous one. The Government stands firm in education and has delivered an institute close to $1 million for the benefit of young people and farmers in this country [applause]. Mr. Speaker, the Honourable Saboto Caesar gives an illustration yesterday using the Bible pertaining to talents. I would not consider this budget a fairy tale; I was wondering at the time when the Honourable Leader of the Opposition was speaking, he was mixing up the documents. I at one time thought he was speaking about the NDP manifesto, but he went on and he give clarity that he was indeed speaking about the Estimates presented before us today, but Mr. Speaker, there is a wonderful story in the book of Matthews. Matthew chapter 14 and we all know it, I guess we all would have gone to Sunday School, verses 13 to 21 spoke about Jesus feeding 5000 people and it arrived, Mr. Speaker, from having very little and producing so much, given the fact that our country is small, there is so much international pressures. We have so much little resources at our disposal, but we are producing a lot. Five loaves and two fishes was then what was offered and some people baffled then including the disciples of what could be done to feed all those folks but at the end of the day everyone was fed and food left back. The Unity Labour Party has formed Government another time in this country. We are committed to work, earn and behalf of the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and I say Mr. Speaker, this budget is more than likely similar to that story of Matthew 14 [applause].Mr. Speaker, Alternative Livelihood Project in the Ministry of Agriculture. I listened last night as the Honourable Member North Leeward spoke and he asked for a project to be implemented and I urge him being the shadow Minister that he must seek to develop himself, know the Estimate well, know what is going on in the country, particularly in his Ministry of Agriculture, because from my knowledge even before I enter this29Honourable there is a programme that is already being in place Alternative Livelihood Project. We have allocated $200,000 in 2011; $300,000 in 2012 from the Government of Venezuela. Mr. Speaker, it is another ALBA project. The same ALBA the Opposition wants to unsign, Mr. Speaker. You see, Mr. Speaker, our foreign policy or policies Mr. Speaker are excellent. We stand firm in expanding our boundaries and our borders beyond traditional sources and when ALBA came into being everyone spoke on what they think the knew very well, but when the benefits came they reject the benefits as well. So it takes Mr. Speaker, in this Honourable House this side to talk about the benefits of ALBA [applause].Mr. Lennon , Mr. Speaker, from the Ministry of Agriculture is the person who is in-charge of this project, Alternative Livelihood, it is amazing to know that the area of North Leeward got tremendous assistance Palmist, Troumaca, Chateaubelair, Rose Hall, all those areas on the Leeward side including on the Windward side Sandy Bay, Owia, Marriaqua and so forth for assistance. It was under this project, Mr. Speaker, that 100 black belly sheep were brought into this country [applause] and distributed to farmers. It was under this project, Mr. Speaker, that fertilisers were available, dasheen plants, yams, and other plants, Mr. Speaker, to benefit farmers in this country.You see, Mr. Speaker, sometimes the Opposition must realise that they are in opposition. I understand that when you are in opposition that you must oppose. For all and purpose you must oppose, but you must do so for the right reasons, Mr. Speaker and when you unsign ALBA and when you make childish remarks pertaining to this Appropriation Bill, then the people of this country will greet you with a wonderful gift of 60 months or 1,800 days in opposition as they recently did. Mr. Speaker, lobster and conch surveyed, there is a lobster and conch survey that we carry out under the Ministry of Agriculture, an allocation of $68,000 and this will benefit the people of the Grenadines particularly, Mr. Speaker, Union Island. I am sure that the Honourable Member for Southern Grenadines is well pleased about this and should be pleased when this side of the House presents these opportunities I could never consider it a fairy tale.Mr. Speaker, the Honourable Member for North Leeward mentioned last night about poultry development. Now he almost spoke as if the development of poultry is one, two, three completed. It is a project that I have been part of since 2007. I have been on a committee to develop a project in this regard and we have seen presented before us in the Estimates a company formed by the ECGC as Hairoun Poultry Inc. to take poultry in St. Vincent to the next level. The Government would have moved poultry; all our broiler chicks were being imported prior to this Government. We would have moved it to a level, Mr. Speaker, that we are importing over 90 percent of those live chicks into the country. There are times when the hatchery would have problems and we will have to make a few importations, but in all, the old chicks coming in from countries in the Caribbean are more or less the thing of the past. Thanks to this Government [applause].A shameless one, an insult to the people of the country as a farmer, Mr. Speaker, I purchase the old chicks for approximately $3.00 and sometimes they spend an entire day or two at airports in this region, but now, Mr. Speaker, because of the Unity Labour Party Government, this is a thing of the past. The old chicks are delivered same day in excellent condition reducing your mortality rate practically to zero. Farmers in this country cannot ask for more in that regard. But Mr. Speaker, all this forms part of the shameless budget that is being presented. I have seen funds allocated for the improvement of a lot of areas in Agriculture. I cannot as a farmer where I have been investing thousands of dollars consider this budget to be a shameless one. A lot of30funds, Mr. Speaker, have been invested in the past in the area of livestock and we have seen that this is continuing under the present (and will be present for a long time) administration.Mr. Speaker, poultry importations runs over $20 million in this country. I make reference again to last night with the aspect of developing cocoa and the crop takes about three years to yield commercial crop. I will say, Mr. Speaker, the investment is better in poultry [applause]. The risk is lower; the timeframe indeed is lower and the turnover much better. You see, Mr. Speaker, it takes a bird eight weeks to grow, it takes a cocoa tree three years [laughter] but the Honourable Member made reference that we can intercrop and there are scientific complications to that too, Mr. Speaker, plants can develop various diseases when you intercrop. There is also the aspect of another hurricane and I know the Opposition does not like hurricanes. We perform very well when they come [laughter] [applause] but Mr. Speaker, you see the good God place the right team to deal with the issues [applause].Mr. Speaker, the Rural Poverty Programme will receive $400,000 and this is in no doubt will go to the poor and working class of this country. You see, we can speak a lot about how weak this budget document is, just as the good old story in the Bible when the disciples cried, they had no food to feed the five thousand people, but the brilliance of God would have blessed them and is blessing us today, Mr. Speaker and allow this administration to come up with creative ways, not shameless ones, not fairy tale ones, but creative ways to take this country forward. So when universal access to Secondary School Education under the Education Revolution is being presented to this country by the Unity Labour Party, the people of this country acknowledge the programme and they vow another term in office.Mr. Speaker, the Honourable Member for South Leeward in his debate indicated that we are putting the cart before the horse in allowing other areas to be developed before early childhood. But Mr. Speaker, the truth of the matter is this Government has embraced all areas that are why it is dubbed “Education Revolution”. The nurses would have benefitted and continue to benefit, farmers have benefitted and continue to benefit, adults have benefitted and continue to benefit and the teenage group would have been moving from primary to secondary education would have had tremendous improvements. The School Leaving Exams is a thing of the past, Mr. Speaker and will continue to be a thing of the past under this Government.We have also extinct senior one, two and three. We have seen the ability to educate our people on all fronts Mr. Speaker [applause]. Over 400 primary school teachers with degrees, Mr. Speaker, I know for a fact that there are primary school teachers who are teaching grade four and under with Master Degrees, but this is the work of this side of the House, this is the work of the Unity Labour Party administration [applause]. The Community College is offering Degrees in Literacy and Counselling and someone said to me earlier, where would I pay for a Degree that I only have to pay about $800 per semester? And I said to that person, St. Vincent and the Grenadines under the Unity Labour Party it is happening well, Mr. Speaker [applause].There is also an additional focus on early childhood education. We could not have put early childhood education first. We have to embrace all areas, in doing so, embracing all areas, we educate the full country than starting at a particular stage, Mr. Speaker. No child left behind, indeed. Mr. Speaker, the Community College will soon be offering an Associate Degree in early childhood education. These are areas, Mr. Speaker, that a humpty dumpty fairy tale story cannot complete. It takes real governance, Mr. Speaker and it takes the better Government, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I have seen the devastation that has taken place from Hurricane31Tomas. I know we have three million dollars..., estimated $3.6 million and FAO and other international organisations has pledged funds to this programme, farmers in livestock can expect, farmers in vegetables production can expect as well. I know that the Ministry has sent out their personnel to do the necessary checks on farms, I know for a fact that where poultry and vegetable is concerned, they have visited farms unlimited, farm that is currently owned by myself, and had suffered loss, tremendous loss, over $70,000 in damages and Mr. Speaker, I had commit myself to public service and the day after the storm I went out and continue my political work. You see, Mr. Speaker, when your conviction runs deep in whatever you do; your courage would rise to sustain that. Even in opposition [applause] if your conviction runs deep to be in opposition your courage will rise to sustain that conviction, Mr. Speaker.HONOURABLE FREDERICK STEPHENSON: And you would continue to be in that position [laughter].HONOURABLE DAVID BROWNE: South Leeward would benefit, Mr. Speaker, from $4.9 million allocated for smaller projects in rural communities. The highway in South Leeward, inside of the Estimates it will see $750,000 that is planned and allocated for work in the constituency, $900,000 allocated for repair work in schools throughout the country of which Questelles Government School within the South Leeward District will benefit. You see, Mr. Speaker, some of these figures you have to look carefully and you have to make sure you read the document right. When, I have heard it, when Members of this Honourable House make statements to the regard of them being elected by the people to be here, there is a homework you do before you come here and that homework must be done. We cannot allow ourselves to come into this Honourable House, and do your homework in the House, Mr. Speaker, homework must be done at home.Mr. Speaker, I move, Mr. Speaker, for the next 20 or so minutes to continue to speak firmly on South Leeward. You see, during my election campaign I embraced five pillars of development and I still embrace them. I possessed a go getter spirit and one that cannot be dampened or easily quenched. One of those pillars, Mr. Speaker, is spiritual enhancement and there are over 30 churches in South Leeward, some of these were damaged during Hurricane Tomas, some have been repaired, some are awaiting repair. There is the mourner room in Clare Valley, nature would have taken its course and destroyed the entire building and we have been committed as a Government to repair that church.Mr. Speaker, capacity building is another area that I hold firmly as part of development in South Leeward and the implementation and improvement of six community libraries namely in Retreat in the Vermont Valley a library exists but needs to be enhanced and needs to be marketed. In Penniston Community Centre there will be a library there shortly. The Rillan Hill Community Centre has a community library, Mr. Speaker, but needs to be enhanced and marketed. In Clare Valley I am working with an organisation called “Eagles” vibrant young organisation to institute a library in the community centre. In Campden Park where I live, Mr. Speaker, I am in discussion with another NGO group called “Sparks” another group of brilliant enthusiastic young people who have a strong desire for community development. They too would be working on a library project. There is a community library at the Questelles Learning Resource Centre for the model of the rest of this country. I congratulate Ann Jones and her team for a job well done, Mr. Speaker. I also applaud the efforts of the Star Apple Foundation run by First Lady Eloise Gonsalves [applause] Mr. Speaker. In addition to libraries, Mr. Speaker, there is an implementation of a Small Business Trust in South Leeward to improve cottage industry in the area.32You see, Mr. Speaker, I have two small businesses and I have worked with a lot of small businesses in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. I have assisted in the development of business plans, marketing and other areas and one of the sure ways that South Leeward know that they will see the Unity Labour Party Government, our administration would shine a light in service area is under small business development. You see Mr. Speaker, when you come and you offer yourself into politics...,HONOURABLE MR.SPEAKER: Ten minutes.HONOURABLE DAVID BROWNE: You must realise that you must not come with an empty slate and you must be prepared to make offer or offers, Mr. Speaker. There is a bridge in Vermont, Mr. Speaker, some would say, let nature takes its course on that bridge to be built, but there is already $400,000 that the Taiwanese have pledged to assist in the construction of this bridge. I know that there [are] some problems that someone is living right in the vicinity of the bridge and efforts have been made, Mr. Speaker, to have the person removed who is squatting there. I think that is the only hold up at this time, but this is one time that I can assure you, Mr. Speaker, that nature will not take its course.At Job Hill, Mr. Speaker, a well needed project of electricity in the area has been completed. If folks at Job Hill were left to nature, the only light would have been moonlight or sunlight, but Mr. Speaker, they have the opportunity to wake up today and they can plug in their fridges and they can also listen to the budget on air via television and radio. Mr. Speaker, in South Leeward there would be a technological agriculture development plan aiming to develop farmers and fisher folks in the constituency. Mr. Speaker, the programme will coexist with the Ministry of Agriculture and we will get assistance in this regard. We will also get some technical help from the Taiwanese, they provide data, and training and support from other farmers is expected.You see, Mr. Speaker, my duty is to ensure that South Leeward benefits under agriculture well [applause]. There will be a programme as well under the same plan from weeds to seed where the aim would be to encourage backyard farming and testing different types of vegetables. Mr. Speaker, the farmers in South Leeward need more lands to farm and while there are lands that exist in certain areas, I will work with the Ministry of Agriculture to negotiate with persons who own lands in the constituency and make them available for farmers.Social cohesion another pillar, Mr. Speaker, there is a mentorship programme that soon will be launched by the group “Sparks”. This would seek to provide academic and social mentorship for children in the constituency and at this time I urge the Honourable Member for South Leeward in the House to be part of the programme and anyone in this House as well, Mr. Speaker, [applause].You see there are several age groups, Mr. Speaker, where we have to show the young that we care and we have to show the young that there are people that they can look up to and every so often I will ask folks on either side to present themselves and offer assistance to develop this mentorship programme. It runs from age 5 to 13, from 14 to 18, ideas are welcome to carry on the programme, the group Spark is wonderful. They have just formed themselves together over the past couple of months, they have heard the battle cry of David Browne during the election on developing NGOs in South Leeward to carry the constituency to a higher level and they have accepted that call.33Mr. Speaker, the enhancement of sports will also contribute to social cohesion. The construction of work on the Vermont Playing Field, by March 14th the Cricket Field will be expected to complete along with toilet facilities for events that will be taken there on that particular day. There are improvement work that will be done on all the hard courts in South Leeward, Clare Valley, Campden Park, Questelles, and Vermont should expect to see such.Mr. Speaker, I personally have created a linkage with private sector businesses and athletes in South Leeward. And these businesses have pledged support personally to athletes whether they are gears or nutrition whatever it is, a ticket to travel, they have pledged their support and at least in South Leeward you can always approach the office of the Senator for help in that regard.Mr. Speaker, I have run in South Leeward and lost. I embrace my wilderness years, Mr. Speaker. I am one who believes that when you are in opposition, Mr. Speaker, you are indeed in opposition and the elections are over. We have a country to build, Mr. Speaker, so in South Leeward this Honourable Senator sees no colour. Mr. Speaker, and while I say I embrace my wilderness years, which five years or less...,HONOURABLE JULIAN FRANCIS: You ain’t dey in no wilderness man. Watch wilderness over dey [laughter]HONOURABLE DAVID BROWNE: I hope the Honourable Members of the Opposition could do the same. You see I know we all would have gone to Sunday School and we have read our Bible well and there is a section in the book of Romans 13 and I will read it Mr. Speaker by your permission and I quote...,HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: You have two minutes.HONOURABLE DAVID BROWNE: Romans 13, everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except that which God has established, the authorities that exist has been established by God, consequently, he who rebelled against this establishment is rebelling against God. God has institute and those who would do otherwise will receive judgement.Well it is clear, now that is God speaking and we already know that the judgement so far is 1800 days, we already know that, Mr. Speaker. It can go on and it will continue to go on, because once the Unity Labour Party administration continues to offer the wonderful programmes and projects for this country, we will remain in office for a very long time [applause].Mr. Speaker, as I close I know the entire team of the Opposition never plans to fail, they never plan to fail they just only simply, Mr. Speaker, fail to plan successfully for another five years. At this time I encourage, Mr. Speaker, myself and the other new Members of this Honourable House to be strong and to work hard in delivering what the people requires doing. I ask on all Members to be versed in the Standing Orders of this Honourable House and I speak as well as the Deputy Speaker of the House, I ask all Members to make sure that they are firm and understand the Estimates very well. I am a bit embarrassed by Mr. Speaker, some of our old Members still struggling with the Standing Orders after ten years and we would have made several bad references. I embrace the knowledge of our Honourable Leader and Prime Minister in knowing this document wholeheartedly, Mr. Speaker and I encourage all Members of this Honourable House to seek to do the same and34to respect, not only respect but you see sometimes we play politics with everything. Even our own development, even our own knowledge and I encourage the Honourable Members to develop that.I thank you again, Mr. Speaker, I thank the people of South Leeward for their support, this Honourable side of the House, the Opposition for their critiques makes me stronger, makes us stronger. I close by saying, when your conviction runs deep we will be in Government for a long time [applause].HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Any further debate, Honourable Senator Baptiste, I recognise you Senator Baptiste; it is now..., Senator Baptiste I recognize you. There is no sound please on that microphone; could you please check that out?HONOURABLE ANESIA BAPTISTE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members of this Honourable House, I rise to make my contribution as an Honourable Senator on the Opposition side to this budget debate 2011. I wish to firmly support the conclusion made by the Honourable Opposition Leader earlier in this debate that this Budget 2011 is one that is unsustainable. The fact is, Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members; we cannot realistically make the amount of money in revenue that is needed to run the country’s affairs. We do not have enough money to spend on what we say we are going to spend it on. That is the plain and simple matter. For year another year this is the case, but Mr. Speaker, as a part of my presentation I want to go down memory lane. I want to show what history reminds us of with respect to the performance of the New Democratic Party administration and the Unity Labour Party administration in terms of the kinds of budgets that have been presented.You know, Mr. Speaker, it was the third President of the United States of America one Thomas Jefferson who once said in 1787 and I quote: “History by apprising them of the past will enable them to judge of the future.” End of quote. And so this is what I want to show us today in this Honourable House, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I have paper which I wish to lay before the Honourable House, just paper with some figures. I want to go back to the NDP administration first and I want to say that when we look at the year 1995 the NDP presented a budget with a surplus of $239,449,000; 1996 we had a surplus of $569,368,000; it rolls, 1997 a budget surplus reaching $1,081,861,000; 1998 Mr. Speaker, $1,080,000,000 in surplus; 1999 the New Democratic Party administration presented a budget with $4,485,000,000 in surplus; 2000; $3,270,000,000. Mr. Speaker, we presented a budget when not only did we have the revenue we needed for our expenditure, but we had more on that top of that [applause] for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 years.HONOURABLE SABOTO CAESAR: But we had a lot of poverty in the country.HONOURABLE ANESIA BAPTISTE: Mr. Speaker, during that time, because you see a response particularly to something, the Honourable Member from South Central Windward did when he quoted Matthew 25 and misrepresented it because those stewards, Mr. Speaker, who were considered faithful by the Master, they brought surplus, they brought on top of the talent that they had been given, not deficits Mr. Speaker, not deficits [applause]. The unfaithful servant did not bring a surplus, but let me continue, Mr. Speaker. Now, Mr. Speaker, to accomplish this exercise, I took [interjection] thank you, Mr. Speaker. To accomplish this exercise, Mr. Speaker, I went into the Estimates from 1995 come up and I worked it out and I remember consulting even with some business people who paid careful attention over the years and our figures were correct. Mr. Speaker, those Estimates would have been official documents of this House and I will lay these papers to you afterwards35and they can always be verified accordingly, but I have been hearing as a new Member that over the time in the NDP administration we always had a surplus, we always had a surplus. I went and I saw it for myself, Mr. Speaker.HONOURABLE DR. DOUGLAS SLATER: Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order, but I will admit before under 35(a) [interjection] yes, Mr. Speaker, I as an Honourable Members of this House, I do not know whether the rules allow for props, but in any case I would expect to be able to see the props and from this side I am unable to see the props that are brought. I really do not know what the ruling on the presentation of props is.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: I am very glad that you raise the question, because the matter was brought before me and I really allow just to see what, because I did tell the Honourable Member that the logistics I am confident may not necessarily work and I think yesterday I called her into my office and I think I dealt with that also and I thought that really she had abandoned the idea, but the last conversation we had I said, it is virtually a no, no, but I just wanted to see what it was and I think it is a little bit cumbersome at this particular point in time and you know, it really is and I do not think it is meeting the objective that is intended. Because that same information you have there could be presented otherwise, could be presented otherwise. I have seen nothing there, I just to be convincing myself, I have seen nothing there that you could not present in another form. A form that is more in keeping with the debate in the House, so I will ask that you discontinue that and..., I am sure you would have had those same information written on some other..., in some other way you can read and that is why I raise the question about who watching us and who is listening to us and the relevance of that. Okay, thank you.HONOURABLE ANESIA BAPTISTE: Mr. Speaker, before I continue I wish to say that I think there would have been some misunderstanding, because when I discussed with you yesterday I thought your objection was to the whole apparatus because I spoke about bringing an actual tabletop easel and you expressed your concerns about the logistics which I appreciated, but I figured that since it was just paper holding up just like anybody else would present to the House and say, well this is the manifesto or whatever the case is and I do not expect them to try to get us to read it, I thought by writing it out in a larger form that it would have been more...,HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: I am of the view that that same information could be presented other than in that sort of..., I view it as a bit cumbersome way in presenting that information. So I am saying let us deal with the conventional way that we are accustomed to deal with these things. You see these things have a way of creeping in easily and then something else, a big chalk board might come. Go ahead; you have not lost any time.HONOURABLE ANESIA BAPTISTE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I respect your authority in this House and therefore I would continue without it, but I do not agree with you that it is cumbersome in anyway. I am the one holding it up and I do not have a problem and I am certainly not disrupting the order of the House in any way by holding it. I thank you and I will continue.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Just a minute please. You do not have to agree with me you know. I have ruled, you do not have to agree with me Honourable Senator, I have ruled and my ruling is what stands. So whether you agree with me or not, I have ruled. So you have to be careful with your comments, all right. Thank you very much.36HONOURABLE ANESIA BAPTISTE: This is why I said also Mr. Speaker that I respect your authority and will not continue.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Thank you very much.HONOURABLE ANESIA BAPTISTE: Okay, now, Mr. Speaker, to continue my presentation, I would have gone on to show on my chart that after the NDP continued to present surplus, budget with surplus that is cash surplus from the years 1995 to 2000 the ULP administration took over in 2001, 2002, 2003 the record shows that they presented smaller surpluses from the $3 million that we had in 2000; 2002 for example the ULP had $339,000 surplus. By 2003 a year after their surplus went down to $136,000 and by 2004 [laughter]HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Honourable Members, please allow her to make..., Honourable Members, you cannot all be shouting across the floor, please allow the Member to make her contribution.HONOURABLE ANESIA BAPTISTE: And by 2004, Mr. Speaker, their surplus had gone even lower to $120,000 and when I say surplus, cash surplus I am saying that while they managed to continue the legacy of the NDP for three years thereabout after, having a little more than what they needed to do the country’s business, they kept reducing in the amount that they had more and by the time we got to 2005 in this Honourable House, Mr. Speaker, the Unity Labour Party administration presented budget with a deficit of $37.3 million. So we went into a situation where we had $37 million less than what was required to run the country’s affairs 2005. By the time we got to 2006 it was $51.8 million less that we had to run the country’s affairs and I am speaking about cash deficit here, Mr. Speaker, so I am saying including the monies we needed to pay the principal and our debt as well as for our sinking fund. 2007 the under ULP $51.6 million; 2008 it went up again to $69.5 million; 2009 budget $69 million; 2010 record breaking $108 million in cash deficit on the current account, Mr. Speaker.In other words, this country was faced with a scenario where the budget presented shows that we did not have or we had $108 million less than what was required to run the country’s affairs. And by 2011 which is this year Mr. Speaker, we see that a similar budget has been presented with a deficit, a cash deficit over a cash deficit on the current account of $105 million. Mr. Speaker, this could never be a situation that any country and any people could be proud of where we literally do not have the money we need to run the country’s affairs and as you seen from what my honourable colleagues have shown on our side, this is what is primarily responsible for the lack of implementation and the failure to implement the various programmes. Though commendable some of them are, the failure to implement them, Mr. Speaker, for the benefit of the country.HONOURABLE VYNETTE FREDERICK: That is a fact.HONOURABLE ANESIA BAPTISTE: But furthermore, furthermore I want to make another kind of comparison, Mr. Speaker, and it is the fact that while the deficit under the ULP since 2005 has risen even to the point of $108 million, so has the total debt of the country risen. For every year that we had a deficit budget Mr. Speaker, we had a debt that went up and up and up and up.HONOURABLE VYNETTE FREDERICK: Correct. 37HONOURABLE ANESIA BAPTISTE: And I will relate the figures because I think it is important for the people to understand and for us in this Honourable House to take note of, 2007 Mr. Speaker, when the deficit was $37.3 million the debt was $765 million; 2006 a higher deficit of $51 million and the debt goes up $962 million. 2007 Mr. Speaker, $51.6 million in deficit, debt is up 1,062,176,000; 2008 a bigger deficit again of $69 million and the debt goes up $1.16 billion. By the time we get to 2011 Mr. Speaker, with $105 million in deficit the debt is $1.23 billion. Mr. Speaker, it shows that every time you continue to bring a deficit budget you end up having to borrow more and more money, because you do not enough to spend what you need and you borrow more and more to cover your debts and to cover the fact that you do not this money to carry out your programmes.Mr. Speaker, over the years when I read the Prime Minister’s budget presentation 2010 he boasted how his Government had carried out a counter-cyclical approach over the years. Okay, recession going on, we cannot afford to pull back in spending, let us spend more to try to create incentive and to try to boast the economy, but alas I heard nothing this year of counter-cyclical approach, Mr. Speaker, and I know it is because he realises that it has not been working to the point, Mr. Speaker, that we have no choice, he has no choice this year but to contract, to cut back, because he realises that we cannot continue to bring big deficits budget and expect that the people of this country will not be in trouble eventually. This is what is happening in this country, Mr. Speaker.HONOURABLE JULIAN FRANCIS: Honourable Member, I rise under 35(b). HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: 35(b)?HONOURABLE JULIAN FRANCIS: Yes Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the fact that the budget itself is a..., the recurrent budget is a deficit budget is in itself counter-cyclical [applause].HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Thank you.HONOURABLE ANESIA BAPTISTE: Mr. Speaker, I point out the fact that I did not hear the Honourable Member for North Central Windward, the Honourable Prime Minister, the Honourable Minister of Finance boast in his usual way as he did last year and in years before about a counter-cyclical approach that is what I am pointing out and I am pointing it out, Mr. Speaker, because I believe based on what he has written in times past had he felt it was working and had worked again, he would have certainly boasted about it, it has been his habit and that is my point, Mr. Speaker.HONOURABLE VYNETTE FREDERICK: Correct, correct, tek statistics man, tek statistics. HONOURABLE ANESIA BAPTISTE: Mr. Speaker, I had a conversation..., HONOURABLE VYNETTE FREDERICK: Facts man, tek them.HONOURABLE ANESIA BAPTISTE: With some colleagues and I said, well you know it is often said that nothing is wrong with bringing a deficit budget, but Mr. Speaker, when we look at the situation over the last seven years including this year, Mr. Speaker, when we have to be bringing deficit budget year after year after year and now for the seventh time, it is no longer a case Mr. Speaker of trying to stimulate the economy. It is a38case where we are broke and we cannot do better, Mr. Speaker [applause] and that is the concern that I have going forward, looking at this budget for 2011.Mr. Speaker, the Honourable Leader of the Opposition pointed out a very important thing in his speech, he showed that in the face of a deficit budget the area under capital receipts, called other receipts is normally looked at as the way to make up for what you do not have. So that the $105 million that you do not have this year to run the country, we are hoping to get it under that area, other receipts, you will see it in the financial summary. But alas, the Honourable Opposition Leader has proven and undisputable, nobody disputed it in him, Mr. Speaker, he has proven that over the years we have only been able to raise on average 2.8 percent of that figure that is put there under other receipts. So it shows that the $105 million deficit that we have here in 2011 we do not even have the guarantee of making 3 percent of that under other receipts. So really and truly what is going to happen is that we are going to be continually borrowing, borrowing, borrowing to get out of our situation and this is why the debt has increased along the same years when the deficits have been increasing because it is more borrowing and more borrowing and it falls back on our children and our grandchildren in this country down the road who will have to pay it back, Mr. Speaker.HONOURABLE VYNETTE FREDERICK: They do not care, they do not care.HONOURABLE ANESIA BAPTISTE: Mr. Speaker, I know this current administration boasts of its standard so that I do not expect to be hearing Ottley Hall because they are in Government now and they ought to do better and that is no excuse for their failures, Mr. Speaker [applause].HONOURABLE VYNETTE FREDERICK: Correct, pound them, pound them. HONOURABLE ANESIA BAPTISTE: Mr. Speaker...,HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Honourable Members, please let us allow the Honourable Senator to continue her debate. Maybe other Members can counter these when they come on.HONOURABLE ANESIA BAPTISTE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. So Mr. Speaker, we have seen a deficit over the last seven years including this year. Deficit budget, deficit increasing each year, record breaking deficit of $108 million in 2010 and now $105 million in 2011, the last seven years of St. Vincent and the Grenadines history, Mr. Speaker, the ULP has run this country down in their budget presentations, but that Mr. Speaker, is the legacy of the ULP not the NDP. The NDP has shown over the years, surpluses, Mr. Speaker, surpluses and we are proud of that. What this behaviour shows Mr. Speaker is the incompetence...,HONOURABLE MAJOR ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: Mr. Speaker, the rules are as you explained a while ago of Member must be heard in silence, so we accept a reasonable cross talk, but the Honourable Member is simply not been given a chance to present. We have all sat here and listen to every single Member on that side in silence even when they are reading Mr. Speaker.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: That is not true. HONOURABLE MAJOR ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: Even when they are reading Mr. Speaker.39HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Well what you want to do is your matter for you. I am saying that it is not quite true to say that you sit and listen to every Member in silence. I know there were some disruptions here and there. I am agreeing with you that the Members need to be heard in silence and I am asking that Honourable Members please, as I have said earlier, we cannot escape the question of cross talk, it is something that has been practised in every Parliament all over the world and I do not think that St. Vincent is such a what it is called, Parliament that these things do not happen, but at least if all of us are seen to be talking at the same time we are doing a couple things, we are not allowing the stenographers to take their notes effectively and again we are affecting the quality of the information going out there, the broadcast, the telecast and so on and therefore I would advise as I say, I know there would be instances of cross talk, but we cannot all be talking at the same time. It is not good; it is not helpful at all. So let us try and deal with that kind of a thing. All right, continue Member.HONOURABLE ANESIA BAPTISTE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, what it shows me is a high level of incompetence, irresponsibility and mismanagement of the country’s economy over the last seven years including this year again when we bring a deficit budget and I have made the point, Mr. Speaker, deficit budget is only seen as okay if you can manage your debt, but what we have seen over the years is that the debt has been rising. So if that is the debt management strategy, Mr. Speaker, that leaves much to be desired and I am saying the results of that is what we are seeing. More measures to increase certain fees and so on because we have find a way some how to make the money that is necessary, because we are already in a situation where we do not have what we need to spend on the things that we see need to spend on and that could never be a right situation. We need to get back to a situation where can [we] say we have surpluses that is a more healthy arrangement for our country, Mr. Speaker and I am glad, I am proud to be a member of the side that has that legacy on record.Now Mr. Speaker, I just want to interject here to say that this is what Matthew 25 was talking about if we are going to compare and I will rather compare with other human beings, because I certainly do not think anyone of us here can call ourselves God and say we can do miracles, but the fact of the matter is when the servants, when the stewards were given their talents when they were applauded it was because they brought forth more on top of the talent. They were able to show, not just that they had held on to the talent, but that they were able to make more...,HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Just let me stop there because my understanding of what the Member was saying, and I have a right because I think you are probably going down the wrong road, my understanding is what you are saying is identical to what you are saying that is my understanding. So let us just move on, let us move on.HONOURABLE ANESIA BAPTISTE: Mr. Speaker, the only distinction I make is that you cannot refer to yourself as the faithful servant if you are bringing deficit budgets and I am saying the faithful servants are those who are able to bring more on what they had, surplus that is all, Mr. Speaker.I move on, now Mr. Speaker, my question is and the question the people of this good country, I mean I imagine are asking is after seven years of a deficit budget and a rise in debt, does the Government actually have some sort of target to turning this situation around, or are we to expect more deficits and more debt over the few years? Is that what we are to expect? What is the target, what is the intention? Or does it rather unreasonably boast, Mr. Speaker, in bigger and bigger deficits while our people suffer more and more from the increased40debts which results from these deficits. But Mr. Speaker, Daniel Webster known as the defender of the Constitution in the United States of America, he once said and I quote, “history is God’s providence in human affairs” end of quote.I agree with him, I agree with him that even as we have been allowed to see a ULP administration that has performed for the last seven years bringing deficit budgets and more debt to this country, it is the providence of God for us to see what we are dealing with and I say interestingly Mr. Webster was described as a great statesman and there have been some who have said that statesman is not important because a statesman is a dead politician, but Mr. Speaker, when I look at the vision, when I look at the thinking behind this continued practice of bringing deficit budgets, what I see is truly the distinction that some have made between statesmen and politicians.You see those who say that a statesman is a dead politician one author once said that a politician thinks about the next elections but the statesman thinks about the next generations and when I look at the history of the ULP bringing deficits budget and more debt I wonder about our generations to come and I wonder, Mr. Speaker, if that is what they mean or if that is what is meant when it is said that it is better you be a dead politician than a statesman. Better you think about the next election and what is politically convenient than thinking about what will happen to the generations under the debt situation you create.Another difference that is made between a statesman and a politician, Mr. Speaker, is this, the question is asked, what is the difference between a statesman and a politician? A statesman does what he believes is best for his country, a politician does what best gets him re-elected. And I wonder, Mr. Speaker, when I consider the kind of budgets being brought here for the last seven years, if all that is on the minds of the Members of the other side, is that which is convenient politically to get votes as opposed to that which is best for our beloved St. Vincent and the Grenadines and our people that is what I wonder, Mr. Speaker. I consider, Mr. Speaker, that if somehow a statesman is a dead politician, then I say, give us dead politicians. Give us people who will think about what is best for the country, people who will think about what is best for the development of the country, people who will not continue to put us in a situation where we see no economic growth for the last two years, negative growth, therefore the chances of addressing the unemployment problem is so low. We bring all these nice programmes and they are commendable but how will we be able to sustain them, Mr. Speaker, when we do not have the money we need to run the country? That is the cry from me today, Mr. Speaker.Mr. Speaker, when I look at the poverty issue and the public assistance programme, for example, I want to say first of all that the NDP is not against public assistance at all. The NDP itself would have been engaged in giving public assistance to individuals what was known back then as poor relief. The NDP carried out these programmes including assisting school children with uniforms and so on, but Mr. Speaker, where I have my concern is when I see what seems to be an increase in the numbers on this list and I want to also say something about the increase. In the amount and I want us to listen carefully, what I am saying, Mr. Speaker, the other side has indeed indicated that the numbers on the list are over 5000 and what it tells me is that there are more people who need public assistance, more people therefore the implication are unemployed or underemployed, more people depend on the state for public assistance, more people are poor. It is not something to boast about, Mr. Speaker, if you have more and more people on public assistance programme, because it implies that more and more persons are not able to fend for themselves [applause] but have to depend upon the state to do so and I41am saying, Mr. Speaker, that that is not the best arrangements, because you see the states could only do so much, Mr. Speaker. But when you empower a people with employment opportunities then they can do much more than what the state would have been able to do for them in a limited way and Mr. Speaker, that is the issue that is the issue.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Honourable Senator, you are contributing to the disruption. HONOURABLE VYNETTE FREDERICK: I am defending my colleague. HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: All right okay, all right go ahead.HONOURABLE ANESIA BAPTISTE: Poverty reduction, Mr. Speaker, I think not, not when we have more people showing that more people are poor. Not when there is any employment, opportunities for them, for them to come off of that dependent on the state and Mr. Speaker, what I want to point out about the issue of the increase in the amount, I have no problem with the increase in the amounts. When I look at the Honourable Prime Minister’s budget speech I want to refer to page 59 in the Honourable Prime Minister’s speech he said and I quote, he went into this paragraph of giving the list of the figures that the increases have taken place by, “accordingly in this month January 2011, my Government increased significantly public assistance and other associated payments. These increases are as follows an increase of $45 monthly from $175 to $220 for recipients of public assistance 65 years and older” and he goes on and on and on. My point, Mr. Speaker, is simply this, have we considered that these increases are natural and necessary in light of the fact that the cost of goods are higher. I mean would it be reasonable for us to leave the figures as an amount that could only afford to buy things at their costs five years ago, but that they cannot buy those things today?In other words, Mr. Speaker, I am saying, Mr. Speaker, that it is natural over the years with things like inflation and therefore the increase in costs of goods and so on that these same people have to purchase, it is natural that where you have people on public assistance over the years if you face those things, you have to increase the amounts to help them out. Mr. Speaker, I remember when I was a teenager my father would drive his motor bike to the supermarket and he would bring back a box of groceries tied on to the back of the bike, $100 would give us a box of groceries that would last the month, Mr. Speaker, that is not possible today. Mr. Speaker, that is not possible today. So it is natural and only just in my estimation that you increase the figures where you have public assistance and I am saying, Mr. Speaker, that is not something to boast about in the sense that, oh! You are doing this great thing. It is the right thing to do under the circumstances and I actually commend it [applause] but I am saying, Mr. Speaker, that in as far, especially as my colleagues said with the VAT on the goods that was not on the goods three five years ago. So Mr. Speaker, my issue is that with the numbers that have increased on the list it shows that more people are in poverty under the ULP. That is the reality, that is the reality.Mr. Speaker, I ask the Government again, what is their target date for decrease in the number of people on public assistance? What is their target date for a decrease, in other words how much employment they intend to provide for the people, to raise their socio-economic situation, Mr. Speaker and actually cause them to be less dependent upon the state, Mr. Speaker? Mr. Speaker, with no economic growth for the last two years and with42hardly the possibility of raising the big amounts we have in other receipts, the prospects of seriously addressing unemployment and therefore seriously addressing the issue of reducing the number of people on public assistance, the prospects are very grim, low.Mr. Speaker...,HONOURABLE DR. DOUGLAS SLATER: Mr. Speaker, I rise to make or to clarify 35(b). Mr. Speaker, the issue of public assistance. Public assistance is offered to persons 65 and over and in cases 60 and over. In St. Vincent and the Grenadines these are retirees, and there are indigent poor, but the important point, Mr. Speaker, is that they are not employed. You cannot talk about decreasing unemployment and relate it to public assistance, Mr. Speaker.HONOURABLE ANESIA BAPTISTE: Mr. Speaker, that is not the only category of persons on public assistance based on the very presentation of the Honourable Prime Minister and I know the Honourable Member knows that. There is the issue of foster mothers with children, those mothers if they were employed and could have taken care of those children they may not have been able to being on public assistance. Mr. Speaker, there are also children in school, the impression...,HONOURABLE DR. DOUGLAS SLATER: Mr. Speaker, again under 35(b). Mr. Speaker, the Honourable Member is misleading the House, because as she is saying there are also a category of children and children do not work, they are not employed. So Mr. Speaker I think she should not continue along that argument.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Yes, the public assistance in this case where foster mothers are concerned are in relation to the children, so therefore I mean it does not argue, it does not hold the point, it does not hold the argument.HONOURABLE ANESIA BAPTISTE: Mr. Speaker, my point..., Mr. Speaker, please...,HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Yes, go ahead.HONOURABLE ANESIA BAPTISTE: My point is that the foster children and other children though they are not working, if their parents or guardians were working, were employed they may not have to be on public assistance. So that is why I am saying [interjection] Mr. Speaker, I said guardian also, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I have already established that we are not against these programmes but the point is we need to have a target of reducing that kind of dependency on the state which can only do so much, Mr. Speaker, and that target must involve ensuring that there is more employment for the people so that they could be independent that is my point, Mr. Speaker.HONOURABLE SABOTO CAESAR: Really I cannot sit here anymore and hear the issue attempting to be elucidated by my friend on the other side about persons moving from a state of dependency to a state of independence why the reason why the reason why they got on to the public assistance in the first place is because and assessment was done. Mr. Speaker, we are speaking about persons who are over 65 years old. We have 2,631 of them. Is the Honourable Senator saying that those persons over 65 years old like my great grandmother who is 102, 103 should go and seek some form of employment? Is the Honourable Senator saying that those persons [interjection] yes, I never said that she is on public assistance you know, I said my43grandmother is 103, if she was on public assistance, should she now go and look for a job at age 103? There are many disabled persons [interjection] Mr. Speaker, if I may because if I may just put for two more minutes, because it is very important that we clear this point.HONOURABLE ANESIA BAPTISTE: Mr. Speaker, I find, Mr. Speaker, please I crave your good judgement, Mr. Speaker. I am making my speech and the Honourable Member is going on and on. If he wants to elucidate and stay...,HONOURABLE SABOTO CAESAR: rose on a point of order.HONOURABLE ANESIA BAPTISTE: But Mr. Speaker, how long..., HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Just a minute, just a minute. HONOURABLE ANESIA BAPTISTE: But Mr. Speaker, how long can a point of order...,HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: I will determine how long a Member makes his elucidation of a matter. I need to understand what he is saying. I mean, if I think he is going on and on and he is not arriving at his point, you have heard me said that last night to the Honourable Minister of Agriculture, when he was going on, I said to him, come to the point, because if I am not getting your point and you are going on, I will tell him to come to the point. I mean, I am the Speaker of this House. I want to get the point that he is making. I just cannot get up and say, that is not true and sit down. If you rise on a point of order, you make your point of order. If I find as Speaker he is going on too long with the matter and I cannot get the end, then I would deal with that, but everybody wants to be Speaker of this House [laughter]. Continue Honourable Member.HONOURABLE SABOTO CAESAR: Just one final point. There is a category of persons who receive the public assistance who are disabled. They are dumb, they are blind, and some persons have infirmities of various types. Is the Honourable Senator suggesting that these persons must go out find employment? Because she is speaking on the issue that these categories must move from dependency to independence without showing that there was a reason why they were on public assistance in the first place [applause].HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: I get the point you are making. The Honourable Senator you have 10 minutes to complete your presentation and you would be guided thereby and so on.HONOURABLE ANESIA BAPTISTE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I answer the questions.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Ten minutes.HONOURABLE ANESIA BAPTISTE: Mr. Speaker, I answer the questions, I was in no way suggesting that persons who are unable to take care of themselves in the case of the disabled as well as the much older persons, I was in no way suggesting that they be taken off the public assistance programme. I already established in the beginning, Mr. Speaker, that the New Democratic Party once had that same programme. So it is no way it could be properly implied from my statements, Mr. Speaker. I insist the very Prime Minister in his44speech, he said, Mr. Speaker, that some 1/3 of the recipients of public assistance are students of poor families. The fact of the matter is, if these students of poor families have to be on public assistance, it implies to whatever extent they are not much older parents and disabled parents, it implies that there are parents who are unemployed and my point is the Government must have a target to increase employment for these people so that the numbers on the public assistance where they are there can be decreased in as far as that is concerned. That is all I am saying, Mr. Speaker. Thank you very much.Now Mr. Speaker, in continuing, and I know that I have limited time now to continue, I...,HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Honourable Members, please let us allow the Member to conclude whatever in 10 minutes or whatever.HONOURABLE ANESIA BAPTISTE: Mr. Speaker, I went through all of that to prove that when I think about all the programmes we want to implement this year and when I think of all the work that we want to do and the Government said that it wants to do, the situation is grim because of our financial overall situation, this is why we end up with programmes where when you look at the result indicators you have things that are not being achieved. Implementation rate is slow, things being put off for next year what should have been done the year before and things like that, because the money is not there in many cases to do it, Mr. Speaker and this happens when you have a deficit budget and you do not have a way of finding the money to take care of that deficit and that is the point I am making continually.Mr. Speaker, for example, when we look at the Youth Empowerment Service Programme, a commendable programme that not only St. Vincent and the Grenadines is doing, Barbados and other countries are doing it as well, when we look at that programme for example in the result indicators, we observe, I want to just make the particular reference just to make my point, we observe that $2.8 million has been allocated to that programme and we observe in the result indicators on pages 186 and 180, on page 180 for example one of the result indicators 2010 said that they will continue to train 450 on the Youth Empowerment Service programme with emphasis on civic education and entrepreneurship by August 2010 (that is on page 180 Mr. Speaker) the result indicator status update said that they had actually only trained 90 of those 450 persons. So only 20% of the amount they intended to train last year was trained. I imagine that the balancing 360 there about would be trained this year, but also as a result indicator for this year they have said that they will train a further 500 persons under this programme, 500 plus 360 that were not trained last year, Mr. Speaker, is 860; 860 persons to train under the Youth Empowerment Service programme, but only $25,000 are allocated to the training. Mr. Speaker, when I do the calculation I see that a mere $29 will be spent on each of those $860 persons, a mere $29 for each persons for training for the whole year, Mr. Speaker.Mr. Speaker, this job apprenticeship programme for the year cannot be as beneficial as it ought to be if you do not invest in training the people so that when they leave for the year, they have skills that they can go on to do. Mr. Speaker, you hear on the job training, but there are a lot of young people in those programmes who complain that sometimes they sit around hardly doing anything, or sometimes just doing the work of other persons in their offices. Mr. Speaker, this is why I believe the Government saw the need to put in something for training of them while they are there, not just the on job but actual training in certain areas, but the training is45insufficient and I am saying, it is one example of how cannot carry out our programmes efficiently because of the overall situation [applause] that is the point I am making, Mr. Speaker, that is the point I continue to make. Mr. Speaker, these things are not created by my imagination, it is what is there in the Estimates. If you are going to argue, argue with your own document. The fact of the matter is that is what is there for us to see and Mr. Speaker, we have to be concerned when we see those things because it is our people who are either benefitting or suffering accordingly.Mr. Speaker, a similar thing can be seen when you look at some of the programmes I mentioned in the Estimates debate and I will not go back into the details, but the fact of the matter is Mr. Speaker, in those areas you would see cuts, cuts in certain areas and sometimes you ask, why cut this? Let me give you a perfect example, take the Ministry of Tourism. The Ministry of Tourism has a local advertising and promotion budget, Mr. Speaker, that when you make the comparison you would see that it has actually been cut for this year and I asked myself why and I could only conclude that okay, you know what, let we go through certain areas and cut here and cut there and cut there, because we know we are not going to find all this money that we need to do what we are supposed to do anyway. But it is sad because the Honourable Member responsible for Tourism indicated the importance of sensitisation of our people in order for them to be able to do a good job with respect to welcoming our visitors, but then you cut the local advertising and promotion budget, Mr. Speaker, from, you cut it from $260,000 in 2010 to $150,00. Mr. Speaker, I know that the persons in the Ministry of Tourism work hard, but so do many other public servants, but many a times their hands are tied because the money is not there to do the work, Mr. Speaker. And I am saying Mr. Speaker that this is an example. Mr. Speaker, you hear those ads being played on the radio and the TV with the little jingle at the end tourism today, tourism tomorrow (sings jungle) Mr. Speaker, those are the kinds of things that the Communications Unit works on to help with sensitising the local population. I know because I was there and I did those ads. Mr. Speaker, we have competent people there, we have a new person there who was trained in communications. I am sure she would have lovely ideas to develop this programme, but alas the budget has been cut. The budget has been cut by $110,000 Mr. Speaker in a year when we claim that we are strong in the sensitisation of our populists to host visitors accordingly, Mr. Speaker.HONOURABLE SABOTO CAESAR: I rise under 35(b) because..., DR. THE HONOURABLE GODWIN FRIDAY: Mr. Speaker, I do not hear the Honourable Member giveway. HONOURABLE SABOTO CAESAR: But she sat. HONOURABLE ANESIA BAPTISTE: No well, when he said...,HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Just a minute, more than that he rose under 35(b) and it is a point of order. I know what 35 says. It says [interjection] yes, when he rises Member can give way. I know what 35(b) says, you are challenging my knowledge. You challenge my knowledge? But it says if she does not give way then there is the alternative. All he has to state whether he has risen on a point of order and that is the thing. Honourable Member go ahead.46HONOURABLE SABOTO CAESAR: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. The Honourable Member is making a point that the expenditure on advertisement, because yesterday I spoke at length that we are going to create a modern tourism sector and that advertising is very important and I even spoke about the sensitisation that will be done locally. If my Honourable friend will look with me at page 557; $14 million is allocated under the Tourism Authority. I have already spoken to the persons on the Tourism Authority for allocation of monies for advertisement locally. So I just want to make that point very, very clear.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Honourable Member, you have 3 minutes to conclude.HONOURABLE ANESIA BAPTISTE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, my understanding of the Tourism Authority’s role based on what is outlined in the Estimates and also based on being a part of the whole process when it was being formed is that they have the responsibility for marketing SVG outside of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The advertising and promotion budget under Tourism administration is the one that is for local, local sensitisation, Mr. Speaker. So if it is, if the Honourable Member is saying to me..., Mr. Speaker, if the Honourable Member..., Mr. Speaker, may I be allowed to finish please? If the Honourable Member is saying that they have cut down the local advertising budget to then go and take money from the advertising for outside to put it there, I understand, but the point is, the point is Mr. Speaker, the distinction has been made because we knew that there was a need for both local advertising in education, sensitisation as well as advertising outside and I cannot see the sense in taking money from the outside advertising budget to put into local when you have money that you could put into local as you have done last year. Why cut it now?HONOURABLE SABOTO CAESAR: Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order 35(b).HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Point of order yes.HONOURABLE SABOTO CAESAR: And the Honourable Member has given way. Mr. Speaker, I am the Minister of Tourism [applause] I must take that firmly, I am the Minister of Tourism and no one from outside my Ministry can come and tell me about how I allocated monies to be spent and whether monies would be spent locally, or internationally. I just want to state that clear.HONOURABLE ANESIA BAPTISTE: It is in the Estimates.HONOURABLE SABOTO CAESAR: Monies are allocated under the Tourism Authority, $14 million. If I want to allocate expenditures of monies locally as a part of the marketing package I am the Minister and the Honourable Member is not the Minister.HONOURABLE MAJOR ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: Mr. Speaker, 35(b) Mr. Speaker, it is an affront to this Parliament for any Minister to so state that it resides within him as to how to spend money within the Ministry. This Parliament approves Estimates for specific projects and line items and we are obliged to stick within the approvals given by this Parliament. Not for any Minister to hairy-fairy these sums for themselves what they do.HONOURABLE SABOTO CAESAR: Mr. Speaker, if I may, if I may, because I just need to clear this point. Because it is not a difficult point but certain persons are making heavy weather of it, I do not if it is because they do not understand the point. All that I am saying, Mr. Speaker, monies are allocated $14 million for marketing under Tourism Authority. Okay, I am the Minister and that is a fact, I am the Minister and would say47how monies are divided between locally or internationally out of that $14 million. It is plain and simple you know.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Thank you. Enough said on that issue. HONOURABLE SABOTO CAESAR: No one who used to work in the Ministry cannot come and tell mehow to spend money.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: One minute to conclude that is it. [Interjection] maybe I do not know, I do not understand a lot of these things. I do not understand them to saying, the money is allocated $14 million for marketing and I suppose if they determine how the $14 million is spent does not go outside as far as I am concerned, outside of the authorization to spend $14 million.HONOURABLE SABOTO CAESAR: But Mr. Speaker...,HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Is it that what you are saying?DR. THE HONOURABLE GODWIN FRIDAY: The Honourable Member for Central Kingstown took up on the point. I want to get this categorically clear, is the Honourable Minister saying that he having got an allocation in the Estimates that he..., it is up to him to spend the money however he wishes and nobody can tell him anything.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: No, no, no.DR. THE HONOURABLE GODWIN FRIDAY: Is that the point that he is saying?HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: No, no, no.DR. THE HONOURABLE GODWIN FRIDAY: Because that is the inescapable conclusion from what he is saying. Nobody from outside can tell him how to spend the money because he is the Minister.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: No, I did not get that impression.DR. THE HONOURABLE GODWIN FRIDAY: I do not know why we wasted the whole day last Friday debating on the Estimates if you have a Minister who can say that he basically can do whatever he wants so long as the funds are allocated.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: You made your point, thank you very much you have made your point. Honourable Members, I am not going to entertain any further discussion on this matter. You have 1 minute to conclude Honourable Senator and conclude. No further discussion as I said on this matter. One minute and I want you to conclude.HONOURABLE ANESIA BAPTISTE: Mr. Speaker, in concluding on this point, my issue is this the same $14 million that has been allocated to the Tourism Authority last year 2010 has been allocated to them again for 2011 to do their marketing outside.48HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: I am asking you to move on. HONOURABLE ANESIA BAPTISTE: I am finishing, Mr. Speaker. HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: To move on with the issue. HONOURABLE ANESIA BAPTISTE: Yes, I am doing, Mr. Speaker. HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Right.HONOURABLE ANESIA BAPTISTE: So if you have the same $14 million last year. But you are not moving on, on the issue. HONOURABLE ANESIA BAPTISTE: But Mr. Speaker, I just want to..., Mr. Speaker...,HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: I say I want that issue to close because I am not going to entertain any further...,HONOURABLE ANESIA BAPTISTE: But Mr. Speaker, I am referring to the Estimates. HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Honourable Member, I understand that, but I said, you have said enoughon that issue and you would move on.HONOURABLE ANESIA BAPTISTE: But I just have one point I want to finish and you are interrupt..., Mr. Speaker...,HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Do not tell me I am interrupting you [laughter]. HONOURABLE ANESIA BAPTISTE: Mr. Speaker...,HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Please take your seat. You cannot tell the Speaker, he is interrupting you. What kind of disorder is this [laughter]? I am interrupting you?HONOURABLE ANESIA BAPTISTE: Mr. Speaker, I should not have used the work interrupting, but I simply meant that while I was saying what I was saying, because you cut me and I was not able to finish the thought. That is all. Mr. Speaker, the budget was cut that is my point and I am saying that this is as a result of the overall financial situation that we find ourselves in and it is happening in all the different departments as a result and Mr. Speaker, I want to say, [interjection] sorry.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Time is up, time is up that is the end of your time. You have gone over the extra time that I have allotted you. Honourable Members, I just want to say something before we take the luncheon adjournment, because I want to clarify something here, because Honourable Members I am addressing the House, I am addressing the House. Are you leaving while I am addressing the House?HONOURABLE MAJOR ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: No Mr. Speaker. 49HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Thank you very much. I am addressing the House on an issue because I want to make a clarification here on something, because I know soon it is going to be said that the Speaker has ruled against certain displays, exhibits, and props being used in this House and whenever I rule, my rulings are not in isolation and I am making reference to the House of Commands, Procedure and Practice. Practice which we follow here in this Parliament and this is what it says, an edition of 2009 as recent as edition 2009, it says, Speakers have consistently ruled out of order displays or demonstrations of any kind, used by Members to illustrate their remarks or emphasise their positions. Similarly, props of any kind such as a way of making a silent commend on issues have always been found unacceptable in the Chamber. Members may hold notes in their hands, but they will be interrupted and reprimanded by the Speaker if they use certain papers, documents or other objects to illustrate their remarks. I will stay there, it goes on with more, exhibits of all so being ruled out inadmissible. So when I make my ruling, I am not making it in isolation. We are following and we are practicing here the House of Commands Procedure Rules and we are always challenged that where without rules, do not address an issue that we can go to the House of Commands. That is what we do under this system that we run here in this country. So I just want to make plain, because I know it is quick to say that the Speaker did not want the Member to use certain props and thing, but I am just following certain rules. Thank you very much.HONOUARBLE GIRLYN MIGUEL: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I beg that this Honourable House be suspended for the lunch break until 3:00 p.m.Question put and agreed to. House suspend at 1:15 p.m. (Luncheon) Until 3:00 p.m. House Resumed at 3:05 p.m.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Pray be seated. When we suspended earlier, no one had indicated their interest to speak. Honourable Member for Southern Grenadines are you indicating that you want to speak? Thank you very much sir, well you know you have 45 minutes in which to make your presentation. Honourable Members, just before the suspension we had a period where you know almost..., well a hot session as it were, some tempers almost flared and I noticed coming out of that some of the issues appeared on Facebook and the Speaker was also accused of being disrespectful to a particular Member. I could not recall being disrespectful to any Member of this Honourable House. Senator you are standing [interjection] okay, thank you sir.HONOURABLE MAJOR ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: Mr. Speaker..., I am always attracting attention.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: I am on national radio, I would not respond to that.HONOURABLE MAJOR ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: Thank you very much sir.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: No, I am sorry; I was not looking in that direction. I thought you were standing. I know you always have a word of advice for me.HONOURABLE MAJOR ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: No Mr. Speaker..., 50HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Oh I see. Honourable Members, I honestly, I do not disrespect people. IHONOURABLE MAJOR ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: Consciously?HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Consciously or otherwise, I always thought that I am a person with a lot of, as people say, a lot of patience and hearing on Facebook that I was disrespectful to the Senator could not be correct at all. It probably would have been the other way around, you know, so I think we ought to be careful to release information that we disseminate. I know who made that comment; I do not want to call anybody name, because they are not here to defend themselves. I do not call anybody name in Parliament unless they can defend themselves in a way or the other, but we have to be careful with the kind of information. I mean you know these ages of modern technology and so on, we sometimes abuse them and use them for all frivolous and unnecessary purpose and we have to be careful about how we do things. As Speaker as many of you are aware of this Honourable House, the rules of the House give me authority and it is not that I can do anything I want, because if I do something, the rules say how it could be challenged, but we need to go through the procedure. The proper procedure and if I am to be challenged then you challenge me. But there is a procedure for doing things, but the rule say, the Speaker’s word in most of the case is final and I would hope that we can all, as we continue this debate this afternoon, respect ourselves and respect each other. If we have an objection to make, we know how to make that in terms of the standing orders.As I have said earlier, we cannot and it will be foolish of me to believe that we can avoid cross-talk, because this is what cross-talk is all..., Parliament is all about cross-talk, it is all about that, but we have to control ourselves in the way we do business, especially when we know people are out there listening to us and then some people get the wrong information and write the wrong information. So we are going to invite the Honourable Member from the Southern Grenadines [interjection] yes sir, Honourable Member.DR. THE HONOURABLE GODWIN FRIDAY: Just to be clear, you are saying that there is a Member in this Honourable House who made a statement on Facebook that you are complaining about?HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Well actually, okay if you can sit, actually the initial information that was disseminated to the public came from a Member of this House on their blackberry at the time 58 minutes ago where they have declared to the public that the Honourable Minister of Tourism is a dictator, and Saboto Caesar just declared to the Ministry of Tourism that he is a dictator and that nobody who works in the Ministry could tell him how to spend money. I mean, of course this is a misrepresentation of that what transpired there, but I am saying that is where the whole thing started and it goes on the various comments, we have them and then it goes on to the person making the remark, the Speaker of the House is a disgrace to the House of Parliament. The man is so biased, he allows the Government Ministers to get away with a lot of disrespect and rudeness. I listened to the way he disrespected Senator Baptiste and was appalled by his behaviour and on and on and on. I mean, I do not know if anyone of us can truly say that in all of our deliberations and our back and forth situation whether I had disrespected the Senator...,DR. THE HONOURABLE GODWIN FRIDAY: That is not a Member of the House. HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: No it is not a Member of the House. I am only saying where the wholething originated from and people made their comments. That is why I say I can call the name, but I would not 51want to do that. The person is not in the House and I would not call the person name, but I just..., that is not my main point. My main point is that you know one has to be careful how they send out information and what can trigger from that sort of information. Thank you very much.HONOURABLE MAJOR ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: Mr. Speaker, in the vein that you are having that discussion with us I think to get a better result in the House Mr. Speaker, it may be opportune that at least I can speak for myself, express what I know is the sentiment of many of us on this side of the House and in the public, Mr. Speaker, and we do feel that too often we end up on the wrong side of judgements and it is being expressed sometimes that you have it in for Members you know. Sometimes the perception is important, you may not be what you want to convey and maybe managing the House is becoming a little bit more turbulent within recent times. I mean that has to be observed as well, but I know there is a commitment on this side of the House for us to play by the rules and to be reasonable in our approaches.But if I may just express something that is coming home more and more to me, and you say it every day, Mr. Speaker, in the House that you are the Speaker of the House, your judgement is final etc. etc. which is in accordance with the House rules, but it is said and demonstrated to the extent that at times Members who are elected in this House are made to feel that we after you, you know and the reason for us being here is because, Mr. Speaker, we are here at your leisure and your pleasure. And if it be told Mr. Speaker, really the reason for us being here is we are representatives of people and constituencies and I do not know if it requires a little bit harder working on both sides to get the fairer balance of things because in the end we have to live with each other.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Fair enough.HONOURABLE MAJOR ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: And respect begets respect and you know when people feel that they are rubbed the wrong way, their tail is up, you know. So I say that for what it is worth, but I want to say beyond all things, I certainly would want to know that this House of ours lives up to the highest standards in the past and of Houses in the Commonwealth and that all of us are committed to the kinds of order that brings respect to our whole parliamentary system and I am committed to that Mr. Speaker. So let us put our shoulder to the wheel if I may so.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Yes, thank you Honourable Member for Central Kingstown. But you know what I will like to say, sometimes I find in this Parliament and it is not now, years now, because I mean this would make 17 years of parliamentary experience that I have and seven as a senator and ten now as Speaker of the House. So I have 17 years of parliamentary experience and one of the things that I have noticed is that we tend to think..., the one who think he is being offended will always try to say well he is... somebody you know who may be in wrong, always feel that they are the one who is being targeted and that kind of situation. Well I try my best to be level in this thing and sometimes if it comes over to anyone that I am not, well there is nothing I can do about it.HONOURABLE JULIAN FRANCIS: I do not know how much more you are willing to entertain on this subject.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: You on another subject? 52HONOURABLE JULIAN FRANCIS: No, the same subject. HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Okay. Well I will take one more and it because I think it is a matter thatwe need to ventilate.HONOURABLE JULIAN FRANCIS: Mr. Speaker, I feel a little bit lighter now that the representative for Central Kingstown has spoken on this matter and in Parliament has stated categorically that you stand supreme in the House of Parliament. Because immediately following your election, the Honourable Parliamentary Representative for Central Kingstown was on radio saying, clearly, unambiguously that following convention, there was a vote of confidence in the Speaker and that the sheer fact that a nomination was made by the Opposition shows that the Opposition has absolutely no confidence in the Speaker. I heard him myself. It is not somebody tell me. I may miss one or two words, I may have changed one or two words, but right down the centre that was the gist of the Honourable Representative’s presentation on radio and as I said, I feel a little bit lighter now that before you in the Parliament he has reassured that you are the authority in Parliament and therefore I take a reversal from what he has said that his about no confidence no longer exists, thank you Mr. Speaker.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Thank you very much. We are going to close this off. The Honourable Member and I outside of this Parliament apart from being serious with my duty, I regard him as my good friend. As a matter of fact, there are people whenever I travel throughout St. Vincent one place or the other, take me for him. People have approached me you know [interjection][laughter] I recall an incident where I went to a certain function and when I got there the guy start ringing a bell on me, but later on he found out it was not Honourable gentleman, it was me, so I had to beg him to go and un-ring the bell and he went and un-ring the bell. So you know sometimes these things do happen. But I wish to say that personally I respect people and I said that to the senator couple days ago that I have no reason to disrespect him and I respect him. He can be assured of that. Honourable gentlemen, I think we have all ventilated and cleared our minds and consciences wherever we are concerned. We can continue with the debate this afternoon. Honourable Member for Southern Grenadines you are the Member I recognise.HONOURABLE TERRENCE OLLIVIERRE: Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, I rise to make my contribution to the budget debate for 2011 and I will like to endorse the sentiments that was made by my colleagues on this side of the House in that the budget before us is not practical and sustainable and in my debate today, I will show exactly from the portfolio that I shadow and also in with constituency matters why that is exactly so.Mr. Speaker, I was thought from as a youth growing up that in..., I believe you find it in Matthew chapter 5:16 it says, let your light so shine before men that they will see your good works and glorify your father which is in heaven. And Mr. Speaker, I say that to say that at times we do not have to boast of ourselves, but that as a Government and as a people what we put forward and what we do, other people should be able to tell of the glory of God for the persons who he would have [applause] entrusted us to perform his duties while we spend our short time in this world.Education, Mr. Speaker, is to me an area in which we have common ground, but sometimes we differ in the execution. I believe that education is the key; I think we all believe that education is the key to the development53of any nation. We on this side of the House, Mr. Speaker, have always placed a high value on it and we believe that transforming and modernising our school environment at all levels with the use of technology for the delivery of the curriculum is essential. Mr. Speaker, because in using the technology we would actively create and awaken liveliness in students which we hope would contribute not only to a better quality of life but to the quality of education they receive. Mr. Speaker, the use of the technology is essential in that it stimulates our students at levels at which the traditional teaching aids seem incapable of doing and Mr. Speaker, at the heart of any educational development plan should be the use of technology in order to reach students.We on this side of the House, we have no objection to the use of technology within the classroom. As a matter of fact, a large part of the NDP manifesto for the general elections highlighted that exact point, but if we are to do so we recognise that certain infrastructure must be in place in order for it to be not only effective, but also successful. So I ask the question, are we ready and what have we put in place to ensure that ICT will be used effectively in the delivery of the curriculum? My colleague Honourable Senator Frederick has already pointed out today some of the shortcomings of ICT within our small and beloved country. But Mr. Speaker, I am to ask if we are to use the technology in the classroom, in our school environment in the way that we should, have we through the Estimates and through the Budgets shown how we are going to use the curriculum, how we are going to use the technology in the delivery of the curriculum, Mr. Speaker? An agency was set up and that was done in 2011, so it plainly shows that the groundwork has not been done to facilitate a smooth and successful implementation in 2011 and for us that is the shortcoming by the ULP administration. Because, Mr. Speaker, the real measure of any education system is how well it develops our people and give them the opportunity to perform at the full potential. Thus, Mr. Speaker, we must use the care, knowledge and creativity to fashion an education system that will cater, adequately cater to our developmental needs. Because a better quality of life is dependent on the quality of education we receive.In my training I always heard the term being used, education for living and production, so as a result, emphasis must not only be placed on access, but on the quality, relevance and equity within the system, because we must ensure that our citizens, everybody become active, lifelong learners, because we learn something new every day. We have to upgrade our skills, we have to train and retrained and do certain things, because every day the technology changes and information is not constant. One phrase that I have to take issue with Mr. Speaker is the term, “no child will be left behind and no child is left behind.” And every time I hear that phrase, Mr. Speaker, it brings to mind the Grenadines, especially the islands of Canouan and Mayreau in regards to access to quality Secondary Education. Because, Mr. Speaker, indeed the children of the Grenadines are suffering in their quest to receive quality education.I remember in response to our question by the Honourable Member for the Northern Grenadines, a former Education Minister in this House said that while doing the Common Entrance the children of the Grenadines will give up their paper to the invigilator and would say, they rather go fishing. Is that why they are being treated in this way? Because, Mr. Speaker, since I became the representative for the Southern Grenadines, I remember the first year the then Chief Education Officer, he came to Canouan and had a meeting with the staff and the parents of that island and they highlighted to him some of the pitfalls, that was since either 2001 or 2002 in order to address the problems that the children in the Grenadines faced. Because there is no doubt that every year you have drop out of schools, whether it is Grammar School, Girls High School, other Secondary Schools within St. Vincent and the Grenadines and there is a problem and there is a need for us to address these54problems. Because sometimes as a parent you are home, the boat is down or you are coming from work and when you reach home your child is there and that is a problem. You receive a telephone call only to hear some sad news about the abuse of your daughter. How would you feel if that was you? It is painful. I remember once..., I have said it before, visiting a home and the mother was there in tears. I thought it was something wrong in terms of death in the family and things like that, but what she said was after calming her down, I just get a call and I was told I have to remove my daughter immediately, Mr. Speaker. And the issue is a burning and a vexing one and it is time that something is done. We spoke about building a dormitory in Union Island. That was said in this House. It has not been built. We proposed to build one on the mainland and something must be done. A solution must be worked out. Sometimes you are hearing while in Canouan and the issue is hot, you will hear on the campaign trail, you are getting the school.I remember at a town hall meeting at the Canouan Government School before the question was asked, you are getting it. In this House, I have raised it how many times and it was said, Snaggy will build it and we are still waiting for the Secondary School to be built. All we are asking for is something from..., an institution that will deal form ones to three, by then the children will be older and will be better able to address the situation when they leave home. The Honourable Minister of Education, she is aware of some of the issues, because I believe on one particular issue, she was called about the abuse which took place and I can say that...,HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Just a minute Honourable Member, I notice the monitor there is out, I do not know if that is..., oh, okay.HONOURABLE TERRENCE OLLIVIERRE: She was very concerned about it Mr. Speaker, but concern is not enough. We really need to address this problem once and for all. A number of people within my constituency, especially from the island of Canouan have been asking, they even call on various radio programmes, because they want to vent their feelings and how they feel about this particular issue. Even from as early as the New Year, the first week of this term people were calling me from both Canouan and Mayreau. As a matter of fact, I believe even if you check the Ministry of Education you will see where some students even within the first or the second week of their school term has been transferred from school to another, Mr. Speaker, and it is time that really address this problem.There is also the need for financial assistance of one kind or another is given to some of these families to address some of the problems that they face. I know sometimes we need to address the issue of equity within the system and Mr. Speaker, sometimes equity means giving more to the less fortunate ones to bring them on par with the fortunate ones so that they will be able to compete at the same level. And those are some of the things we are talking about. Yes, I have seen on page 224 of the Estimates that an education access fund for needy parents would be implemented and I hope that when this is implemented the measure would go to those who really are in need, because sometimes we put it there, but the people who need it most do not get it. Sometimes it goes to other persons and we really need to look at that, because I could vividly recollect in September of this year you had quite a number of students Mayreau, Canouan, children who were walking the street and without the necessary resources to go to school and I must say thank God for a close knitted community and people who are out there who assisted these parents for their children to go to school, but there were resources, but it was given to those people of a particular political persuasion. And Mr. Speaker that is not good enough. So what is happening is that you have the scourge of poverty just going on and on and on, but if55we as a people, we are elected to serve people, regardless of which constituency it is we would ensure that the needs of our people, especially the poor that it is met so that they would be able to take advantage of their education in order to make a change of themselves and that of their families. And that is why, Mr. Speaker, we in our manifesto had what we call an aid to compulsion plan which we had hoped to assist those in need with the relevant resources. It does not matter who you vote for or who you like or who you do not like, the aim is to ensure that the people of our country get the help that they need, because in getting that help they would not only help themselves...,DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: Just to ask my Honourable friend if he knows that out of the close to 6000 persons who are on public assistance that at least 1/3 of them are children from indigent families and that the public assistance board is the one who makes the determination in conjunction with the professionals as to who should get that assistance with input from the schools? Those are the facts. Now if you want more money to be put to more children well I am sure there is an avenue for more money to be put to more children, of course, but you cannot have it both ways. You cannot say I must reduce the extent of the deficit and at the same time build all these things and give all this additional money.HONOURABLE TERRENCE OLLIVIERRE: Mr. Speaker, I was just pointing out what people in my constituency have said to me. Some of them said they went to the Welfare Officer and they did not receive any assistance...,DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: From constituency too.HONOURABLE TERRENCE OLLIVIERRE: But these children were up and down the street, Mr. Speaker and unable to go to school and all I am saying, these are some of the problems that we must address and if we are boasting about an education revolution then we must take care of the people who need the help.Mr. Speaker, the measure as I have said before of our education system is how well it develops our people and the opportunities it gives to them. Mr. Speaker, just September a 16 year old boy came to me and he said, Mr. Ollivierre, can you do something to help me because I have been put out of school. That is within a revolution in education. A mother said to me she receives similar indication that her daughter can no longer attend school. So here you have within a revolution some of these children we know their problems, they cannot read, they cannot perform at the level that they should, but when they reach to form three and they are 16 or 17 years of age then out you goes. Mr. Speaker, what are we doing? These children are now out in the community who go to the block, they do not have a skill, they do not have any certificate of accreditation, what can they do? How can they be able to make good use of themselves and find employment within our country? We have a number of community centres and resource centres and these things all over the place, but what are we doing with them? Are we really equipping them in order to ensure that the young people who are not academically inclined can go to these centres and learn a skill to be of use to themselves and their country?If we look at the global literacy project, it says, Mr. Speaker, illiteracy as an on-going problem in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The St. Vincent and the Grenadines Education Planning Unit notes that educators had observed that children at all levels in the island’s school system experience severe difficulty in reading. It goes on to say, reading is a failure in schools, reading failure in schools can be seen as early as kindergarten and is compounded as children move through the education system. So as they go through the system and they cannot56perform, what happens to them? It goes on to say, over 60 percent of the students are two years behind their chronological and are therefore not functionally illiterate. So Mr. Speaker, what are we doing to ensure that our students meet the criteria that is required of them through the system, kindergarten, primary, secondary and onwards?Mr. Speaker, it goes on to say, although the education sector development plan 2002 to 2007 make mention of a school library service, enquiries to the Ministry of Education to select school principals reveals that currently no formal service has been established and Mr. Speaker, if we really want to make a dent on the reading problems within our schools, we will go ahead full heartedly to ensure that our students will be able to read, thus functioning at the level which we require them to, Mr. Speaker. If we check on page 217 and 223 of the Estimates, I know it is there. One says installation of classroom libraries in another 20 percent of secondary schools and the indicator said it is on-going and graded books delivered to all primary schools and 223 it says install classroom libraries and we are going on with another 20 percent of primary schools. But Mr. Speaker, I am asking the question, is this enough? Are we really targeting our children in primary schools? Because if we are taking 20 percent at a time, what happens to the other percentage of the students who are not really getting the help that they need at this particular time and this is why I am saying, Mr. Speaker, the matter needs to be addressed urgently, very urgently. Because those children who drop out of school because they could not perform and those who are put out of school looking for a better word, because of their age limit, what are we doing with them? They are not literate, but what are we doing? What are we doing in order to try to reach these children after seven years of an education revolution, Mr. Speaker? Something more and something better must be done and that brings me to the issue Mr. Speaker, of Technical and Vocational Education.That brings the matter to the fore, because the old issue as Vocational Education and Training Policy Framework 2003 provides for competency based training and also for certification after you have trained. After you have required the skills and it also goes further to state that the training must be relevant, it must be efficient and it must be linked to our national development policies. For example within the Grenadines, we have a number of young people out on the block, what are we doing with them? What skills training component have we set up? I remember last year, early last year going to discussion with members from the Ministry and the people who were there, concerned citizens, they indicated that training..., do not wait until the whole general body is set up and it was agreed that specific skills, we would start with such training and we are still waiting for something to be done. As a matter of fact, the two skills were identified, the place was identified, but up to now nothing is being done, and are we serious, what is going to happen to these children two or three years down the line [interjection] in Union Island.DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: Mr. Speaker, my Honourable friend would know and really we must speak the facts that a school which was built in the 1990s by the New Democratic Party administration and named the “Mary Hutchinson School” was declared a few years ago to be unfit for habitation. I do not know who built such a school, just over a ten, twelve years and that the new secondary school which we built down at Campbell, when we moved out from the secondary school at Ashton, we were going to install the Tech Voc Centre right there and we could not do that for the simple reason that the Mary Hutchinson Primary School, we had to move the students from there to go to the secondary school which we have just vacated. So that my Honourable friend, there are lots of demands but he knows what these facts are because they have been canvassed in his presence, I know that. You know...,57HONOURABLE TERRENCE OLLIVIERRE: Honourable Prime Minister, I know the issue which you are talking about, but what I am speaking about is that after the discussion that was held at the Union Island Secondary School, the first school further down the road which was after used as a pre-school, it was indicated that they will use there to start two of the skills and what I am saying, these skills were supposed to start since..., the skills training aspect were supposed to start since September last year, but nothing has been done so far. That is what I am talking about, Honourable Prime Minister. That is..., I have said nothing about the March Hutchinson Primary School that is the part that I am speaking about, that is the part that I am speaking about and anybody who was there at that meeting would be able to say clearly what was indicated and what should have started and the skills that were identified and as a matter of fact, the machines and other things were supposed to be purchased to go to that school which is further down the road by the reservoir, close to the Anglican Church that is where it was identified that the training would start, that is where it was identified. You understand? I do not come here to tell lies on anybody. I was there within the discussion and that was the decision that was decided upon there at that time.DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: You half-truth.HONOURABLE TERRENCE OLLIVIERRE: Mr. Speaker, well I do not know anything about a half-truth I know it is either true or it is wrong. Mr. Speaker, it was also required that institution be set up to do assessment of and certification of competencies, we also had to deal with assessment of prior learning that is people who are in the system before they are working, but they do not have the certificate to show that they are competent in whatever skills they are performing and accreditation institution be set up which will look at the training programmes and certification and things like that.Mr. Speaker, from the European Union, this country received $4 million Euros which is approximately $9.6 million to help in the setting up of technical education and training within St. Vincent and the Grenadines and this required us to do a number of things. We were to look at the curriculum, upgrade your programmes, we were to design and deliver new competencies, and we were to supply adequate and suitable teachers for the competencies that were identified. We were also to supply the equipment and to run these programmes, Mr. Speaker and a very important aspect of it was the setting up a sector training board, Mr. Speaker. Have we done that? Mr. Speaker, the main...,DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: Mr. Speaker, if my Honourable friend would give way again, I mean really the matters are, have been so well canvassed, Mr. Speaker, first of all in relation to the Tech Voc all the technical institutes which they are now called have been revamped. We have built a brand new technical centre here in Kingstown; we have expanded the technical college with those resources and other resources. During the period as we were expanding the numbers of persons to travel freely within CARICOM the CVQ qualifications came into being, the (CARICOM Vocational Qualifications) and we engaged the Hardt Trust out of Jamaica to address the certification of these persons and we trained some of those who had acquired their skills as apprentices and came through without formal training. We gave them classes, we provided certification. Now that addressed a certain number of persons and then we decided in accordance with a sensible policy of the Government to set up a sector skills development agency. We passed that law late last year in November and when we passed it and we said that we are going to set up a specific agency, the Opposition said the goal is good, but you do not need to set up a specific agency. Now you are saying why we58are not setting up the agency and in the Estimates, there is a specifically new department which has been put in place to bring all of these things together. That is one of the two new departments in the Ministry of Education in the Estimates and to sit here, Mr. Speaker, to hear such untruths, I mean it is just so difficult to take, really.HONOURABLE TERRENCE OLLIVIERRE: Mr. Speaker, the point is after seven years St. Vincent and the Grenadines we are lagging behind where Technical and Vocational Education.DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: It is not so, it is not so.HONOURABLE TERRENCE OLLIVIERRE: Mr. Speaker, February, 5th February 2010 a letter, open letter in the Vincentian, it states, in 2003 we started hearing about certification for tradesmen, up to now the machinery to facilitate this certification is not properly organised and nothing seems to have been done. As it stands, we may not have been issued with certificates but we have experience...,DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: Mr. Speaker, point of order. Mr. Speaker, a Member is not permitted to quote a newspaper without identifying the order of the newspaper and to make a copy of that newspaper available to this Honourable House. In fact, Mr. Speaker, the whole ten of the regulations, you cannot ask a question about a newspaper article and the same proposition follows over into..., you cannot quote a newspaper article except laying the foundation and making it available. All kind of busy bodies write articles in newspapers as we know and speak on the radio too.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Honourable Member. HONOURABLE TERRENCE OLLIVIERRE: Mr. Speaker, I can make these documents of the House, Mr.Speaker.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: And it carries the author too of the paper and so on, paper and its author?HONOURABLE TERRENCE OLLIVIERRE: One of the articles does the other...,DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: [Inaudible.]HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Just a minute Honourable Prime Minister. You said it has an author on the thing? [Interjection] I come to that. Continue the debate; I will come to the question just now.HONOURABLE TERRENCE OLLIVIERRE: Yes, Mr. Speaker, the other one says that the Ministry of Education..., I use the paper to highlight the failure of STEVET and the Ministry of Education to educate the industrial workers, construction in bracket, on the need for certification. A man can be a very good mason, but what proof does he has? Mr. Speaker, the article just goes on to show the lack of preparedness in terms of providing certification to skilled Vincentians who out there working because up to now we have not set up the centre to test and evaluate skills. I believe we are now trying to do that, but the point is, Mr. Speaker, after seven years we are behind in the provision of Technical and Vocational Education. A number of our students from secondary schools have been dropping out because the curriculum does not fit their needs, some are being, for want of a better word, thrown out of schools and it is time that we address this problem in this period of an59Education Revolution. Something must be done to help our children cope and meet their..., help them to get an education that will require them to perform adequately within this country, Mr. Speaker, that is my problem...,DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: Mr. Speaker, would my Honourable friend give way if he wishes. Yes Mr. Speaker, when this Government came to office it was about 140 students attending the Technical College. By 2009 you had 443 and then we had a 75 percent increase, the current population is now seven hundred and seventy something. So how you mean that there is no..., you are not making the provision? I mean come on.HONOURABLE DANIEL CUMMINGS: There is no technical education, there is vocational. There is nothing in the College, nothing.DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: The fact that you say there is nothing technical in the college does mean...,HONOURABLE DANIEL CUMMINGS: You do not know what technical means.DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: I do not know what technical means.HONOURABLE DANIEL CUMMINGS: Clearly.DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: Because you were at Central Water Authority that is your heyday.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Honourable Member..., DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: that is your heyday and everything afterwards you aregoing downhill. HONOURABLE DANIEL CUMMINGS: There is no technical training at the college. HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Honourable Member...,HONOURABLE TERRENCE OLLIVIERRE: Mr. Speaker, in regards to the Technical College, does this institution meet the criteria to offer accreditation for internationally recognised certificates, can they do that, can the Technical College offer that to our students? Because as the Honourable Member for West Kingstown, he has said in this House already that the Technical College has been reduced to a clerical training centre, that is most of the training they do, we do out there and these students have reported to me, Mr. Speaker, and other members of this House that they are turning up for classes and they do not have teachers. As a matter of fact, some of them have dropped out of certain courses that they were doing there. [Interjection] right now, right now that is happening, Mr. Speaker. So the main problem is, Mr. Speaker, a large pool of our skilled workers are out there without certification so that they cannot gain higher wages because they are not being hired for the skills and being paid for the skills in which they can perform.The Honourable Member for Central Leeward, he made a point last, you have a number of young people who are out there and what do they do, they find themselves in activities that they should not find but if you had60within every nook and cranny throughout St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Skills Training Centres where they can go and learn a skill then some of these problems may not or would not have existed, Mr. Speaker and that is the point that I am trying to make here. We in the New Democratic Party, we are preparing a document to be published in 2011 and it is called “Education, Unlocking the Potential of Our People and Country in the Creation of a Knowledge Based Economy” and we will put forward our proposal and how the education system in St. Vincent and the Grenadines should work. We will do that, Mr. Speaker.And you know I have heard on this side of the House sitting in this House we have been talking about how many teachers with degrees and the Government did that and all of that, but you forget the proposal came from this side of the House. It was a proposal from this side of the House who recommended that teachers can gain a degree right here at home and the Government went ahead and implement it. Thank you for doing so, but do not take the whole credit for it, the Opposition was part of that making that recommendation and as a matter of fact, it is the Opposition who had to bring the issue back to the House, talking about the appointments of those same teachers. Because some of those teachers reported to me that when they went to the Ministry seeking appointment, they were told they do not appoint graduate teachers in Primary Schools. But we had a whole turnaround of the issue when the Opposition took it up, but we were not given credit for that, we were told that we come to this House every day and as if we do not anything. But we have been working hard as an Opposition and making recommendations, some of which the Government has implemented and we were not given credit for it, Mr. Speaker.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Honourable Member 10 minutes.HONOURABLE TERRENCE OLLIVIERRE: Mr. Speaker, 10 minutes. On page 551 of the Estimates, 541 sorry, it says, the Ministry of..., within the Ministry of Tourism to work collaboratively with the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs, with Sporting Organisation, with the SVG Hotel and Tourism Association, Airline Industry, Regional Ferry and services to attract sporting enthusiasts/active travellers to promote visitor traffic and sporting events and such as follows.Mr. Speaker, every year a youth cricket club from England visits the Southern Grenadines and Union Island is one of its stops. Since last year we have complained about the playing field in Union Island and the problems even for the annual sports day of the schools that they face, crab holes all of that. We were told that the field would be graded and we have the sea, seawalls and things would be put in place in order to protect the field and things like that and that was supposed to be done during the dry season last year. Mr. Speaker, the team is coming again this year, but they are doing, they are sending a Scout and if they find that the field is not suitable for play, then they will boycott Union Island. What an opportunity missed, Mr. Speaker, if only we have or we had a proper playing field. All the way from England and when they were here the last time, they posted on the internet the glorying reviews that were there. You would believe that they had found paradise and they want to come again, but because of the lack of proper playing facilities, they may not come because the field is not in proper condition and what happens?There were pieces of land which could have been used, as a matter of fact, under the NDP it was allocated for sporting development, and what has happened that land has been divided and parcelled out, Mr. Speaker. So what are you saying to our young people in Union Island? And we know Union Island has produced a number of good sportsmen and women, but what are you saying to them? The annual football competition which we61used to have every year, it has stopped because of the condition of the field. I complained earlier on this year, because you have to go on radio and complain the grasses are so high. The infants you could only see them by the head, Mr. Speaker. Something must be done, something proper must be done and do not talks about the hard courts in which you have festivals, all sorts of regional festivals, but what has happened, the condition of those hard courts leave a lot to be desired. For regional festivals, Mr. Speaker, something better must be done and when you talk about these issues, because you see the problem is sometime you do not know, because during the festivals and all those things, sometimes you do not see the Ministers. You do not see the people who should be there to see the condition which we operate under. Mr. Speaker, even [interjection] the condition of the field, Mr. Speaker, I never said grasses on the field. We complained during the year, because it is in close proximity to the school, the children could not use it, because of the condition of it that is the problem, Mr. Speaker. It would not be here like that.Mr. Speaker, you also have roads and drains in the deplorable conditions. The main road from Clifton to Ashton, I wish it could be fixed. You are travelling every day and you have to be dodging one side to the other side. In Mayreau when is the last roads there were built? Roads and drains, people are complaining, especially during the rainy season, because there is a lack of drains on some of these roads, water want to wash away their premises, within their houses and things like that. There is a need to visit these islands and see the problems. The Barbusse village roads in Canouan, I have complained about before, the road from Friendship junction to over at the Seventh Day Church, then one business person in that area, she had to find money and fix the road herself and Mr. Speaker, these are some of the things which people in the Grenadines have to do in order to maintain their livelihoods and something better must be done.We have spoken about this since the Honourable Sir Vincent Beache was in this House. I have been complaining about the fixing of the Canouan Wharf and it is still in the same condition. I have seen within the Estimates you have allocation being made to fix this wharf, but Mr. Speaker, it has been over five years of complaining by the Representative and the people in the Grenadines to get this problem address. Why is it when it comes to matters in the Grenadines that we normally drag our foot and take so long in order to address the problems?DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: That is not true.HONOURABLE TERRENCE OLLIVIERRE: That the people in the Grenadines are facing. We must not do that. And I have heard the Minister of Works [laughter] Transport and Works, he spoke about the retention fees after you do work on roads and things like that, but Mr. Speaker, I want to ask the question and I have heard the Honourable Governor General, I think it is on the 29th December, he addressed the issue of people fleecing the Government in terms of doing work and believe because it is party that they could do anything. But Mr. Speaker, the Canouan Government School was fixed, but I wonder if anyone has gone there to assess what work was done and how well it was done, because the parents are complaining. I understood eight locks went down, because you now have scotch tape fixing the main lock to the office and things like that. Somebody must be held accountable, people must when they are given a particular job to do, to do it fairly, because there should be some period of accountability in terms of the jobs that are being done, when you are offered contracts and things like that because obviously the parents are not satisfied. The roof is still leaking in other places, the work has not been completed according to them, and so something must be done, Mr. Speaker. And I62understand that the money has already been paid, but the work has not been done properly and satisfactorily so they must..., some sort of accountability must take place, Mr. Speaker.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Kindly wrap up now Honourable Member.HONOURABLE TERRENCE OLLIVIERRE: Mr. Speaker, I will like to thank the people of the Southern Grenadines for putting their faith in me for the third consecutive time [applause]. I know a number of things were said on the campaign, it was said that when I come to Parliament I only congratulate the people who win queen shows and some little old lady by the corner and that is all I do [laughter] but the people of the Grenadines know I do plenty more than that on their behalf and this is why I am here today [applause].I would like to thank the young people who came out overwhelmingly and supported me. As a matter of fact, each time the results..., each time of the election the margin of victory just keep getting wider and wider and wider so you know what to expect the next time, even a bigger win. A bigger win, Mr. Speaker and I know [interjection][laughter] Mr. Speaker, the Lord had granted each and every one of us our lot and I am satisfied with whatever he has granted, Mr. Speaker. I am very much satisfied and I will like to say to the people of the Southern Grenadines, I would continue to address your problems, I wish I had more time to concentrate on matters of the people of the Southern Grenadines. I feel by now I should also be given an hour and a quarter, Mr. Speaker, so we can look into that next time and I would like to echo the sentiments by the Members of this side of the House that this Budget simply does not cut it. Thank you.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Honourable Member for Central Kingstown. You are the eighth person to speak on this debate you may do so.HONOURABLE MAJOR ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, I rise to make my contribution...,HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Yes, Honourable Members.HONOURABLE MONTGOMERY DANIEL: I stand, Mr. Speaker, to seek clarification from you as to whether or not I stay here or I go outside. Why? The reason is, Tuesday evening last, as the debate was going on, the Honourable Member Senator Elvis Charles was doing his presentation, the Honourable Member for Central Kingstown got up and he sought to ask that he could not follow the debate, because the Honourable Member was not pointing out any number in the Estimates and the usual thing is that I said to the Senator, but you are not debating the Estimates, you are debating the Bill and the Honourable Member for Central Kingstown, shouted across and said, why you are so rude? And I replied, just like you. And that is not the issue.When the House broke for Members convenience, the Honourable Member for Central Kingstown met me outside in the corridor, came up to my face and he said, “How are you so rude boy”, I say, “what”? He say, “how you so rude”? So I said, “so who is you”, so he raised the question again. So I said, “who is you, who is you boy”? And he said, “boy” with venom in his face, very aggressive, very, very aggressive, Mr. Speaker. As a matter of fact at that time the Honourable Saboto Caesar who was standing on the line said, “boy like you63want fight”, he said, “it is two countrymen dey here you know” so he then in somewhat deflated himself and watched me very serious and walked away.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Honourable Member...,HONOURABLE MONTGOMERY DANIEL: I am saying to you.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Yes, just a minute, I get the essence the gist of the thing. It is not a matter I can deal with on the floor at this time. I would probably hear it another time, but as in relation to whether you want to stay or to go it is a matter of concern.HONOURABLE MONTGOMERY DANIEL: Thank you. I will leave, Mr. Speaker.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: All right. So it is a matter for you sir, but it is a matter of course I will like to hear more of..., once these matters occur within the precinct of the Parliament, I would like to know of it. I will like to know more of it and maybe if you can address a report to me. All right, Honourable Member, you can continue your debate.HONOURABLE MAJOR ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: But it is not a restart, Mr. Speaker? HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: A restart? HONOURABLE MAJOR ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: I have not started. HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Just a minute, just a minuteHONOURABLE MAJOR ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: You said continue so I will start over, Mr. Speaker. HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Oh, according to my thing you were 29 seconds into your [laughter]. Allright, it is a restart.HONOURABLE MAJOR ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: The Speaker did not catch me, I think the Speaker now knows where to get his humour and it is the second time for the week I think this is happening to him and I could understand his elation.Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, the more we live the more we learn. I rise to make my contribution to the debate on the 2011 Appropriation Bill. Mr. Speaker, I have been in this House a little while now, in fact, I think it is approaching 10 years and I want to say, Mr. Speaker, that with notable exceptions to my mind this budgetary exercise has been the least impressive I have participated in thus far. You see, Mr. Speaker, I contended that it is one thing for us to talk on political platforms, and it is a completely other thing when it comes to running a country and functioning as legislators and addressing the serious business of the economy of this country.64Mr. Speaker, as I said in the Estimates debate, I found that this year unlike those in the past that the Honourable Minister of Finance was a long way from inspiring perhaps this is his own way to say that our economy has hit rock bottom or better put, Mr. Speaker, that the bottom has fallen out of the country’s economy.Mr. Speaker, not once in the presentation at least from my own recollection, did we hear mention of counter- cyclical fiscal balances as we have been accustomed to hear year in and year out and a debate in which we engaged ourselves in this Honourable House. But Mr. Speaker, I want to choose..., I choose very early in this representation , Mr. Speaker, very, very early to go to a document that the Honourable Members on the other side of the House love so much, the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Country Poverty Assessment 2007 – 2008 they Kairi Consultants report that is quoted time in, time out and it is already a document of this House.Mr. Speaker, I want to go to the first paragraph of chapter 13 to be fair to the Honourable Members on the other side of the House. It says, there is clear evidence that the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines has pursued pro poor policies and strategies in the present decade in seeking to arrest or reduce poverty in the country and it went on to say, the measures adopted largely following the spirit were not the specifics of the recommendations made in the CPA of 1995 -1996. The report goes on later in that same chapter, Mr. Speaker, to make an important finding which I suggest ought to be take on board and it is an important backdrop of where we are today. It says that the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines has to be cognizant of falling behind in the human development as a primary area of concern. Over the past decade St. Vincent and the Grenadines has fallen in the Human Development Index ranking of countries presented each year in the Human Development Report, (HDR). Table 13.1 shows that St. Vincent and the Grenadines has regressed, he emphasized it, has regressed relative to other countries in its performance on the HDI since 1997. In 1997 Mr. Speaker, the report says, St. Vincent and the Grenadines ranked 57th out of 180 countries, but in 2008 the rank fell to 92nd out of 179 countries. So Mr. Speaker, all is not well 11 years after the previous report, measured by the Human Development Index, a very respected UN indice.Mr. Speaker, I however want to go on to turf that they are most familiar with and is thrown up over and over in this House and that is the question for which we are with respect to poverty and its alleviation in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and this is not to take away from the report that they have pursued pro poverty policies and are endeavouring to do their best, but define is on, Mr. Speaker, is that the annual indigence line and the poverty line was estimated at EC$2,445 which is if you are working for just over $200 or let us just round it off and be generous, if you are working for under $300 a month they are treating it I suppose as poor and $5,523 for, sorry, indigence is 2445 and poverty is 5523, so if you are working for under $500 a month technically speaking you are poor.The point was made Mr. Speaker that the volume wealth line is at 25% above the poverty line at $6,904 so if you are under $700 a month, you are vulnerable, you can easily become poor. You slip you slide and then it goes on to say, 30.2 percent, 1/3 of the country was deemed to be poor in 2008; 30 percent almost 1/3 was deemed to be poor in 2008 and 2.9 percent was deemed to be indigent. So if you add together 1/3 of the country was in trouble. It goes on to say, an additional 18 percent, though not poor were vulnerable, defined as being at risk in falling into poverty in the face of the economic shock or disaster. In short, altogether 48.2 percent of the population was under the vulnerability line, nearly half of the country. No accusations but we65know that we have a lot of work to do, the chest beating thumping is not in order, we still have to work much harder.In fact the report goes on to say 44.3 percent of the people of this country felt that their conditions had worsened than where they were before, but Mr. Speaker, they did not end there. It highlighted that the unemployment rate of the poor was higher than the average. There was a 25.3 percent and if you were poor one out of every four persons was likely to be unemployed. Later Mr. Speaker, we would see the importance of those statistical measures coming out of the poverty report. In short, Mr. Speaker, we have a lot of work to do and our budgetary exercise must be taken with all seriousness, Mr. Speaker.Mr. Speaker...,HONOURABLE JULIAN FRANCIS: I want to seek clarification from the Honourable Member. The figures reported that we were 57 out of 108 and that we became 92 out of 179 that is in a difference from a year, was it from one year to the next?HONOURABLE MAJOR ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: Between 1997 and 2008.HONOURABLE JULIAN FRANCIS: So in a three year.HONOURABLE MAJOR ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: Between 1997.HONOURABLE JULIAN FRANCIS: But it keeps us at the same position though? Fifty-seven out of 108 and 92 out of 179, you know, six of one and half a dozen of the next.HONOURABLE MAJOR ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: No you did not hear the figures well.HONOURABLE JULIAN FRANCIS: Yes, yes that is what you said.HONOURABLE MAJOR ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: In 1997 it was 57th out of 180 countries and we slip nearly so that you can hear well to 92nd out of 179 countries. That is a matter for serious concerns and I am sure the Government is paying attention to that..., the Government is paying attention.Mr. Speaker, we have the..., [interjection] well now we are worse, we are off the index. In an interesting contradiction, Mr. Speaker and twist of faith, the two most used expressions in the Prime Minister’s address this year were Hurricane Tomas, nine times, nine times we heard of Hurricane Tomas. One Member earlier today say, Hurricanes are a welcome thing to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, they love Hurricanes, they know how to manage Hurricanes or words to that effect. We heard the word private sector, Mr. Speaker, fifteen times. I am happy to hear the Government reemphasizing, because they did so last year that this country would get nowhere unless very serious attention is paid to the private sector, in fact, fallen under the advice that we ourselves are advocating in the New Democratic Party that there be a Ministry of the private sector.Mr. Speaker, the reference to Tomas nine times reminds me that this budget is really a crisis within a crisis. Factually, Mr. Speaker, there is nothing imaginative, creative, innovative or outside of the box in this budget.66Why Mr. Speaker, you may ask, I submit, Mr. Speaker, because in my mind we are stewing in our own mess. Now I hope that own mess is not out of place, but that is where we are, stewing Mr. Speaker in our own mess.We appear virtually at the end of our tether, Mr. Speaker, with respect to current revenue from taxes..., HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Certainly it could be out of place depends on the context..., HONOURABLE MAJOR ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: Yes, and I used it quite properly. HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: and the meaning of mess in this case.HONOURABLE MAJOR ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: We are in trouble. HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Okay, all right.HONOURABLE MAJOR ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: We are in trouble, we are in trouble. If you want it change I will give way, because I contemplate...,HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: That is all right. HONOURABLE MAJOR ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: Thanks Mr. Speaker. HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Mess means trouble. That is all right.HONOURABLE MAJOR ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: Mr. Speaker, you know this is serious business, very, very serious business, because people want to move on very glibly about it, because if tomorrow the New Democratic Party form Government we have to come to grips with some of these same challenges that are contained in this Estimates and that is why I speak about the current revenue from taxes and non-tax, because in a sense Mr. Speaker, the figure that was put there seems to be..., we are circumscribed by that figure. In other words, until such time we can move out current revenues, our taxes from international trade, our corporate taxes, paye, it sets a benchmark in a sense as to what we can do on the recurrent said and it means to get out of that constraint, if we are to change our course year after year in the budgetary exercise, we have to find the modality and oil mechanism to move that figure. How we can move it? It is only by improved public/private sector partnerships and with more firms, more enterprise, more jobs being created, by having more goods and services being imported and provided, more people being employed, more taxes being paid. Straight and simple, we cannot get away from that.If that is accepted as argument, then much of the budget ought to be focused on what we are doing to stimulate this economy so that more people can be put to work, more businesses can prosper and we can have a bigger and brighter economy [applause] that is the test we have to follow, Mr. Speaker. So Mr. Speaker, for all of our bravado on the capital side, it is still our traditional friends including the Republic of China on Taiwan that contributes 80 percent of our grand capital. I have searched long and hard for the Libyan funds, Iranian funds, Malaysian funds, I do not see them, Mr. Speaker. I do not see the funds from the collision of the willing. I do not see them in our schedule of capital, technical assistance estimates.67You see Mr. Speaker; the youth nature of this Parliament which is a good thing has surfaced on more than one occasion. So much so that it would appear to me that some of us may believe that the world, St. Vincent and the Grenadines started in 2001. In fact, the Honourable Member of Tourism in his analysis, he used the year 1980 as an important benchmark and it is not a bad year because it is perhaps just around the time that he himself was born so it is in a sense much of it is history for him on about 1980. That is correct Minister of Tourism? So..., an important bench mark by 1979 we gained independence, Mr. Speaker.Mr. Speaker, in 1980 in this country 46 percent of our people had electricity. Two thirds of the country was still using put latrines, 25 percent of the people did not even know what a radio was like. Mr. Speaker, with respect to housing, more than half of the people [interjection] I am quoting from the country statistics. If you want me to make it a document of the House I can do so. In fact Mr. Speaker, we only had an active labour force of 32,108 people which by the way moved up to 43,000 in 2001. Mr. Speaker, by the time the New Democratic Party left office or was removed from office by the road block revolution, those figures for utilities and services had reached an interesting ninety plus percent, Mr. Speaker. In fact I want to share with the Honourable Minister of Tourism a statistic that he should take on board, the professionals, the legislators, senior officials and managers, service workers and shops and market sales workers, plant and machinery operators, assemblers categories experience significant increases during the inter central years 1991 to 2001.In fact there was over 200 percent increase in employment in the professional category from 1,021 in 1991 to 3,446 in 2001. You know I cite that statistics, Mr. Speaker, because Members need to be reminded that it is the New Democratic Party that created the middle class in St. Vincent and the Grenadines which constitute the tax base upon which this Government has been able to progress. You must not take that away from the party. We created the middle class and in fact today many people are struggling to remain middle class in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and much reverse was taking place, which is a part of the responsibility we have here in this House today, Mr. Speaker.Mr. Speaker, let us go back to this crisis within a crisis that I spoke about and address the question of the contraction of the economy that is, it has gotten smaller or should be smaller in 2011 than it was in 2010 and 2009. In the presentation of the Honourable Prime Minister, he declared that manufacturing had declined, agriculture had declined, tourism had declined, and construction had declined. All the critical sectors had declined. In fact, (the Minister of Housing, Minister Burgin that is the portfolio, I have it right?) advocated that one of the things that we will have to do from here on is to do more with less and I think I captured him quite accurately. Which is fair, which is a fair comment, but Mr. Speaker, to the extent that I support the Minister’s submission that we do more with less, two things become very important for us as a country, as a people and in our budgetary proposals. (a) Productivity and (b) the competitiveness of our country and so those need to be examined.Mr. Speaker, I go to the 2007 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure and productivity which were establishing a productivity centre which then was under the Ministry of Labour, this is what they said, “the operational structure for the centre and a work plan were developed, but no further work was done due to funding constraints.” This is 2007 of a country that know that we have to work harder and smarter and to do more with less could not find money to put a productivity centre where it should be. Mr. Speaker, if you think that is bad in 2011 it is worst. There is zero funding for it and it is said that it is now under review. I am absolutely68certain, Mr. Speaker, that had we gone to the Employers Federation or spoken to the International Labour Organisation we would have got much critical help in establishing that.By the way Mr. Speaker, as we speak about..., where is the workers institute that we have been speaking about for so many years that has been funded? Where is the office? Mr. Speaker, we are talking here about the importance to improve labour productivity, more and better us of technology that the Honourable Senator Frederick has so ably spoken about and reviewing the business strategies of our country if we really want to go forward. But Mr. Speaker, Mr. Speaker, and the Honourable Minister of Industry who give what I consider to be, a spirited presentation to the House, (and I said that to him personally and it is a good opportunity to say that I am sure he did not witness the conversation that went before or made those remarks, but let that perhaps you have asked for that to go by, Mr. Speaker) I do not know if it is that he got so consumed with the tourism portion of his presentation or that he had not yet got time to get his teeth in on the industry section of his Ministry and I pray and hope that in the passage of time that he will get his feet wet and get fast tracked into that area, but spent less than two minutes, Mr. Speaker, of his presentation on this important portfolio of industry. Unfortunate, we are not here to score points.In fairness to him, however, Mr. Speaker, he did say that anything that could grow around your yard we need to make use of it. So if you have damsel make syrup or wine, if you have pepper make pepper sauce, those are my words that is, but he was making a pitch (a) for agro-industry that is how I understood him, he was making a pitch for us to take value added to our agriculture, which I support him and most important of all, Mr. Speaker, which he did not say, but which are my words, he was recognising that in terms of our economic model we needed to place far greater emphasis on resource based industries. Something I have spoken about time and time again in this country. We cannot go forward beyond 2011 continuing to develop a country on imports substitution, galvanise for galvanise, flour for flour, rice for rice and beer for beer. We have to make use of what we have and agriculture has to be the bedrock of transformer for the economy [applause]. And if that is what he was saying, he has my support and with a little less arrogance, Mr. Speaker, and more mature, he will get there I believe. We all have to make the transference for these people. [Interjection] I was saying with a little less arrogance but I can take that back very quickly, Mr. Speaker and not delay you. I take that back Mr. Speaker [interjection] I take it back and emphasize that with the passage of time the Honourable Member would move on.Mr. Speaker, if we are serious and we on this side are, then there is only one way out, only one way out. Let us picture for a moment Mr. Speaker, a very simple paradigm, if we just took time out now and all of St. Vincent, all arable lands was dug up and put into some agricultural produce, would we have solve our problems in St. Vincent and the Grenadines? No, but we would have improved it at the production level at the very minimum. What would remain our problems? And I think the Honourable Member for North Leeward made that point, we have to be able to sell what we grow, our goods and our services. In short, Mr. Speaker, we have no choice but to become an export led society. If we do not do that we will die, we are dead in the water. That is it, plain, straight and simple. Labour productivity, competitiveness, export led economy and Mr. Speaker, I really was at a loss when the Honourable Senator for the second time, he is not here now, Slater, my very good friend, I do not have to apologise for and sometimes we share common families, and I stood and asked the question, he said, we were still at the level of the draft export trade policy. We call that intervention, Mr. Speaker? Your nod will be helpful to me, your participatory nod. I just turn and asked him if he was very sure about that...,69HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Yes I heard him. HONOURABLE MAJOR ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: You recall that. HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Yes, I do.HONOURABLE MAJOR ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: And Mr. Speaker, I was at a loss to understand what the Honourable Minister really meant, because I have been asking that question in this House over and over again of the former Minister of Trade, Sir Louis Straker, and he has been providing me with answers. In fact, Mr. Speaker, because sometimes I use them as book markers I pulled this one out from a marker, it is marked, “National Export Strategy Symposium, Thursday November 9th 2006, 9:00 p.m., Methodist Church Hall, Kingstown, St. Vincent.” [Interjection] it is not a track, I do have a track sometimes too, Mr. Speaker, but we do not see them so often these days, because Mr. Speaker, I thought we had gone past this some five years ago and now would be hearing reports on where we are with our export led strategy. Not still at the draft stage. We got to move on because, Mr. Speaker, that is essentially what is going to move us and to go back to the recurrent side of the budget have those revenues increasing and improving so that we can have stronger and more effective recurrent budgets.Outside of that you know, Mr. Speaker, there is only one other thing we can do up there, it is if we can have royalties added to the list in the non-tax level and I have talked about that Trinidad and Tobago maybe for all for the expiration or if we wanted St. Vincent and the Grenadines to go back to a piece of legislation we brought here and never did anything more about it, called the Geographic Indication Act where we begin to now exhaust, experiment and extract from our rich marine life and so on and so forth. But those are the thinking of in the box sort of things, granted that we have an advantage on the New Democratic Party side, we are still willing to share. But we got to do something about it and we got to do it now, Mr. Speaker.Mr. Speaker, to be honest this notion of a draft stage is really a big joke. A big joke, well I say go here to page 5(12) of the Estimates and I turn to page 5(12), what does the Ministry say to do for St. Vincent and the Grenadines? It says, “Prepare an implementation matrix for the National Trade Policy by March 2011.” Now, who to believe, the indicator or the Minister? I do not know.Mr. Speaker, I really would like to bite into the meat of this matter because the second indicator, you prepare a trade facilitation plan by February 28th 2011 is also of some urgency and when we were on the Estimates Debate the Honourable Minister of Transport and Works out of a lack of knowledge of what trade facilitation entails had quite erroneously suggested that it had to be done out of the recurrent budget and I had explained to him why it cannot be done. Mr. Speaker, our Governments need to take the advice and I am here..., I am quoting from the trade specialist report and trade facilitation of 2011, Economics Resort Development Asian Development Bank. Where it says, Governments can do anything, first of all, they can provide basic infrastructure to trade facilitation, namely port facilities including public warehouses, water and roads, factories, telecommunications...,HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: You are going a bit too fast there. I am not grasping what you are saying.70HONOURABLE MAJOR ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: Well I do not want you to grasp it Mr. Speaker, I just want you to be aware of it.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Oh I see.HONOURABLE MAJOR ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: In dangerous times, because it is so voluminous that I will lose so much time staying here. I simply want that Ministry to wake up, because what is contained in these Estimates is making a mockery of taxpayers money of St. Vincent and the Grenadines or marking time to give one or the other person a job in that Ministry. I have said repeatedly in every one of our trade missions we have people sitting down twiddling their teeth, their thumb or whatever doing nothing. It is time that our foreign missions go to work on trade facilitation and bring money home for the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines rather than sitting and respite from the hard living and challenge of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. And we are in the capital of the world where it matters.I can take you through, Mr. Speaker, if we had the time on the appropriate matrix and I know that there are officers here who can do it. “Natto” as they call him. Now Permanent Secretary, Nathaniel Williams an outstanding public servant and sometimes I wonder if for some reason we do not promote people outside of important competence that we cannot afford to lose. Brilliant trade specialist made a Permanent Secretary. Maybe he has to take the promotion, but he may have been better serving St. Vincent if that..., those number of years..., been used [interjection] well they could pay him the money, Mr. Speaker and still have him work there.But, Mr. Speaker, the areas of e-commerce, single window development, customs procedures, streamlining the transport chain, adoption of international UN standards, phytosanitary certificates interfacing between the public and the private sectors, all these are urgent works that needs to be done and there is no provision or money in the Ministry of Trade to get the country moving in that direction. That is why we are saying that we are not going to get out of this you know, Mr. Speaker.Mr. Speaker, I did say as well when we discussed the Estimates debate of the Ministry of Tourism and Industry that when we look at all of the budgetary items, Mr. Speaker, even though there was much talk we had in effect rolled back much of the investments that prior to have been targeted for private sector development. And on the basis of what is there, Mr. Speaker, there is hardly a case to make to say that we are creating and promoting that enabling environment for a private sector.Mr. Speaker, I am happy to see, as I have said earlier that the Government is retreating from the earlier hostility to the role of the private sector. Retreating, Mr. Speaker, because of what I consider to be a veritable debt trap they are now trying to avoid. A point made this morning by the young brilliant Senator, Honourable Baptiste and Mr. Speaker, this is so important because the word of the day is insolvency. If the Government was like people they would be like me, they cannot pay their debts when they become due, but they are ashamed to say that they are broke. I do not know how they could dance around the reality that on the recurrent side they do not have enough money and on the capital side that do not have it. But Mr. Speaker, what is happening here, and I need to take my time Mr. Speaker and I am looking for the Prime Minister’s 2010 (I hope the devil is not so busy that I cannot find it, but it is right here Mr. Speaker, they will not get away).71Mr. Speaker, on page 58 of the Prime Minister’s 2010 budget address he says, and this is leading me now you know to Central Kingstown, but we will get there in quick time. He says, in Kingstown and its environments the following major capital projects among others appear in the 2010 Estimates and he listed 21 projects, Mr. Speaker.Question put and agreed to. House suspended at 4:55 p.m. (power outage) House Resumed at 5:10 p.m.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Honourable Member for Central Kingstown you have 12 minutes remaining. Sorry about the inconvenience beyond our control as you know. You have 12 minutes remaining.HONOURABLE MAJOR ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: To get the rhythm, Mr. Speaker, you should give me 2 or 3 minutes to...,HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: To get the rhythm. HONOURABLE MAJOR ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: Yes, you know I mean [laughter].HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Go ahead and I will see what happens in the end [laughter] I will see what happens in the end.HONOURABLE MAJOR ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: Ah, and all those things that they are saying about you, you see I am always to your rescue.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Go ahead.HONOURABLE MAJOR ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, now that you have..., VINLEC give us the time to be a little bit more reflective, I just want to make a quick point in passing that there is a concern that the Director of Audit raises year after year after year and I said it in the Estimates last year and said it this year again, and but I hope I do not have to say it next year. It is about the integrity and credibility of our Estimates. How we are preparing them and what we are putting in there and our closeness to reality or lack of it or whether we are in fact just manipulating information. That is not the Director’s words, Mr. Speaker, those are my words, because, Mr. Speaker, as I was going through the 2010 presentation on the budget address of the Honourable Minister of Finance. I said that there was some 21 items listed there last year and I will go through them a little slowly: 1. Upgrading the Administrative Centre $1 million. 2. Grammar School and Girls High School Development Project $600,000 3. The E.T. Joshua Airport Rehabilitation $4 million 4. Renovation of Old Montrose Police Station $600,000 725. Kingstown Port Development $3 million 6. Communication Equipment, E.T. Joshua Airport $1.4 million (well I suppose that is East Kingstown they are stretching there now. 7. National Community Poverty Alleviation Programme (much of it in Kingstown $1.7 million (you see the emphasis on Kingstown last year. 8. Renovation of the Registry $380,000 9. Construction of the Learning Resource Centres in West and Central Kingstown $2 million 10. Rehabilitation of Murray’s Road $2 million 11. Rehabilitation of Bridges including Verbeke and Fort Charlotte $1 million 12. Reconstruction of Customs Building $3.70 million 13. Retrofitting of Ministry of Urban Development $400,000 14. Rehabilitation of Milton Cato Memorial Hospital $500,000 15. Gibson Corner Settlement $1 million 16. Kingstown Clean-up Campaign $1.5 million 17. Little Tokyo Redevelopment $2.5 million 18. Rehabilitation of Judges Quarters $300,000 19. Government PBX $1 million 20. A huge portion of the ICT projects/programmes $8 million 21. A huge portion of Private Sector Development Programme $4 million And where has all of this supposed to happen in 2010? In Kingstown, these are substantial monies $40.6 million for these 21 specific capital projects or programmes which touch and concern urban development and poverty reduction. Mr. Speaker, I have painstakingly gone through the budgets. All of these provisions reappear in the year 2011, all. Put it another way, Mr. Speaker, not a dime of this $40 million was spent in Kingstown last year. So effectively $40 million of this year’s capital budget is a rehash of 2010 just for Kingstown.Mr. Speaker, just to be careful, I went through the Estimates to see what is there for Central Kingstown this year. In contrast to the 21 identified last year, there are 10 for this year and a grand total of $2.5 million. We are not in the political year. This is for the Liberty Lodge Boys Training Centre and that is local funds, Sharpes Playing Field and $75,000 I heard this is not true so I will give you the data. Sharpes Playing Field $150,00073and that is for three or four playing fields, local funds and you know when you see the word local it means that most likely it is not going to happen. Grammar School, Girls High School $250,00 last year it was four something, but that is part of ten schools. Kingstown Anglican School, Lodge Village Government School well that is from EU funds. Renovation of Old Montrose Police Station local $500,000 constables do not get too comfortable until you see it. Central Police Station $1.7 million for an assorted set of things, so how much is for Central Police Station maybe 10 percent or 20 percent we do not know. River Defence North River Road, it is listed but the budget is zero; Kingstown cleanup $500,000; Kingstown Bus Terminal $1 million that is where we are for Kingstown.Now let me fast forward and come back, Mr. Speaker, because it bothers me that we are not yet..., and the Minister of Reconciliation is there, we are not yet there at the point in which our representative politics is as such that to the extent we are preparing Estimates and budgets and we were on consultation and we will meet with the Chamber of Commerce and we will have marathon sessions on radio. The duly elected representatives of constituencies are not yet considered important enough to feed in to a budgetary exercise, but you come here in a debate for our support. We could do better than that, Mr. Speaker, much better than that and I hope we would address that.But Mr. Speaker, in the Prime Minister’s Speech lacklustre as I find it, the word economic growth appears 15 times. 1-5, 15 times he spoke about economic growth. I did not see a single mention, statement, presentation, argument, submission, advocacy, and commitment for the word development, structural change, and economic transformation, in its place we had, Mr. Speaker, as I have said earlier, and every Minister lamented Tomas, Tomas, Tomas, Tomas the new saviour for St. Vincent and the Grenadines. [Interjection] I have read you, Tomas, the new kid on the block. Thank you very much my Catholic sister in the Lord, Honourable Minister, [laughter] Deputy Prime Minister.Mr. Speaker, I have identified this reputation of economic growth 15 times for a specific reason and I did so before in this Honourable House, Mr. Speaker, two, three Parliaments ago. It is an important aspect of carrying our country forward, but I just simply want to say that we must always keep it in mind and strive for it, but we must do so with complementarities of development. You know I have made the point already, you could have a child in a home and we have situation where we have that experience, the child is growing, growing, is 1, 2, 3, 4, 15, but there could be retardation. The child is chronology 21 but the behaviour of the child is still 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10, development is a crucial element that must come along with the growth. And that is the part of the problem, Mr. Speaker, of our budget. While we are striving for growth, there is not an equal attempt towards development.Mr. Speaker, I have a document here when corporations ruled the world by David C. G. Cortel, I think it is a document of the House already, but I will photocopy the pages available to it. I just want to read a quick argument Mr. Speaker, it says, “those who call for expanding the economic pie”, and we do make that argument here as well on this side, “as the answer to poverty overlook an important reality. Whether or not a person has access to the resources required for survival depends less on absolute income than on relative income. In a free market economy, each individual is in competition for access to the limited environmental space and the person with the most money invariable wins.” She reminds me of the impact of VAT on the resonate nature of the74VAT on the poor that while we may be talking about growth, if we are not commensurately doing something for the poor, the resonate nature of it is that they will continue to be worse off.Mr. Speaker, there are two other comments here that I find that we need to take on board. It says, “Without concurrent redistribution an expanding pie brings far greater benefit to the already wealthy than to the poor. Increases the absolute gap between rich and poor and further increases the poor advances of the former over the latter, this advances could become a life and death issue in a resource scarce world in which the rich and poor are locked in mortal competition for developing the resource space.” And finally, Mr. Speaker, if the prophets of illusion who promote growth as the answer to poverty are really concerned with the plight of the poor let them advocate measures that deal directly with the increase in the ability of the poor to meet their basic needs, no tax breaks for the rich only. You know why I made that observation, Mr. Speaker? Because sometimes we are represented in the New Democratic Party as not having academic (what is the word) umps and so on and so forth. But Mr. Speaker, if you go to the manifesto that some say is unimaginative you would see there that we have identified a basic needs approach towards the development of this country not captured here in our budgetary approach.But more than that, Mr. Speaker, the last part of that observation is consistent without argument for a social spiritual and redemption charter for St. Vincent and the Grenadines and feeds into that deficiency which has contributed to our retardation in the Human Development Index. You have to be more holistic for what you are looking for. But Mr. Speaker...,HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Honourable Member for the 2 minutes I have given you, you need to maybe, I do not know if wanted to turn to constituency matters because...,HONOURABLE MAJOR ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: I am going to do that in the 10 minutes extra that I have.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: In the 2 extra minutes I give you. HONOURABLE MAJOR ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: I cannot go to revenue if it is 5 minutes he said[laughter]. Mr. Speaker, Mr. Speaker...,HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: What did he say? [Interjection] you are speaking untruths in Parliament?HONOURABLE MAJOR ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: Well maybe I did not hear you, Mr. Speaker. Anyhow you did say..., let us get on with it, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, this brings me to my constituency, my, my constituency, Central Kingstown [applause] and Mr. Speaker [interjection] I do not deal with the how long. We are in an in and out club I have five years for now, I take it one term at a time [applause] when we get there we will deal with it. None of us have title deeds to political rule. One term at a time, I am there now to serve and represent the people. And let me say this Mr. Speaker, every single thing that the Government does for Central Kingstown I will claim. So do not even think about it of going to represent and say that you do this and you do that. Everything that they do I will claim them [laughter]. But over and beyond that, Mr. Speaker, over and beyond that, over and beyond that there are some urgent things to be addressed in Central Kingstown, fire appliance provision for the budget zero, business people are suffering in town, houses are suffering in town75when we have fires. We need to do something for the fire department urgently [applause]. They are not up to reasonable standards in dealing with fires and this has nothing to do with the men. But they do not have the equipment, they do not have the dress and we cannot have people running out of stores with dust mask and all these sorts of things to assist our firemen.Mr. Speaker, the Fenton Road that link between Green Hill and Belair and Minister Mc Kie I am sure you would join me with this; we need to do something about it. We need to move it up, move it ahead of the Cross- Country Road, it would not take that much, but it is an important link road and I am grateful for the nod from the Minister of Health. We will work together on that because we need to get that road going. It will do a lot for the traffic into Kingstown on mornings and to ease the pressures [applause].Mr. Speaker, the long overdue situations of back road in Old Montrose going up to Star Lift Pan Yard, fix the roads and fix the pan yards and I think some other Member made the point, I think is somebody in..., Minister in North Leeward and I believe the same thing will be made for Rawacou. These can become important tourism sites. It is time that when the tourist comes here they can go to a pan yard and enjoy pan concert and [applause] see things and five minutes to playing the pan and stuff like that. Sion Hill where Mr. Eustace is..., we need to do these kinds of things. You know what I mean? The Old Montrose Lodge Village Sharpes road, Green Hill main road needs re-sheeting, the sidewalks and drains need to be attended to, Mr. Speaker. Dascent Cottage is the same thing, Murrays Village road, Richmond Hill, give the people some attention. The river crossings in Largo Height, Mr. Speaker, I say they cost between $3,000; $5,000; $10,000. If the Government do not do them, I will organise to do every single one of them, every one of them. They will be done. We promised them and we will deliver on them and setting up home and root in Largo Height now you will have to do that whoever is interested for the next five years and I will time you and I will turn on the pressure when it is appropriate. People in Largo Height voted for me for a good reason. The street lighting, all over the constituency Mr. Speaker, we need to attend to that. I have made appointments on that already, Bloc 2000 Bridge, the River Road Bridge, those things need urgent attention Mr. Speaker. Farms roads in Trigger Ridge [interjection] you ain’t fixing one thing, you already tell the people in Green Hill that they must fix their road themselves.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Honourable Member. HONOURABLE MAJOR ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: You on record of saying Green Hill people must fixtheir road themselves.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: You have 1 minute.HONOURABLE MAJOR ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: And the only road I believe will be the only one you will fix would be to Punty Fraser and that is your partner. Mr. Speaker, the hard courts need to be lighted, Sharpes, Largo Height needs to get their own hard court, and Green Hill needs to be lighted.Business Projects Mr. Speaker, this is where I come back to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. I want to see something with agro-processing happening in Green Hill for their ginger, for their spices, their tea bags, let us do something about it. They need to do that. Skills Training for the artisans we will need that, Mr. Speaker. I am raising funds to hire a sports development officer for the constituency until such time Government can help76out, but we cannot wait. We have to keep the young men off the streets and off the blocs and onto the playing field. Culture Cess Pro Green House Sports Clubs, Pauls Avenue they need support, Mr. Speaker. Kingstown roads, Mr. Speaker, there is while I am in sympathy with the Public Health Department, there is a bit of slipping of the general cleanliness of Kingstown. I do not know if the people are overstretched and overworked with all these block-Os and other events but I find they need to be a little bit more motivated, there is some slippage. The waterfront we have an envy of what has happened in the Villa area there too but I do not know when we will get our boardwalk. I intend to meet with the vendors in and around Kingstown, Mr. Speaker, to see what we could do and what we could have for them. Schools improvements, floors to be tiled Stoney Ground, Lodge Village, compounds needs to be fenced and secured, furniture and fixtures need to be attended to. The sports gymnasium I want to see that, Mr. Speaker. I do not have a Kingstown bias, but we need to have that.But Mr. Speaker, if I could get in this one only, because I am in support of the Honourable Member for the Northern Grenadines.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Honourable Member..., HONOURABLE MAJOR ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: Well I am sitting, Mr. Speaker, I am on my waysitting HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Honourable Member, just a minute. HONOURABLE MAJOR ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: Yes, please.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: No, I am not stopping you, but what I am saying, I am wondering if you are not really wasting your minute because I am not hearing a thing, you are moving so quickly on these things [laughter] I do not even know if the Stenographers are getting you. So maybe you can just cut off, because your time has really gone and thank the people. Because I am not hearing a thing, you are moving fast.HONOURABLE MAJOR ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: But Mr. Speaker, you knew all along you was going to give me this 2 minutes grace, you allow me to hustle through and now you are telling me that I have 2 minutes. Mr. Speaker, they got me that is the major in action. That is how he speaks and they will capture that and it will be prepared. But Mr. Speaker, there is something that you and I..., and I believe you have the same passion for it..., that have to take on board. You see this amendment that we are going to make the stamp duty to charge 10 percent on property moving from family to family you know, a husband wanted his wife or wife wanted her husband to join them in owning the family property or handing over something to their son or daughter, we need to rethink that, Mr. Speaker, because we worked pretty hard on that. Abolishing the debt dues in 1993 and before that, Mr. Speaker, removing stamp-duty on those family transfers, it is going to bring untold hardship to the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines [applause].And Mr. Speaker, that said, I want to thank you for your generosity and I want to indicate in no uncertain terms that we can do better, we must do better, the New Democratic Party on this side have an alternative approach to easing the squeeze for the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. I am much obliged, Mr. Speaker [applause].77HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Thank you very much and my generosity is 5 minutes 6 seconds. Honourable Senator Francis, Minister for Transport and Works. Are you aware of your time? [Interjection] oh, you are aware, so you cannot pull one thing.HONOURABLE JULIAN FRANCIS: ..., that you get extra time if you are given trouble [laughter]. The troublesome ones get overtime and those of us who behaves ourselves are punished for behaving ourselves.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Well let me..., HONOURABLE JULIAN FRANCIS: Like the Honourable Representative for Central Kingstown.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Let me put it this way Honourable Member; you see, it sounds like it is extra when you have to be stopping and stopping and stopping. It is not really extra, the clock...,HONOURABLE JULIAN FRANCIS: I know the current went on him, I understand.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Right and the current went. Let us go. All right you can start.HONOURABLE JULIAN FRANCIS: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I rise to make my contribution, my tenth contribution to the budgetary exercise in this House and it is not normal that I stay until last, but I observed a lot of jockeying on the Opposition benches. My Deputy Political Leader and my Deputy Prime Minister will speak just before the Prime Minister in the wrap up. So please understand some protocol [laughter] Parliamentary Representative for Central Kingstown too to whom I refer, but I observed some jockeying so Mr. Speaker, I on advice from many Members that I should await the delivery of the Parliamentary Representative for Central Kingstown. But I may have well have gone long before, there is nothing to respond to [laughter].Mr. Speaker, I bring greetings to this Honourable House to everyone and I want to take this opportunity to thank all Members of the House, my colleagues and those on the other side who conveyed sympathy on the passing of my father earlier this month. I would want to put into the records too that I was quite appreciative of Sir James Mitchell who took time out and personally sent me a sympathy card on behalf of my family indicating that he thought my father had made a significant contribution and a lover of the land. Unfortunately Mr. Speaker, I cannot say the same for the Leader of the Opposition and I was hoping that I would see a card or something from him seeing that he did not make it to the funeral.Mr. Speaker, on that I want to congratulate the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Finance on presenting to us another budget and as the Honourable Senator David Browne says, a budget for the times. A budget..., in fact, the note that I made for myself was that, a budget to suit the times and a budget which ensures that all the needs of those dispossessed persons are taken care of and the basic essentials of running a country and creating livelihood and wealth for some and taking care of the needs of others are all included in the budget and Mr. Speaker, if I may just to read into the records, the theme under the budget address, fiscal and financial stabilisation, job creation, wealth creation and social safety at the tail end of the recession. Mr. Speaker, I am sure that there was less fortunate Vincentians pretty happy to be alive today to have a Prime Minister like Dr. the Honourable Ralph Gonsalves and a party [applause] as the Unity Labour Party.78Mr. Speaker, I want to establish one or two things before I go into my presentation and if I may refer you to the Standing Orders of the House of Assembly, Mr. Speaker, section 33 subsection 9, it states, a Member shall not read his speech, but he may read extracts from books or papers in support of his argument and may refresh his memory by reference to notes, provided a Minister may, with the permission of the Speaker, deliver a written address to the House. I am not asking for the latter, Mr. Speaker, I am referring to the upper part of that subsection, because I may very well refer, or I will be referring to three documents quite frequently in my presentation, one being the budget, the manifesto of the Unity Labour Party, both which is a document of this House and the manifesto of the New Democratic Party which is not a document of this House. But Mr. Speaker, I want ask your indulgence not to ask me to lay the second document. Mr. Speaker, it is a document that is in scarce supply. I was fortunate to have gotten a copy and in it I had my personal notes that I have made to a lot of the things that had been said in the document and I would rather those comments not be lodged in the House. But I will ask that I am sure that it is a document that the Opposition is very proud of so that if you insist on it being laid, Mr. Speaker, although looking around the table for the entire week, the first time I have seen one of these document on the Opposition tables is this afternoon when the Honourable Senator Anesia Baptiste took hers out of her bag. So it must be in scarce supply on the Opposition side as well, but I would ask them that if it is to be laid that they can pledge a copy to be laid.Mr. Speaker, the other is this, 34(2) a Minister may conclude a debate on any motion which is critical of the Government or reflects adversely on or is calculated to bring discredit upon the Government or a Government Officer. Mr. Speaker, I read that because the descriptions that have been coming forth from the other side, I am convinced that the entire Opposition as in its strategy were calculative in trying to bring discredit to the Government and to a Government Officer, the Honourable Prime Minister. Mr. Speaker, there is the myth that in this House of Assembly there should be no politics. Mr. Speaker, guide me if I am wrong, but I understand that all of us here are children of politics. We are in this House because of politics [applause]. There are two ways to get here one is by becoming an elected Member and two by coming here as a nominated Member and out of the six nominated Members, Mr. Speaker, two of those are allowed under the Constitution to become Ministers. So Mr. Speaker, I would say that if my debate and my presentation this evening stretches somewhat into the political whelm I want us to understand that in this House it is so established.Some of us, Mr. Speaker, I take my nomination here very seriously that it is a political nomination and I am here as a senator for the last ten years because of the fantastic work that I have done for m y party and they have awarded me and rewarded me with this position [applause]. And I had been a Minister for ten years safe and except for some months in 2005 and 2010 where because I have some extraordinary skills and in those two...,HONOURABLE DOUGLAS SLATER: You beat SCL [laughter] HONOURABLE JULIAN FRANCIS: periods I was able to assist in returning the Unity Labour Party tohead this Parliament and to be the Government again [applause].DR THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: [Inaudible.]HONOURABLE JULIAN FRANCIS: Yes, yes and we move the Unity Labour Party votes out of the Referendum from 22,000 to 32,000 in the 2010 elections [applause]. Mr. Speaker, I say this because in this Parliament we all have to understand that we are creatures of the political system. It is an adversarial system, it79is a competitive system, and it is a partisan system. So when I speak, Mr. Speaker, fortunately I took part in the discussion on the Estimates so that I have dealt very widely with my Ministry and its works and I am pleased to see the Permanent Secretary here this evening and PS I trust that I will find sufficient time to deal with some other matters which you will be pleased with, but if do not understand that I am a creature of a political system and I am here to deal with certain matters.Mr. Speaker, appointments to this House and I want to congratulate all the new persons who have come to the House, Mr. Speaker, particularly so those two on the Opposition side now elected Members of Central Kingstown and West Kingstown who struggled here for five years as Senators and the two Opposition Senators who are in as well. One I know was a member of our party at one time, but I understood that when she looked around the competition of the party, she decided to go to less competitive..., [laughter] and area with less competition and therefore succeeded in getting an appointment over there.Also for those new Members who have been elected who was Senators before, former Senator Mc Kie and former Senator Saboto Caesar. I am pleased that I am still here with you on the lower the bench of Senator but yet to share with you...,HONOURABLE DR. DOUGLAS SLATER: The high bench of Minister. HONOURABLE JULIAN FRANCIS: the high bench of Minister. Thank you very much for theformulation.HONOURABLE DR. DOUGLAS SLATER: Well is your partner here you knowHONOURABLE JULIAN FRANCIS: I know, I know, I know. Some say Minister of Foreign Affairs that you have become a better politician since you have given up the job of active parliamentary politics and that your presentation today, yesterday in the House, today [interjection] yesterday representative parliamentary politics, [interjection] I am correct, we went to school together. You went on a little bit beyond me but [laughter] the Art Teacher told us the same thing at the same time [laughter]. I observed that you kept silence when I was saying that because you did not want them to know that you were in that group, but you were in that group and you were there in the same group when the Honourable Minister for Foreign Affairs came in and both of us one day in Form 5 give him lines when we were not entitled to do so and you claim to be a Prefect which you were not [laughter]. I never took part in such activities.Mr. Speaker, so my conclusion is that the Opposition has come to the House today, Mr. Speaker, and for this week in this budget to discredit the work of this party that is here, the Unity Labour Party administration and I have..., I am trying to figure out which way they want it. Last year budget was too big, it was done for election, this year budget is too small, what size you want?HONOURABLE FREDERICK STEPHENSON: Medium.HONOURABLE JULIAN FRANCIS: We give you a big one, we give you a small one, but none can please you. [Interjection] you said so, everybody on your side has complained that we do not have enough money in the budget for you. Every single Member of the Opposition has claimed that there is not enough money in the votes for them. You want us to have a budget with a surplus, but yet you want to have a bigger one. The only80way you can have a budget in today’s day with a surplus is to have a smaller one because the funds are not there as they use to be, the costs of running Government is more than it was in those days.Mr. Speaker, while the Honourable Senator Baptiste was speaking, she lamented the fact that promotion monies have gone down, the Minister correctly pointed out to her what the Constitution of this country says and I want to read the section of the Constitution, because I heard all sorts of things being said and the Facebook report that the Speaker give was that Minister Caesar, the Minister of Tourism is a dictator. It states, section 60 of the 1979 Constitution that is the one you all wanted, 1979 Constitution, everybody over there opposed it except my friend. Where any Minister has been charged with responsibility for any department of Government he shall exercise general direction and control over that department and subject to such direction and control, every department of Government shall be under a supervision of a public officer whose office is referred to in this Constitution as an office of the Permanent Secretary. Read it, do not frown yourself at me [laughter].Section 60 of the 1979 Constitution, if I did not read it to suit you with the proper punctuation, read it yourself and read the punctuation into it and you will see that the Honourable Minister of Tourism was correct in his presentation with regards to the monies allocated to the Tourism Authority. He has general direction and control over that [applause] and the Permanent Secretary has to operate subject to the direction and control that is what this section says [applause] that is what it says.Mr. Speaker, while I am at it there is another piece I will tell there, while I am at it I was hoping that the Leader of the Opposition would have been here when I read this section. While reading this section, the one immediately above that caught my eyes and that is 59(5) it says, "if it appears that the Governor General through the Governor General that the Leader of the Opposition is no longer able to command support of the majority of the representatives who do not support the Government or they support of the largest single group of representatives who do not support the Government he shall remove the Leader of the Opposition from office. I just want to give him that as a warning [laughter].Mr. Speaker, a lot of the issues which have been raised by the Opposition in this debate, Mr. Speaker, have been canvassed in the 2005 General Elections and we won it back with 12 seats to 3 with the majority of the votes and they came up again..., you see the problem with the Opposition, Mr. Speaker is that they tend to fight the last election. They never fight the next election you know. They have been fighting since 2001, 2005 and now 2010. They have been canvassed and voted on again in 2010 and the same thing happened. We won the majority of the seats and we won the majority of the votes means that the majority of Vincentians have accepted and voted for the Unity Labour Party to continue to run the Government [applause]. So the Honourable Senator Baptiste brought into this House some props, Mr. Speaker, what I saw there is what I use to get in kindergarten. Dan is the man in the van [laughter], A for apple, B for bat. I am not in kindergarten, Mr. Speaker, for the Honourable Senator to bring a sheet written in..., I could imagine the amount of hours she laboured preparing that chart only to be guided by the House of Commands it is not allowed inside here. We could speak these things, she is quite articulate, speak them, people will remember them easier than looking at a chart like that. It is very confusing. In fact, I could not even see it. I did not want to see it.Mr. Speaker, if you allow something like that in this Parliament, where would the Clerk file it? She was willing to lay it, lay it and what the Clerk is going to do with it? I do not understand what the Clerk was going to do with it. Put some masking tape in the corner and tape it up in the room. Mr. Speaker, I just you know,81paspertou no paspertou cannot work on that, it cannot work [interjection] yes I know and Mr. Speaker, the Honourable Senator again in her lamentations having spent so much time in the Ministry of Tourism on the shortage of money and the deficit and the amount of surplus that they had. Mr. Speaker, while she was speaking, I asked the good Minister of Social Development went on his Blackberry and pulled up for me the price of oil between 1985 and December 2010. In the days when the NDP enjoyed surpluses Mr. Speaker, a barrel of oil was $12.42 at one time [applause], $12.42 Mr. Speaker; if we get that today we move mountains. If we operate now with fuel selling at $12.42 Argyle finish before the end of 2011, Argyle International Airport. Mr. Speaker, December 1985 was $26.68 in October 1988 it went down to $12.18 the highest it has been under the NDP regime is $36.09 in October of 1990. We took over in 2001 Mr. Speaker, it jumped from 1998 at $9.80 to $24.40 in 2001; $43.38 in 2004; August 2005, $64.09; August 2006, $73.61; June 2008, $133.05; December 2010 last month $91.80 [interjection] yes, but that was one was not still at the peak. I do not why, but that..., I know the price of $147 that was the highest it ever got to, but the point I am making is, we have to understand the times in which we are creating budgets.Mr. Speaker, what is a budget? What is a budget? A budget is a projection of where you are going. That is what a budget is and when I listen to the Opposition speak on the surplus, on their surplus, perceived surplus, but they could not build anything, their implementation rate has never been as good as ours [applause]HONOURABLE DR. DOUGLAS SLATER: That is a fact.HONOURABLE JULIAN FRANCIS: Thirty-two percent implementation rate of the capital works in the last year, 23 percent, not 32 percent. They have never been able to implement the amount of projects, in fact, this administration the Unity Labour Party administration has the best implementation record since Adult Suffrage in 1951 [applause]. You can get your chart and do it at home and look at it, you would see. [Interjection] I have dealt with you already while you were speaking; I ain’t intending to deal with you here.Mr. Speaker and the Honourable Senator in criticising the administration and the Minister of Tourism must take some fault and blame for what happened inside of the Ministry of Tourism and that department. She was sent to Jamaica to be trained under this administration and my report, my information is that she has come back and not a single person has been trained by her inside of that Ministry before she left the job. Does have the qualification and the right to come here and criticise my Minister of Tourism.HONOURABLE ANESIA BAPTISTE: Yes, Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order, yes 35(b) to elucidate some matters raised by a Member. Mr. Speaker, without giving the entire facts with respect to my training, I will not sit here in this Honourable House and allow my name and my reputation to be so chided without evidence. The training that I did in Jamaica along with another colleague in the Ministry and another colleague outside of the Ministry, Mr. Speaker, two of us went to that training I think it was July of 2009 and both of us were in consultation with a consultant who was then working with the National Parks Rivers and Beaches Authority, working on putting in place certain training programmes for persons who are working at the newly development sites. The training programmes we were supposed to do myself and the other member who is a teacher at a primary here never came off not for reasons that we were responsible for. So it was not just me alone who went to the training. Myself and the other individual we were working with this consultant and there was certain logistics and certain issues that resulted in us not being able yet to do the training.82In addition, Mr. Speaker, I still have my qualifications as a trainer under the World Federation of Tourist Guide Association and I am still capable of carrying out training for anybody in the society who is willing to get training as tourists’ guides, thank you, Mr. Speaker.HONOURABLE JULIAN FRANCIS: I thought we were going to get the statistics on the number of persons you trained [laughter] that is the point I was making. Mr. Speaker, the Honourable Senator Frederick lamented the reduction in the monies given to Carnival Development Corporation and the Estimates would show that it jumped from $550,000 to $450,000 but Mr. Speaker, you cannot speak on this matter authoritatively unless you know the entire picture, because I am sure, knowing the Honourable Minister of Finance, Prime Minister as well as I do carnival will not suffer. I know that inside he has already discussed within one of his departments, maybe the National Lottery to increase their allocation to the CDC because it was a hard year for the Government and the Lottery will therefore fill the void of $100,000 [applause]. Mr. Speaker that is chicken feed for the National Lottery. He has not said this to me, but I understand him, I had been working with him for 10 years now as Minister of finance and I had been working alongside him for many, many years before that. So one should be able to anticipate that a man who loves carnival the way that the Prime Minister loves carnival, he will return every year from overseas for the CARICOM Submit and make sure he is in town Carnival Tuesday Evening and hang out by my bar. He has to get the last lap every single year. [Interjection] well I have to ask certain people who control the monies down there to make sure that all the payables..., the accounts payables are being collected.Mr. Speaker and I want to say this, it is not a burden on the National Lottery to ask them to do that, because this administration, the Unity Labour Party administration and the persons we have put there to run the Lottery have moved the takings of the National Lottery from 2001 eight point something million dollars to now $47 million per year [applause]. [Interjection] you hear, it reach $51 million. The thing happening so fast I cannot even keep track and I am closer with one of them who is on the Lottery Board.Mr. Speaker, they keep some secrets from me. Mr. Speaker, I am coming from the bottom up you know, you realise that? Not the endoscopy and the, what you call it, [laughter] [interjection] I prefer the endoscopy eh [laughter]. My dear colleagues and Mr. Speaker, before I move off of the Honourable Senator Frederick, I would ask her please when referring to Members on the other side I really would not like to be referred to as the learned Honourable Gentleman. I would leave that learned for the legal fraternity that is where it belongs. I really do not want to be a member of the legal fraternity [laughter]. So I would rather you say to me, the Honourable Senator. Please do not include me in the greeting, the learned Honourable men on the other side. I really would prefer not to be [interjection] no, no, no, it has been repeated, it is not a slip of the tongue. It is almost every time. I understand moving from one arena to another and it is said, so I am just saying that I would prefer not to be referred to in that way. Mr. Speaker, I have just been given this paper and it says that the National Lottery’s Authority contribution to sports for 2010, the amount of money that they put into carnival last year was $1,000,012 [applause].Mr. Speaker, the Honourable Member representative for North Leeward, he obviously is the spokesperson for Agriculture. Mr. Speaker, and in his presentation, he made a couple points and one of them being the matter on scrap metal that nobody in this country is doing anything with scrap metal. The private sector that you all so much spout is very, very, active in scrap metal in this country [applause]. I will give you seven names, Ron83John, Swaggings, Bushay, Hardy Gumbs, Ruddy Daize, Daveman and Central Water and Sewerage Authority Solid Waste, Mr. Speaker. There is an active..., in fact, the fellars are making a lot of money out of scrap metal. Take it from me, plenty, plenty money [interjection] yes, yes, yes.Mr. Speaker, the second that the Honourable Member referred to was Agriculture. In lamenting Agriculture and the Minister of Agriculture dealt at length with Agriculture, but you see these documents, Mr. Speaker, to which I referred earlier on. This is the NDP manifesto, Mr. Speaker, I do not know if you have seen before, this is what it looks like, and what you have seen on it is almost identical to every bill board and poster that they had put up, black, clench fists in the air showing I do not know whether it is fighting or power or whatever it is, but abstract paintings. In fact, Mr. Speaker, black painted fists and on the bill boards up at Sion Hill you had some blue ones. So if you think I am being racial, I do not know anybody being blue [laughter] [interjection] yes, yes, maybe blue with envy.Mr. Speaker, I need to say this that in this manifesto there is a page which I refer to as the desperation page.DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: Page 4.HONOURABLE JULIAN FRANCIS: You got it right Honourable Prime Minister, page 4 and at the top that is why I tell you I do not want..., I cannot lay this, Mr. Speaker, because my notes in it are too graphic. It is labelled SCL and it says, NDP development projects and I hear the Leader of the Opposition labouring over this matter of jobs and the very first thing that they said in here a major international Construction Company will partner with the NDP to do the Argyle. I will deal with that later on, but out of all these six things, ten things that they have here the Leader of the Opposition, the Honourable Leader of the Opposition on television and radio said that these things will only happen if an NDP Government is elected in this country.DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: I remember hearing it.HONOURABLE JULIAN FRANCIS: None of them can dispute it [interjection] that is right and yet we come into this House holier than thou talking about we must not speak this way in Parliament. That we are victimizing people, but you have, let me see the amount of international companies you have here never hear more, a major international Construction Company, a major international development group, an important international banking group, a major international Construction Group, a global player in the trust and corporate services, a global player in the private aircraft services, a significant seaport improvement initiative, they are bringing 20,000 jobs in two years and you are saying that they will only come if it is under NDP Government, because they do not want to work with us and you are sitting there as an Honourable Senator in this House and telling me that is right [interjection] no, you are telling them that. I did not hear them say so, I heard the Honourable Leader of the Opposition say so. In other words, what they are saying to us, we should say to Buccama, if we lose Government close down the hotel and go out. That is what you are telling us. We must say to the developers in Mount Wynne Pete’s Hope, if we lose Government you must take your money and go. We should say to the people in Venezuela President Chavez and his crew and the Cubans, if we lose Government stop building the airport.Mr. Speaker, we cannot run a country like this. Politics make us, but at the same time if you have a development project for the country bring it [applause]. But of course, this is not real, this is the desperation84page, because I will tell you why, Mr. Speaker, this is the front of the manifesto, it says, message from the political leader. I do not see the name of the political leader; I do not see a signature of the political leader. I see a picture on the other side, it says, the Honourable Arnhim Eustace, East Kingstown. Let me show you the difference. Letter from the political leader and it starts off, my dear fellow Vincentians and voters, it is two and half pages and at the bottom it says, Dr. the Honourable Ralph E. Gonsalves, political leader of the Unity Labour Party. You cannot find that. You know why? They have to cut the front page to put in the desperation page [laughter]. So half of the leader letter gets cut off and he could not even put his signature on the thing.HONOURABLE DR. DOUGLAS SLATER: Cut and paste man, cut and paste. HONOURABLE JULIAN FRANCIS: But Mr. Speaker, I was on the matter of the parliamentary..., Mr.Speaker, where I stand with time? Important.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: You are into the 33 minutes of your time.HONOURABLE JULIAN FRANCIS: I am already? Okay, well let me deal with this one, because this one I think, Mr. Speaker, if you want to lose confidence in a document you have to read the Agricultural section in this document. Mr. Speaker, the Honourable Member and I remember it when the Honourable Member for North Leeward was speaking, I read this ten times from page 20, 21, 22, and this is their Agriculture and Fisheries Programme, Mr. Speaker, the word cocoa does not appear in this manifesto in this page.HONOURABLE FREDERICK STEPHENSON: Nowhere in the book.HONOURABLE DR. DOUGLAS SLATER: Not a single grain of cocoa.HONOURABLE JULIAN FRANCIS: Nowhere under Agriculture, Mr. Speaker, a programme that they had lauded. That was there flagship Agricultural turnaround; Lenny Daisley spoke on that until he almost drops off the platform [laughter]. A man who I have great respect for Sir James Mitchell, Mr. Speaker, [interjection] Mr. Speaker, cocoa helped pay my school fee. I manure it, I prune it, I trimmed it, I weed it, I suck cocoa, I cut it, I dry it, I wash it, and I bag it and when I was 17 and I drive, I deliver cocoa in this country. My father was an outstanding agriculturist and a big cocoa farmer [applause]. Not one single mention of cocoa that is the point I want to make. All the cocoa that you talked about on every single platform, [Interjection] well I have discounted the desperation page Honourable..., it says, the NDP will structure our Agricultural Sector to benefit from the demand at high prices for cocoa [interjection] that is it, but under Agriculture, they do not say what they are going to do. How many acres they are going to plant, how many farmers they are going to bring in, the Minister of Agriculture tell you what he is going to do with Agriculture.Mr. Speaker, I refer you to page 31 I think in the manifesto of the Unity Labour Party section (e) Mr. Speaker. Now Mr. Speaker, [interjection][laughter] I listened to the Honourable Parliamentary Representative for West Kingstown and he was talking about river defences and Mr. Speaker, I mean sometimes you could make a statement, but an exaggeration is what you know ticks me off sometimes. He says that there is absolutely no work being done on river defences on North River and South River and what he does not understand why we do not do this because there is so much shortage of land in Kingstown that substantial lands will then be created for buildings by putting in river defences for North River and South river.85Mr. Speaker, we all know North River and South River, tell me where those lands are. The widest piece of land you will reclaim on North River anywhere in the precincts of Kingstown is in Stoney Grounds that cannot even hold a yard space much more a cesspit. So to tell me and come with the exaggeration that we are not building, we are not financing and we could get a lot of land in town to build house, Mr. Speaker, let us live in a real world. The Cross-Country Road and we remember this Cross-Country Road in you know, Mr. Speaker, when I told the Honourable Parliamentary Representative that while I was the Minister of Works the first term, Mr. Speaker, let me finish make this point if he wants an interjection please because I would not give way until I finish this point. He said, he was objecting to the Cross-Country Road...,HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: He is rising on a point of order. HONOURABLE JULIAN FRANCIS: Oh he has. HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: State the point of order.HONOURABLE DANIEL CUMMINGS: Mr. Speaker, the Honourable Minister [interjection] am I permitted to speak, Mr. Speaker? [Interjection] thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, in referring to the river drainage I am being misquoted in very many ways. I never said or inferred that there is any possibility of land for housing. I have stated in this Parliament before that to do river draining requires significant topography work and alignment. It also creates the distinct possibility of covering the river in almost all of its sections if it is properly designed and therefore, the space that will be created is not just the extra land on either side of the river, but you must and can also include the actual area directly over the drained river, thank you, Mr. Speaker.HONOURABLE JULIAN FRANCIS: Mr. Speaker, I never heard that before and you will have to bring the Hansard, the proof that he said so. He did not say so. He said river defences, the side walls. That is what he spoke about. Mr. Speaker, a budget is prepared, Mr. Speaker, on projections including facts and you know one of the exercises Honourable Prime Minister that I think we should put in place is to have variations between one year budget and the other apart from the result indicators by figures that if your variations are more than a certain percentage that the Ministry has a responsibility to explain why [applause]. It is done in the banks, I did it for years in the financial industry when I worked there and it worked extremely well. It puts the responsibility on the members, the accounting staff and the accounting officer inside of the Ministry to give an explanation why you did not achieve so much revenue or why you did not spend such much money or give an explanation, Mr. Speaker.The other thing that formulates and assists you in formulating your budget is your programme and policies and your philosophy. Three fundamental things that assist you apart from the known fact, you speculate on certain things, is there going to be a hurricane this year, if there is going to be a hurricane we have to put aside some money, you may not put aside that. You may not put in money and hurricane comes and you have to go look for money to borrow. You put in money and a hurricane does not come, you use it for something else. That is what a budget is all about, but I am saying that these documents which we take seriously in this party, this is our pledge to the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines on the programmes and policies and the philosophy of the Unity Labour Party [applause]. We asked you to vote for us based on the contents of this document and the way we articulate them and we put these..., if you follow the Estimates that you have there, you will see this in print. But Mr. Speaker interestingly, desperation page number 4, a major international construction company86would partner with the NDP to finally get the Argyle Airport into a state of readiness that is there and then in the back, page 55 this is while the Parliamentary Representative for Northern Grenadines were speaking I shouted across the floor at him and say, you are page 55 man, you are not a page 4 man. There is one other page 55 person inside of the NDP; I would not call his name. But this one says, nothing..., it is contradicted what they said over there that they are going to get a consultant to do a study and depending on the study they will continue to do work on the airport, but they are saying that they are committed to the airport, but over here they have a major international construction company will partner with the NDP to finally get the Argyle International Airport into a state of readiness.Mr. Speaker, another interesting thing that I picked up in this manifesto, manufacturing or basic needs approach, constituency development fund and you will find inside of the manifesto the NDP speaks to if they had won Government they were going to reduce the salaries of Parliamentarians. That is a commitment in this, but they want the Constituency Development Fund established where the same Parliamentary Representative who become Ministers control the Constituency Development Fund. So you take a reduction inside of your salary, but you have the Constituency Development Fund that you personally going to supervise. That is what this is saying you know. That is how I am reading this.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Honourable Member for Central Kingstown, are you speaking in defence of the fund?HONOURABLE MAJOR ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: Mr. Speaker, yes I am speaking in defence of the fund because I have been trampling that cause months now, Mr. Speaker. I think we have gone..., well I am on 35(b) I think it is Mr. Speaker? He has given way, okay good.Mr. Speaker, the New Democratic Party have spoken to the concept of a Constituency Development Fund on the premise that all of us who are here as Parliamentarians as representatives have an abiding obligation to be able to go back to our constituencies and to do the things that we have in a sense promised the people. We have always insisted that those funds will be managed by the same financial probity in regulations that obtains in the public service and they do not go to the private account or personal account of any representative and therefore in order to access those funds, you have to go through the same request requirements to spend those funds. I do not wish the Honourable Member to represent that we were asking for these funds to in any way resemble personal entitlements, additions, gratuities or so ever. They are to be regulated through the Ministry of Finance and the Government Officers.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Honourable Member, I would agree with the Honourable Member for Central Kingstown that you do not see the funds have been in a personal account, because my understanding was not some personal thing for him...,HONOURABLE JULIAN FRANCIS: Yes, but Mr. Speaker, what I have said is that the constituency fund was going to be established and they wanted to have personal control on it. That was the articulation of the Parliamentary Representative for Central Kingstown in this House of Parliament, during the constitution exercise, Mr. Speaker and during the other years. Anyway, I meant nothing to say that they are going to drop their salary and take money from the constituency fund. That is not what I mean. Okay, so.87The other conflicting thing here, Mr. Speaker, is the subject of water which is the subject that the Honourable Parliamentary Representative for West Kingstown is very familiar with. So I was reading under manufacturing and it say this, and this is what guides your budget you know, because, Mr. Speaker, I have said in this House during the supplementary estimates and I will say again, the Honourable Leader of the Opposition every year comes here and criticises our budget, but yet can never present an alternative budget. Never have an alternative suggestion to make a proper budget. This year, he has a shadow cabinet; he has now increased the size of the Members on his benches. He has well trained advisers in all his spheres, bring your own budget next year and compete with the budget that we presenting. It is about time you bring an alternative budget to the Parliament. [Interjection] no I do not want help. But hear what you say about water. The New Democratic Party is committed not manufacturing, not water, to the new challenges and will support is described as a more resource based approach that is, industry and manufacturing base..., Mr. Speaker, I have a problem with the punctuation, but they will explain in their own way, if you minus or keep the punctuation, but it says, industry and manufacturing base on our indigenous, natural resources, whether agriculture or water, or through integration with our services sector such as tourism.So I take here now that water was going to be a material, a resource that they are going to include in manufacturing. So I said, great, Big Gut water is coming back on stream, you know. I say, sure because the Honourable Member for West Kingstown has objected strenuously to drinking from these water jars and he wants no other water but mountain top water inside here. Well I am pleased to see that he has bought his own mountain top, Mr. Speaker and that he is now bringing mountain top water. Mr. Speaker, I am not finished yet, when I am finished...,HONOURABLE DANIEL CUMMINGS: On a point of order. The Honourable Minister is misleading the House. I never, Mr. Speaker, said I only want mountain top spring water. I never have, I never will say that. The question was asked as to whether I would designate equal quality to a bottle of water I believe is Maroon Hill and I said, I do not have any knowledge of maroon hill, but I can speak of mountain top as world class water. That is what I have said Mr. Speaker. That is a completely different thing.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: He first introduced the mountain top water and then the Honourable Member suggested that he had no...,HONOURABLE DANIEL CUMMING: No knowledge, Mr. Speaker. I made it a point Mr. Speaker, to say, I am not, Mr. Speaker, if you may permit me. I remember very clearly, I said I am not for a moment suggesting that mountain top is the only world class water we have here, but I said, I cannot speak for any other, because I do not [know] of how they are produced. I do not endorse something that I know [nothing] about.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Just a minute Honourable Member, and I am going to get the information ..., who introduced mountain top water and then the question was asked about the maroon hill water and that is where you made your comment. So that is where you made your comment in relation to no knowledge of the other water other than mountain top. But the mountain top water was introduced by you and then when you are questioned as to the other one, then is when you made the comment in relation to that. But I end this, because I would verify it by tape.HONOURABLE DANIEL CUMMING: I used mountain top as an example. That is what I did. 88HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: We will see how it comes in through the tape. All right, thank you. HONOURABLE JULIAN FRANCIS: Mr. Speaker, from my recollection, when I asked about the mountaintop water he says, he cannot speak to that product because he does not know the source. That is what he said.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Okay, let us continue with the debate.HONOURABLE JULIAN FRANCIS: So Mr. Speaker, I said, okay, Big Gut is coming back because you know we wanted Big Gut and the Opposition had made..., but Mr. Speaker, when I read I found water as a main subject on page 56 and the only manufacturing they are going to do with it, Mr. Speaker, from what I can see here is..., I do not see any manufacturing with it, basically if the NDP is committed to creating a private- public sector initiative for the purpose of providing water of supply to the Grenadines. It is envisaged that storage and distribution networks should be built on the islands and that desalinated water will be blended with harvested rainwater to provide potable water for locals as well as the tourism needs. But it does not say anything here about manufacturing with water. So I lost faith. No Big Gut again you know. Big Gut get killed a second time in my mind. Because I really thought that Big Gut water was good water and that it is was going to come.Mr. Speaker, the Honourable Leader of the Opposition, well one kind of matter on the Honourable Senator and BRAGSA was I think one his headaches. The Honourable Parliamentary Representative for West Kingstown, I would just like to refer you to the Act that established BRAGSA because he was questioning the authority of BRAGSA and who has and it states here clearly..., you know the authority for all these works are really in the Chief Engineer’s Act and the Chief Engineer has direct supervision at a supervisory level and it says, notwithstanding section 8 of the Roads Act, the Chief Engineer may delegate where necessary any of his function under that Act to BRAGSA. So that whatever the Act said BRAGSA can do and we want anything else done, the Chief Engineer can delegate if he so desires that authority to BRAGSA to get the work done.Mr. Speaker, I recall the opening salvo of the budgetary response by the Opposition, as I have said, I was coming from the tail up, where the Honourable Representative for Central Kingstown had made a plea and this is why I did read section 59(5) of the Constitution where he had made a plea that Members of the Government side will remain very silent during the presentation of the Leader of the Opposition and one would have expected the Leader of the Opposition to have made that plea and you know, we would have question then as to whether he had assumed the leadership of his party at that time having taken the front to ask for silence for the speaker to come, who was then the Leader of the Opposition.Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition described the budget and many Members have said it before, Mr. Speaker, as shameless and an insult to the intelligence of the people; impractical; inappropriate; a hurried concoction after the elections that this new administration concentrates more power in the hands of the PM while he rewards tokens to his Ministers. Those are the words of the Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Speaker. But it is the same Ministers here who are running the Ministries who will continue to be in Government and continue to do a good job in running the affairs of this country [applause].Mr. Speaker, again the referral to being..., and whenever you see that, Mr. Speaker, the leader of a political party starts articulating things the way his talk show host articulates them; you know that he is really getting to89be in bad shape. Because he refers to us over here as the Encyclopedia and the rest are copy books and he said over there..., he did not say it, but the Honourable Prime Minister said, all Encyclopedias over on that side. So obviously the Leader of the Opposition was not sure as to where he stood over there because all of them are equal. Over here, we accept one man to be our leader and that is Dr. the Honourable Ralph Gonsalves [applause]. We do not intend to challenge him. He says he is not going to run again in 2015, I wish him well in that area and I trust that his retirement comes at the right time.Mr. Speaker, somebody send me a text today, because when I listened to the Leader of the Opposition preaching the doom and gloom, somebody said that a gentleman from Bequia met them and said that they had just concluded a survey, because they heard everybody talking about how the economy bad, so he and a group of fellers decided to do a survey and they have come up that 20,000 lunches between the price of $5.00 and $25.00 are sold in Kingstown on a daily basis. Twenty thousand lunches are sold in Kingstown ranging in price from $5.00 to $25.00. Mr. Speaker that has to be money, that has to be an economy where people have money in their pocket that workers who come from country and come in town..., in my days when we come from country come in town my old queen pack a bag.HONOURABLE DR. DOUGLAS SLATER: Carrier.HONOURABLE JULIAN FRANCIS: No, too many of us the carrier could not hold [laughter] a basket; we use to go in the Gardens. We could not afford to buy lunch in town. Mr. Speaker, and I really was hoping..., I was leaving this one back because I was hoping the Leader of the Opposition would come back in while I was speaking because I know he chided me for not knowing the difference between Mala and Walvaroo, I do not know if you remember that. [Interjection] well he say that Charmers, he is also wrong, Charmers is not in Roseau [laughter] but what struck me, I was talking about Charmers with a different matter that I do not want to elaborate on in this House, but [interjection] no, I am not going to mention that and I was just heckling him because he knows what I am speaking about, but to imagine even if it is as early as 1998 that the Leader of the Opposition who criticizes our budget every year when we are helping out poor people, coming to tell us here in this Parliament when the Honourable Parliamentary Representative for Central Kingstown say dance cannot pay for light. He says, Honourable Prime Minister, the first place he hears that is in Walvaroo. At 54 years of age, Mr. Speaker, that speaks volumes to a man who wants to run this country to look after people in poverty. He said before first time he has ever seen poverty is when he ran in 1998 and when he went into the kitchens of people in Roseau. But to come back in here in tell us that the first time he has heard that colloquial phase dance cannot pay for light is in Walvaroo. So his first entrance I believe is in 1998. So I am saying as early as 1998, I give him that so I am not saying is when he 60, I say is when he was 54 [laughter]. I did not read section 59(5) for nothing you know.Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition again comes back with this US$1 million and I believe that he chose at that time to speak about the US$1 million you know, because of certain individuals who had just come into the strangers gallery and I saw the Honourable Prime Minister left his seat and went down there and talk to him. Mr. Speaker, this is something that you fought in the Referendum. You won the Referendum, you got 13 seats, and we got 2 because it was an election for all. You won 13 seats we got 2, you came back in the election, you put it back on the agenda US$1 million in NCB inside of NCB, not outside of NCB like Bensacome Adames. You lose all those seats and we won you 8/7 with the majority of votes, you still coming in Parliament and90talking about it again? And I will only say this, in the budget you have maybe $300 million deposited annually into the Accountant General Account out of a recurrent budget of four hundred and something million maybe that amount, because some came through other agencies and so on and you picking $2.7 million out of that for your Prime Minister to explain where that come from. The very minuscule amount that is deposited in the account of the Accountant General, not taken out you know, and this is sheer speculation. It so happened the night when I leave here I went to a function at the same person who spread this information, I met them at the function, me just walk straight, you know what I mean? Who spread this thing?Mr. Speaker, one of the problems I have, Mr. Speaker, with the way we come in here and debate things and speak, and I have said it before and I will say it again, the New Democratic Party and the Members on the NDP side they come into this House holier than thou with an holier than thou attitude and everything they are being targeted. If the Speaker makes a ruling he is biased. They go on their Facebook and they say what they have to say about the Speaker. Mr. Speaker, but when they go on radio, when they go on radio, Mr. Speaker, when they go on the social networks, Mr. Speaker...,HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: They breathe fire.HONOURABLE JULIAN FRANCIS: Fire is joke. Mr. Speaker, when you see the Bills come to debate, I have a document here which I read into the Hansard of this House in 2006 Mr. Speaker, after the 2005 elections. I will read it again in that Bill, but I want to refer back to it, the nasty scurrility, Mr. Speaker, that is perpetrated by the New Democratic Party. This is why sometimes in the House of Parliament, Mr. Speaker, I hear complaints about this and that and the other and we are all sorts of strange creatures that drop out of the sky.I have an email here that was circulated in 2005 election dated December 2nd the last circulation was December 5th that I have a copy of. Two days before the election, they are bringing charges about things said about you. This by email alone, not photocopy, circulated by letter and everything else, 106 persons this was circulated to. I will read it again into the Hansard of this House with the nastiness all yo put in this letter about me and the Honourable Minister of Finance. I did not make it a document of the House then and I will not make it again. Mr. Speaker, this budget, we keep talking, the final point I am going to make on the responses and then I am going to deal somewhat with my Ministry. Mr. Speaker, I hear the lamentations about a deficit budget, but one of the fundamentals that you are overlooking from the Leader of the Opposition right down to the lowliest Senator, I do not know which one it is on that side, you are overlooking that our recurrent revenue is also an estimate. It is not fixed, it is not a fixed sum and if you check in your Estimates the same exercise that the Honourable Senator Baptiste carried out, she can carry it out on recurrent revenue and she will see that in most cases, the recurrent revenue is understated and there is always a surplus in recurrent revenue which helps you to eradicate the deficit. I can tell you for sure 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 we collected more money than we had in the budget. There is a thing here called the Finance Regulations Act.HONOURABLE MAJOR ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: Mr. Speaker, would the Honourable Member give way please? Mr. Speaker, the Honourable Member has to understand that we are into a serious exercise that is what the budget is. [Interjection] allow me to address the clarification. The Estimates is precisely what it is and the budget is what it is. We cannot come in here with those kinds of conjectural statements that we only state it here for X but it is expected to be Y, because the same thing could be said with respect to expenditure and it is91known over and over we do have costs overalls. In fact, you have been called costs overrun. So what is good for the revenue is also good for the expenditure. There is an obligation for all of us and for the public service to act on the data that is in front of them and that is the responsibility we have. So we cannot say that that is not what we really mean. It is what it is.HONOURABLE JULIAN FRANCIS: Mr. Speaker that is not what I mean. What I mean is the Opposition continuously laboured on the expenses part. They have never considered that there could be more than budgeted in the recurrent revenue to take care of some of the deficit.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: And that leaves you with 15 minutes Honourable Member.HONOURABLE JULIAN FRANCIS: Very good, enough, Mr. Speaker, just this final one. And this is for the Leader of the Opposition. In the Finance Regulations 2009 Mr. Speaker, he said, the Leader of the Opposition said that we have not paid our payables and therefore our deficit will be worse [interjection] yes he said so, but Mr. Speaker, in getting to your payables you have to accrue. So you have to accrue the expenses to have payables. It is a fundamental. You cannot have payables unless you accrue expenses and this Act states so clearly.In accordance with section 38 of the Act, an Accounting Officer shall ensure that a debt incurred by the Government before the end of the Financial Year that remains unpaid at the end of the Financial Year is recorded not later than the end of the Financial Year as a charge against the appropriation to which it relates. So when the Honourable Prime Minister comes and says instead of a 20.2 deficit for last year, I came out with a surplus of $1.3 million, these $30 million that he claims are payables have been included in that already, so you do not add that on again.That is Accounts 101. And hear where the money is going; hear where the money is going. It says, and the money is to be credited to a below the line deposit account. A below the line deposit account means the Accountant General put aside that money so that when the bill comes up..., because Christmas comes, New year comes, man comes for their monies on the 15th January next year, you do not go back into the Appropriation for last year, you take it out of the below the line deposit account. So when you come to the House prepare yourself before you come and talk about deficit. It tells me that I do not understand a cash deficit. I hear the Honourable [interjection] when you learn..., you go learn just now [laughter] and you are getting there you know, because I think you recently married and I am sure you gonna have children just now and you gonna have to prepare different budget when children come along and houses to pay for and car to pay for and so on, then you will understand how budgets are prepared. You know it comes with age at 60 years I think I can give you some advice and my dear colleague as the Parliamentary Representative for Central Kingstown is of equal age with me and I am sure that the knocks that we have had in preparing [interjection] [laughter] you might be one year short, but you are almost there. I am 60 in June, you going to be 60 when? I bet you do not tell them [laughter].Mr. Speaker, I have dealt with BRAGSA to some extent, just a little bit on my Ministry Mr. Speaker, I have dealt with a lot of the projects that are in the capital estimates and the recurrent estimates. I just want to mention two things. The Jax wall I think is of interest to persons. The works are continuing there and we had a meeting with all the persons today to see how we can speed up that exercise to try and get that done as quickly92as possible. There are some setbacks and the gentleman who is the project manager assures me that all he needs is four weeks of solid sunshine and he can deliver a finish wall to us. That is the projection I had from him this morning. Normally when a technical person tells you that you give him a week or two, so should we get six weeks of good sunshine, which hopefully the rain will break soon, the farmers need it but we also need to spend some money to repair the potholes in the road.I want to mention..., I did mention the Windward highway, but I want to specifically mention that area in Stubbs that has been dug out by underground water. A report has come in from the engineer and apparently a boulder of just about the size of the culvert got stuck in the culvert and that causes the back throw of the water which goes under the base material and it is digging it out and we are preparing to move into that almost immediately. So we will be giving that some attention. I have asked BRAGSA to put more visible barricade around it and reflective barricades, because if you come around Stubbs corner below the polyclinic at 40; 45 you know.., but the reflective warning signs..., and I am sure that we will get that going.Mr. Speaker, I want to touch a little bit on..., you know the Honourable Member for West Kingstown also mentioned the Cross Country Road and the design for the interior is with the specialist who is doing the environmental impact assessment. Claims there is no money in the budget for it but it is not everything that you see in the budget means that money cannot be put to it if it is ready, because these funds are from Taiwan and like other funding agencies special arrangements could be made. As soon as that is done..., we do not want to go into the interior and do work on the Cross Country Road until we have completed the Environmental Impact Assessment. [Interjection] five years ago I said the same thing, I know, but five years ago the NDP referred to theirs as a Trans Island Road, not a Cross-Country Road, but that terminology has disappeared from their manifesto. They now call it a Bypass from Windward to Leeward and vice versa. So I do not know if it is two lanes they are going to make, but they say, a Bypass from Windward to Leeward is under roads in their [interjection] yes, yes in their manifesto. Not under the desperation page you know, under the other one. A Bypass they are going to do. So do not criticise us on the Cross Country Road. You wanted to do it. Just that we beat you to it. We are talking all precautions necessary and I started to tell the story when you started to criticise me on the Cross-Country Road years ago and I told you then that you were going to become a politician and you said to me, no, I have no interest in politics. Two years later you were in politics. So I smell um, I have been in it long enough to smell it when it comes [laughter] [interjection] yes I done deal with that man that could go in the archives now.Mr. Speaker, there is some confusion about the Colonarie Bridge and I hear it being compared to Verbeke and Fort Charlotte Bridge. Mr. Speaker, Colonarie Bridge was one of the first bridges to be repaired under the first phase of the Windward Highway you know and we took the bridges out from Dipcon because Dipcon could not manage them. We are now coming back to them. We had to build a temporary bridge and that took a while because Colonarie River is a monster in the rainy season. Just last week when we had our first meeting with the technical people, I said to them, you also need a pedestrian crossing for when Colonarie Bridge is broken down. You have to put down a pedestrian crossing because everybody is not going to walk up to the temporary bridge.Mr. Speaker, the area in my Ministry I want to touch on that I think we should enlighten you on, the matter of transport. I think that aspect of our Ministry is always being played down, but transport is a very important aspect. Not just transporting school children that is a portion of the job and there are many school buses.93Beside what the Government has about nine buses we have hired 18 private persons with school buses who are contracted by the Government to take the children to school from different areas to their Secondary Schools. But traffic, Mr. Speaker, it is becoming unbearable at times. I will sit at the Party Headquarters on afternoon from 5:30 and if there is a drizzle of rain there is a back-up bumper to bumper until half past 8; 9 o’clock at nights getting out of town. You are coming from the Windward side on mornings, Mr. Speaker, if you miss 7 o’clock it takes you an hour to get into town. You get into town and something we have to correct down at the bottom down there by PH Veira where they a roundabout with you coming out on the right side and we had to reverse it to get it flow properly, it is still creating a back-up because of Little Tokyo and it is something that we have to address. Fortunately, given to us as well, the PS and I to manage is urban renewal and urban development so therefore we can marry both those subjects and sometimes I think that the Prime Minister is quite a genius in putting these Ministries together. Because when he came up with Housing, Lands and Surveys, Physical Planning and Informal Human Settlements, all of the same family, you know, Chief Surveyors very central figure in all of that and we come back and we have Urban Renewal now and the Ministry of Transport.So when I was there for the first five there was a traffic study done. We are not going to do over a traffic study, Mr. Speaker, but I am saying, giving the commitment to the people of this country and to the Members, Mr. Speaker, of this Honourable House that my Ministry would address the matter of transport which would include traffic control and see if we can help to alleviate some of the problems [interjection] traffic light is a waste of time that is why I dismantled them. Let me tell you why, the intersections were too short. You were sitting in an intersection on watch the traffic light changing in front of you and you could not move. Between Methodist Church and Kentucky, between OT Finishing and Furnishing and Kentucky you had three sets of lights and it was just impossible to come out of a side road with traffic lights. When you get to Sion Hill on mornings coming into to town, once you are coming out of Cane Garden on the Sion Hill side, you were stuck there, because the traffic is backed up inside of the traffic lights. Too small, the distances not far enough for the traffic lights, I will not encourage and advise the Honourable Prime Minister to invest money in traffic lights. That is for big countries. Not everything you see in big country we need. We do not need it, we need different solutions. Time, Mr. Speaker?HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: You have 3 minutes remaining.HONOURABLE JULIAN FRANCIS: Mr. Speaker, Local Government, I want to say that we will continue to do the work on trying to clean up Kingstown including Little Tokyo. I went through that in the Estimates and told you how much money is in there, so in the Ministry we are linking Local Government, Traffic and Urban Development together and we are setting up a unit, because we have a surplus of trained persons inside there and I think we may need a traffic specialist, but I will discuss with the Minister of the Finance at a later stage.Mr. Speaker, I believe that even though our budget is reduced this year that we will be able to deliver on the promise that we will..., all of these that we speak of and I believe that the funds will be made available. It is a smaller figure to manage, it looked like that last year because the sums were high and last year was an exceedingly tough year.I want to take this opportunity to congratulate the former Minister of Transport and Works then and the Minister of Housing who is now Minister of Tourism, both of them for the excellent work that they have done. Minister94who is now Minister of Housing was Minister of Transport and works for the five years that I was not there and Minister who is now Minister of Tourism was Minister of Housing for the year that I was not at Ministry of Housing and he was my Parliamentary Secretary [interjection] oh, okay and I want to congratulate you both on the work that you have done and with your assistance we will try and get this work done.Mr. Speaker, I do not have a constituency, but you still have to give me three minutes for greetings because my constituency, Mr. Speaker, as I elaborated in the beginning I know why I am here and my constituency is the largest constituency that of St. Vincent and the Grenadines [applause]. As General Secretary of the Unity Labour Party I have the most constituents so I want to send greetings to all of them and to thank them for their loyalty and support to the Unity Labour Party.Mr. Speaker, in the election campaign the Honourable Prime Minister, our political leader made a very serious error and that was to ask the people of this country to own the campaign [laughter]. Mr. Speaker, I told him that the first day because everybody took charge of the campaign to make sure that their party was re-elected to Government [applause]. It was the most pressure I have ever been under. Before that I could have managed the campaign alone, but this time I had to manage with 32,098 all of them, Mr. Speaker, 25 songs from about 50 artistes [applause]. Every single constituency and alley and village wanted their own truck with music on it and I heard two of the radio host the night after the election with their first meeting Matthew Thomas and Junior Bacchus saying, well if is one thing I could say about the campaign boy, they had some jumpy slogan and music and I am putting it to Members here, that is what won the election for us [applause].Mr. Speaker, they brought SCL down to manage their campaign and this is what they produced, this is what they produced and the billboards that they put up..., Mr. Speaker, in no way in the campaign was there a poster that promoted the leader of the NDP for Prime Minister. All their posters said, East Kingstown, enough no more, there was no group picture that is why they cannot work as a team, there is no group picture of the New Democratic Candidates anywhere in the election. The people never took them seriously as a team, they took them individually, so the Honourable Parliamentary Representative for Central Kingstown and West Kingstown and North Leeward and South Leeward for different reasons they were taken on board, but they never accepted them as a team that is why they could not win the elections and that is why we bid whip the SLC when they came down here [applause] and Mr. Speaker, I want to say in my greetings to the people who put me in this Parliament, Mr. Speaker, the supporters of the Unity Labour Party, the NDP has gone pass their best. If they did not make it in 2010 they will never make it again and come 2015 I will be there to carry the campaign for them. Thank you, Mr. Speaker [applause].DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: Mr. Speaker, we are at that point where I think Members need a break. If you may permit me, Mr. Speaker, over the last three days a legal fraternity has been in touch with me by notes, letter, personal visits, and telephone calls on the issue of the exemptions and before I go to the break if you may permit me, Mr. Speaker, the stamp-duty exemption on the Deed of Gifts, and they have said to me that they are prepared to cooperate fully and they have all told me and I had a view of the four or five lawyers whom they claimed are the major culprits in abusing the system and they also conceded that the abuse takes place largely between brothers and brothers, brothers and sisters and sisters and sisters. Apparently there have been some inventions of brothers where they do not exist and sisters where they do not exist. So through further discussions with them, when I wind up I would provide the details, Mr. Speaker, to indicate that95we will keep the exemptions as they exist for spouses and parents to children, between spouses and parents to children [applause] but that the Registrar of the High Court will certify that the two persons are married and that the children are the children of the parents. The Registrar or persons named by the Registrar, not the lawyers certifying it.We will put a limitation on the availability of the exemption in respect to particular parcels of land for once for every three years. So if a father gives to a son that son cannot now give to his own son until the expiration of three years because there are so many abuses which takes place and that they have agreed that I should take a stand on those persons who have been delinquent who have abused the system. In fact have broken the law to give them a three month period to..., even though the deeds have been registered already, the Deeds of Gift, to take them and go to the Land Valuation Office and say, value this for us and let us go and pay the stamp-duty where it should have been paid. That is to say, where there have been inventions of family relations and after that three months we would make sure that the law will take its course in relation to those who have been delinquent, I have raised this sometime ago. It is just unfair how some people have abused the system and some lawyers have asked about whether we can provide a moratorium for existing arrangements, like for instance genuine cases of brothers to brothers and brothers to sisters.I have to think more about that, because that has been the category where we have had the real problems I do not know whether I should provide the moratorium there for a two month period for the existing transactions, because once I close this gap I can say to the people, I am not interested in really just taking money from cases where persons have genuine problems, but the abuse is just terrible and Mr. Speaker, the lawyers have been the ones who have been doing this and if I may say this, Mr. Speaker, the danger, sometimes two brothers will go to a lawyer and there are cases of this, a brother goes to the lawyer say they are buying a piece of land from their other brother and Mr. Speaker, the lawyer would say to them, but why buy it from your brother when you can do a Deed of Gift? But if it is a purchase, it should be a purchase and the person who is buying does not understand that they may be saving 5 percent, but they leave themselves open to a problem. Because when you get a Deed of Gift in the deed which you get there is not a covenant as to title, whereas on a purchase there is a covenant as to title. So if you get a Deed of Gift when in fact it is a purchase from brother and your brother does not have good title, even though you pay your money, you cannot go back to him for anything, because it would have shown as a Deed of Gift. There will be nothing there, so there are things, but the lawyers make the money. I mean I do not want to go on..., I am a lawyer and I really do not want to be too critical of lawyers, but Mr. Speaker, tomorrow I will indicate..., I mean people would not believe that of the 62 lawyers in private practice in 2009 only 19 of them paid any taxes at all, 19 in 2009 and 43 paid none and the average monthly taxes they paid a month is $346.62 less than my Secretary.So I mean the thing is..., number 19 paid $100.00 for the whole year, number 18 paid $588.00 I do not have the names, I just asked to give me the numbers because I do not want individuals. So I mean..., so I want people to appreciate that when I act on these things is out of sheer..., I mean it is overbearing, really overbearing and we have to do something about these things. But in so far as the exemptions go they have agreed that we will work together, let us see..., it will be fairly easy for spouses to show that they are married to each other if the Registrar certifies and parents to children and the Registrar certifies. So I think that will..., and we cut out the issue of the real, real problem with siblings to siblings. So I will say that before we go to the break Mr. Speaker.96I beg to move that this Honourable House do suspended until half past seven for Members convenience. HONOURABLE GIRLYN MIGUEL: Mr. Speaker, I beg to second the motion.Question put and agreed to. House suspended at 7:00 p.m. (break) House Resumed at 7:45 p.m.DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: Mr. Speaker, the Honourable Deputy Prime Minister has indicated to me that she would have a preference to make her presentation in the morning and her shadow on Education, the Honourable Member for the Southern Grenadines, he will very much like also. He has a slight headache and we will like to see him go home and sap his head [laughter] so in those circumstances, Mr. Speaker, and the Honourable Deputy Prime Minister will be the last Honourable Member who will be addressing the House before the wind up for the debate takes place tomorrow by me and in the circumstances we have done quite well.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Yes, very.DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: During these last four days and I do not see any reason why we should not accommodate both the Honourable Deputy Prime Minister and the Honourable Member for the Southern Grenadines. I hope he is here tomorrow so that he can hear the contribution of the Honourable Deputy Prime Minister.Accordingly, Mr. Speaker, I beg to move that this Honourable House do stand suspended until 9:00 a.m. tomorrow.Question put and agreed to. House suspended at 7:48 p.m. until Friday 28th January 2011 at 9:00 a.m.97