Thur. 28th Jan., 2010

No. 1 Fifth Session Eighth ParliamentThursday 28th January, 2010Prayers Motion Honourable Honourable Honourable Honourable Honourable Honourable Honourable SuspensionSAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES THE PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES (HANSARD) ADVANCE COPY OFFICIAL REPORT CONTENTS Thursday 28th January 2010Glen Beache Julian Francis Michael Browne Terrance Ollivierre St. Claire Leacock Michelle Fife Conrad Sayers1FIFTH SITTING28th JANUARY 2010THE PARLIAMENTARY DEBATESOFFICIAL REPORTPROCEEDINGS AND DEBATES OF THE FIRST MEETING, FIFTH SESSION OF THE EIGHTH PARLIAMENT OF SAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES CONSTITUTED AS SET OUT IN SCHEDULE 2 TO THE SAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES ORDER, 1979.HOUSE OF ASSEMBLYThe Honourable House of Assembly met at 9:15 a.m. in the Assembly Chamber, Court House, Kingstown.Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, Economic Planning, National Security, Grenadines and Legal Affairs Dr. the Honourable Ralph GonsalvesAttorney General Honourable Judith Jones-MorganDeputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Commerce and Trade Honourable Louis StrakerMinister of National Mobilisation, Social Development, Gender Affairs, Non-Governmental Organisations, Local Government, Persons with Disabilities, Youths and SportsHonourable Michael BrowneMinister of Education Honourable Girlyn MiguelMember for Central WindwardMember for Central LeewardMember for West St. George Member for MarriaquaPRAYERS MR. SPEAKER IN THE CHAIRHonourable Hendrick AlexanderPresent MEMBERS OF CABINET2Minister of Rural Transformation, Information, Postal Service and Ecclesiastical AffairsHonourable Selmon WaltersMinister of Health and the Environment Dr. Douglas SlaterMinister of Urban Development, Culture, Labour and Electoral Matters Rene BaptisteMinister of Transport and Works Honourable Clayton BurginMinister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Honourable Montgomery DanielMinister of Telecommunications, Science Technology and Industry Honourable Dr. Jerrol ThompsonMinister of Tourism Honourable Glen BeacheHonourable Conrad SayersMinister of Housing, Informal Human Settlements, Physical Planning Lands and Surveys Honourable Saboto CaesarHonourable Julian Francis Honourable Rochelle FordeParliamentary Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office Honourable Michelle FifeHonourable Arnhim Eustace Dr. the Honourable Godwin FridayMember for South Central WindwardMember for South LeewardMember for West Kingstown Member for East St. GeorgeMember for North WindwardMember for North Leeward Member for South Windward Member for Central KingstownGovernment SenatorGovernment Senator Government Senator/Deputy SpeakerGovernment SenatorOTHER MEMBERS OF THE HOUSELeader of the Opposition Member for East KingstownMember for Northern Grenadines3Terrance Ollivierre Honourable Major St. Claire Leacock Honourable Daniel CummingsMember for Southern Grenadines Opposition Senator Opposition Senator4SAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINESHOUSE OF ASSEMBLY THURSDAY 28TH JANUARY, 2010PRAYERSThe Honourable Speaker, Hendrick Alexander read the Prayers of the House.MOTION HONOURABLE SIR LOUIS STRAKER: Mr. Speaker, I beg to move that under Standing Order 12(5) thattoday’s proceedings be exempted from the hours of Sitting.Question put and agreed to.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: And Honourable Member let me remind you that our charge..., I would suggest that I should read the charge again. I therefore have pleasure in doing so. It is taken from the book of Philippians Chapter 4:8 and it is, “brethren whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue and if there be any praise, think on these things.” That was Apostle Paul’s last charge to the Philippians in his Epistle to the Philippians and therefore, I believe that this should guide us throughout our debate during the course of the day and the rest of this week. Let me recognise all those who are visiting with us this morning as we continue the debate in this budgetary exercise debate, Honourable Minister of Tourism.HONOURABLE GLEN BEACHE: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, this might be or it might not be, depending on the Honourable Prime Minister, my last Budget debate depends when the bell is rung and I have participated in quite a few not as many as some of my colleagues on this side and on the other side, but quite a few and as we go through this exercise, Mr. Speaker, and we listened to the Prime Minister’s presentation on the Budget and we listened to the Honourable Leader of the Opposition’s reply and we listened to each other, I am always amazed by some of the things that I hear.I listened to the Honourable Prime Minister, Mr. Speaker, and one has to wonder, sorry not the Honourable Prime Minister, the Honourable Leader of the Opposition and one has to wonder if the Opposition is living on this planet. I listened to the debate from that side and you can tell they do not sing from the same hymn sheet. You get one idea from one member, another from the other, one you are spending too much at a time like this, another one gets up and said Mr. Speaker, that we need to spend more money here, more money there. And what amazes me about this debate, Mr. Speaker, is simply this, we are dealing with an Opposition that was inpage5image226565Government for 17 years, I think they built one school in 17 years, compared to how many have we built so far? How many have we built so far? One new school in 17 years, but what amazes me even more, Mr. Speaker, is that in all the debate from the Opposition, not once, not one time do I hear a new idea of how they will deal with things. Not once do I hear that. I hear the why you do not do this, you are spending too much money, but you need to spend more money here, but never do I hear one idea.I hear the things about victimization and I am sorry you know, Mr. Speaker, because you know the Honourable Leader of the Opposition, every time I speak he is never in this Parliament, never is he in this Parliament when I speak and I would like him to be here, because I do not want him to listen to it on the radio, [interjection] because I was waiting on you, I was waiting on you, because you see, Mr. Speaker, the Honourable Member for the Northern Grenadines has a habit of waiting on me to speak and then he gets up and then he says some rubbish, sorry, pardon the language, Mr. Speaker, then he says some things that really makes no sense, because he knows I cannot get up and speak of..., [interjection] well I am scared of you, I am scared of you Honourable Mr. Friday, so now that I am scared of you I am dealing with you head on and I am facing my fears. Fair enough? I am facing my fears [laughter] [applause] facing my fears head on.Mr. Speaker, I hear about victimization you know and a number of times I have tried to speak about victimization in this Honourable House and tears have come to my eyes and I have to stop, because Mr. Speaker, I say this, nobody probably with the exception of the Honourable Prime Minister in this Honourable House, oh sorry, and my God brother here sitting to the immediate left of me, has been in politics longer than I have. I have been in it before I was born, I have been it before Sir Vincent knew I was coming and I have been labour through and through and through, born and bred and will remain forevermore. So it amazes me, Mr. Speaker, when I hear the Opposition talk about victimization. This is an Opposition after the 1984 elections, Mr. Speaker, I remember I was 14 years old, they sent two policemen to our house, they took away my father’s passport, they took away his firearm, they cut water, electricity and phone, and this is the same Opposition that is speaking about victimization you know. The same Opposition that is speaking about victimization, Mr. Speaker, but that is not the worst of it, you see I wanted the Honourable Leader of the Opposition to be here this morning you know, because in that same 1984 elections the day after elections, this is the same person that called the Comptroller of Customs at that time and told him not to report to work. He said, there is no job for you at Customs, do not report to work. You know, we will make you Post Master General or something, but do not you dare report to Customs, there is no job for you there.The same Honourable Leader of the Opposition. But Mr. Speaker, not only from the Honourable Leader of the Opposition, I come to the Honourable Senator Leacock, before the 2001 elections, either before the 2001 or the 1998 elections, Mr. Speaker, this is the same person who said, when we win back that those of you who have voted for labour, we will deal with you.HONOURABLE ST. CAIRE LEACOCK: Mr. Speaker, the Honourable Member is speaking a terrible untruth, I have never, ever in my life made such statement publicly and or privately. Never ever made such statement in my life publicly and or privately and you have asked us this morning to be honest in this debate. Let us lift our debate and be truthful and debate to stop the character of deification. Please Mr. Speaker.6HONOURABLE GLEN BEACHE: Mr. Speaker, you know what I apologise, because what he says is that only NDP people should get work under an NDP Government.HONOURABLE ST. CAIRE LEACOCK: Mr. Speaker, I also never, ever said that, never, ever said only NDP people should get work. I have never said that in my life.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Honourable Member, let us move on..., HONOURABLE ST. CAIRE LEACOCK: Mr. Speaker, you cannot let it be degenerated like that. HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Honourable Member, let us move on, it seems to me that..., HONOURABLE GLEN BEACHE: I am not apologising, because...,HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: All right, let us just move on. I know there were statements that were assigned to the Senator in relation to an address he made at Sion Hill, I remember that, but let us just move on please.HONOURABLE GLEN BEACHE: All right, Mr. Speaker, I move on from that you see, but I listened to the debate yesterday also from the Honourable Member for Northern Grenadines, Mr. Speaker and you know.DR. THE HONOURABLE GODWIN FRIDAY: Mr. Speaker, the rules require that if the Honourable Senator Leacock rose on a Point of Order, he said the remark that was made by the Honourable Minister of Tourism was incorrect and you need to make a ruling on it and he repeated it the second time, he still did the same thing.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: The Honourable Member made an apology and I asked that we move on with the debate and still stand on that. Let us move on with the debate.HONOURABLE GLEN BEACHE: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. As I was saying, Mr. Speaker, I listened to the Member for the Northern Grenadines yesterday and you know I have never seen the Opposition so confident since I have been here.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Listen to me, I have made a ruling if you want to protest my ruling there is a particular way you can do it according to order, I am saying if you want to protest my ruling there is a particular way you can do it according to order. I am saying, I asked that this matter be discontinued. The Honourable gentleman decided that he will discontinue his line, the Senator denied making statement, I accepted that, I do not have to say I rule that this is that and this is the other. I accepted that, you cannot tell me how I as Speaker must run this and if I hear you continue as you often do defying my ruling, I will deal with it according to thing, if you have to work against any ruling that I made, there is a principle in the Standing Orders and you do that. You see the thing about it, is that sometimes when the boots is on one foot it is all right, when it is on the other foot it is something else, because there are many things that go on in here that I have not made7a ruling on, on which I should have ruled and you have to understand this. Let us continue with the debate please.HONOURABLE GLEN BEACHE: Much obliged, Mr. Speaker.HONOURABLE ST. CAIRE LEACOCK: Mr. Speaker, I am compelled to rise again out of respect for the office and as I have said to you, Mr. Speaker, in recognition of your rule in taking control of this House. On my way here, Mr. Speaker, I heard you repeat a prayer, I had not heard it yesterday, but I hear it for myself this morning one in which I identified, I thought, Mr. Speaker, you would have gone on to reiterate what you said yesterday about being heard in the silence and making disparagement and so on and so forth and I have been as I have said to you privately, Mr. Speaker, going overboard to be of good manners in this House, to be in accord with the rules of the House. We as politicians in St. Vincent and the Grenadines are exposed on a daily basis to all sorts of sad comments by the public, much of it we cannot live with as politicians, both sides of the House, there is therefore no good reason why we as Honourable men should contribute further to that by being disparaging of each other. Let us make no bones about it, it hurts and it hurts terribly at times when things are said about us that we know to be untruthful. I have never, ever in my life made any statements towards only NDP people or if NDP gets into office I will victimize anybody at all, I am not that stupid, never, ever. You said you have heard statements made at public forums.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Honourable Member, listen to me...,HONOURABLE ST. CAIRE LEACOCK: You said you have heard statements. I have made statements in that regard and if you want me to repeat what I have said, I can say that, because I can live with that, because I am a business person in this country for over 30 years, have in my employ now people of both sides of the fence and I think Honourable Mike Browne knows that too and some of them are extremely good people who would never vote for me, they would never vote for my party, but they perform creditably and that is all the basis on which I judge my workers. I do not discriminate against people comments and I have no problems, Mr. Speaker, if you want me to repeat that that a political party that gets into office places some priority of supporting those people who have got them into office, I find that is fair game. I find that is fair game.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Thank you very much..., HONOURABLE ST. CAIRE LEACOCK: And therefore do not ascribe unto me statements that I did notsay. I have never said that NDP should hire their own NDP or ULP should hire ULP. HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: I heard that...,HONOURABLE ST. CAIRE LEACOCK: And he said it a second time, Mr. Speaker, but you rule on the first statement.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: I heard that and I asked him to discontinue any such discussion. 8HONOURABLE ST. CAIRE LEACOCK: But he did not withdraw the remark Mr. Speaker, he should have withdrawn the remark as being untruthful, not discontinue, withdraw it, because it is an untruth.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Well you see the thing about it Senator Leacock...,HONOURABLE ST. CAIRE LEACOCK: It is an untruth.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Senator Leacock, the thing about it, he may have proof of what he is saying and I may ask him to prove what he is saying in the mean while, what do I do, wait until he comes up with proof to continue the debate? So I said, look, since we are in doubt about the issue, let us forget..., let us just leave it and move on with the substantial part about the debate. That is all I am saying.HONOURABLE ST. CAIRE LEACOCK: But Mr. Speaker, I am in support of you, you know, we have to resolve this...,HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: That is all I am saying.HONOURABLE ST. CAIRE LEACOCK: I am begging for your indulgence, Mr. Speaker. We have to be consistent, each time you have been faced with that situation, Mr. Speaker, you asked the Honourable Member to produce the evidence or the proof.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: No, that is not true. HONOURABLE ST. CAIRE LEACOCK: That is not true, Mr. Speaker, I give way to you Mr. Speaker. HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: No, that is not true, that is not true at all. HONOURABLE ST. CAIRE LEACOCK: Well then I give way to you Mr. Speaker.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: That is not true at all. Yes, because I made a statement in my opening remarks on Tuesday when I was dealing with the issue and Senator Leacock and I, nobody has to know what transpired between Senator Leacock and I and I would not say what transpired, but out of that I decide that when people make statements I would ask them to prove that statement and that was a decision that I made..., a statement I made on Tuesday asking Members to try not to make any statement that they cannot prove, but it is not something that was always established. It is not so at all, it is not so and let me caution Honourable Members, because we are running against time on this debate. Yesterday, we saw a Member who should have had 45 minutes debating, utilised 1 hour 4 minutes in time because of cross-talk, interruptions, some of course which are relevant and such like and I believe that there are other issues, there are other business that many of us want to get on with and want to complete this debate in the House, that is why I am asking Members, let us make statements that we are sure we can verify. We can say, yes this is the proof that is the proof. Yesterday for some reason the Minister of Health was adamant on an issue and I asked the Honourable Senator Cummings to prove it, he said he had the proof, he did, the Minister came back in the afternoon, I allowed him about a9minute or so to apologise for that stance he took earlier which he did, I believe which is accepted by Senator Cummings and I am still asking Members please, to say things that we know are true, things that you know are honest and things that you know are of good report. Very often sometimes, we say things maybe in the heat of our moment, we do not often recollect and when we hear them back, we deny them. Sometimes this happens to many of us, but let us be very honest with the things we say. Let us get on with the debate, there is so much substance in this issue that we can deal with, let us get on with the debate and as to the cross-talk, I think sometimes it gets too annoying. There are people who actually text me and say that the cross-talk is affecting the quality of the broadcast. So therefore, let us minimize them. We do not have to talk on every issue and today is a very short day. If the Member say something and you have to object to it, there are provisions in the rule, you either can ask to explain it if the Member wants to give way, or you rule on a point of order. Let us move in this direction and let us get on with the debate.HONOURABLE GLEN BEACHE: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, I agree with you, I think we can go a lot faster if the Opposition just takes everything I say as factual, we can move a lot faster [laughter].Mr. Speaker, since we deal with that, let me go to a first-hand experience of victimization personally. Mr. Speaker at point in [interjection] I withdraw that, Mr. Speaker, not everything I say is factual. Let me go to a personal experience of victimization. Mr. Speaker, in 1997/1988 or 1989 I do not know how many people would remember that time and so on, I was still in Grammar School at that point, Mr. Speaker, I was the faster sprinter in St. Vincent and the Grenadines [interjection] no. fastest period not at my age, period. Mr. Speaker, I cannot remember what games they were but a team was sent in..., was picked and was sent in for approval to the Ministry of Sports, but Mr. Speaker, fastest sprinter in the country at that time and it comes out it one change, one removal from the whole list and that is my name and up to this day cannot give a reason for it that is personal experience that is not me listening anywhere, Mr. Speaker that is what happened to me because I was Sir Vincent’s son [interjection] exactly and because of all of that Mr. Speaker, I did not get an athletic scholarship. So let me hear from the Opposition about victimization, because I have felt it personally and that is how the NDP administration used to operate this country, Mr. Speaker. No regard for anybody, laugh in your face.I will give you another personal experience. I used to have to catch a van every morning to school from Argyle, Mr. Speaker, no problem with that many of us caught vans to school. At that point the then Minister Cruickshank when they used to be abusing Government vehicles up and down St. Vincent and the Grenadines, I remember, his children used to past me on the side and actually stick their heads out and laugh and you see the amazing thing is you know, Mr. Speaker, one of those said children is now an engineer at the Ministry of Transport and Works of which I was the Junior Minister in the first term of this administration, but Mr. Speaker, I was raised better than that, I did nothing, used to stick out their heads and laugh, Mr. Speaker, I got no problem with that. I might be mauger, but I got broad shoulders and I took it ..., and I thank God, Mr. Speaker, I had great parents, I have great parents. But Mr. Speaker, I know of the victimization. But you see, as I was saying before I was interrupted, Mr. Speaker, I listened to the Member for the Northern Grenadines yesterday and he is confident, they are confident, I have never seen them so confident in this Honourable House. Usually, by the time we start speaking, they usually back down in a corner Mr. Speaker, but I think they seem to have gotten some confidence from the Referendum. You know I heard them speak about only in a short time coming10that you know whenever the Prime Minister decides to call elections, well they will be in Government right after that.Mr. Speaker, you know I used to once say I would like somebody to tell me what was accomplished from 1984 into 2001, what significant project could that administration have bragged about, because I was totally shocked yesterday when Ottley Hall was brought up by the Opposition. Because from a political stand point, if my administration was responsible for that failure and that embarrassment to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, I would stay away from it as much as possible. So I was shocked when it was raised yesterday, because how could you explain what is it? A thousand US was on the list for coffee maker? I think something like US$8000 for a regular computer; all those sorts of things and you are bringing up Ottley Hall in this Honourable House, where if it was not for this Government we would still be hanging with that debt. Ottley Hall is..., I mean is the Opposition really serious about business that you were still trying to defend it and tell me that well, you know, Sir James Mitchell made it clear that this project would pay off in the end. If this project pays off in the end, Mr. Speaker, it is because of the work that the Prime Minister and this administration have done to clear the debt [applause] not because of anything they have done. A project that is worth what $7 million that we paid US$160 million for and we are still speaking about this? You see, but I know you know, Mr. Speaker, they do not want that investigation to continue, they are hoping that we forget about it. I have heard some of their supporters say; well you all are spending so much money on this investigation. The money we have spent on this investigation, Mr. Speaker, is nothing compared to what Vincentians have lost because of the NDP administration during that time, nothing at all.Mr. Speaker, I listened to them, I heard them speak about tourism and the direction tourism should go in and how important tourism is to the development of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. I do not think there is anybody in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Mr. Speaker, who will not tell you how important tourism is to the development of this country. As I tell my staff and I say many times, this is what is paying the bills, Mr. Speaker. But I always laugh at the Opposition when it comes to tourism because the same issue that the Honourable Member for the Northern Grenadines spend 25 minutes of his debate on yesterday, the same issue, Mr. Speaker, when they were protesting that outside the cruise ship terminal when a cruise ship was in and we had passengers turned back because they felt that the Opposition was protesting visitors coming to St. Vincent and the Grenadines. As much as my staff and the taxi drivers tried to correct that and some of them came back out, what made it even worse, was a Member of the Opposition being on a (what you call it a mega phone?) mega phone, Mr. Speaker, because I remember it was a Royal Caribbean Ship and there were quite a few Vincentians working on that ship and we had just gotten Royal Caribbean back to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, but a Member of the Opposition getting on the mega phone and saying basically, look at you all, you all are just servants for the people on there. I remember that, Mr. Speaker [interjection] yes, Mr. Lynch said it on the mega phone and not one of you corrected him and I brought it up here when it was done in this Honourable Parliament, I brought it up here, not one of them corrected Lynch and you want to tell me about the importance of tourism to you all, when you had no regard for how that was affecting our tourism product. I brought it up here, they say, let us get over this shock face thing, because we know it took place and then we speak about the importance of tourism and how much we want to do with and so on. I agree with the Honourable Member for the Northern Grenadines, Mr. Speaker, I agree with the walkway in Bequia that it11needs to be done and it is something that we will be looking at. But then Mr. Speaker, I also agree that this is one country. It is St. Vincent and the Grenadines.You know I remember with the good morning America programme the other day, Mr. Speaker, we got some complaints that it was only the Grenadines that were showing on that programme. Mind you, the usual thing with a lot of our media people, they do not ask questions otherwise, they would have known that there was another programme to come soon on St. Vincent. But Mr. Speaker, it does not matter if that programme was on the Grenadines, even though they say at the beginning, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, because it benefits us all. Once we get visitors into St. Vincent and the Grenadines, it does not matter if St. Vincent, Bequia, Mayreau it benefits us all.Mr. Speaker, I also listen as..., you know and I cannot understand why in this lifetime, the Opposition is so much against this international airport. Here is a project that would benefit us greatly, not only for tourism, but for business, for agriculture, it is a project that is multifaceted but yet Mr. Speaker, they are against it. A project that would, I mean I hear about the numbers and I am coming to the numbers, the wrong figures that the Leader of the Opposition give in his debate, Mr. Speaker, I will deal with that a bit later Mr. Speaker, but here is a project that will benefit St. Vincent and the Grenadines in so many ways, not only for tourism, but employment, Mr. Speaker, lots and lots of employment and I want to give Vincentians an idea, Mr. Speaker, of exactly what I am talking about and these are just a few things. Job creation from the operation of the New Argyle International Airport, Mr. Speaker, we will be looking at fuel time co-operators, ICT personnel, electric and electronic personnel, airport police, security personnel, administration, fire department personnel, maintenance of terminal buildings, maintenance of runway and parameter fences etc., cargo shed personnel, that is just to name a few, Mr. Speaker, that is job creation you know when the airport is finished.Then, Mr. Speaker, there are jobs that we already have at the ET Joshua, but because of the magnitude of the Argyle International Airport, you will need to increase personnel. The MET Officers, air traffic controllers, passenger screening officers, immigration officers, taxi drivers, automobile drivers, cleaners, banking personnel, tourism personnel, agricultural personnel, veterinarian personnel and I am not even covering the range of job creation that would take place once the Argyle International Airport is completed. But you know what I have not heard them say is that when the NDP gets into office in 2030, anywhere down there, are you going to close down the airport, since you are so much against it, or are we going to hear from the NDP again that once again they have the money in their pocket, or they are checking their pocket to do something else? You know and if the Opposition is so great with ideas, I mean, I remember last election reading their document, the manifesto, [interjection] or the economic plan, thank you very much, the economic plan. Mr. Speaker, I wouldn’t think that there was an economic leader in that party. No fresh ideas at all.So Mr. Speaker, I go to tourism and I go to some of the things that have been said, some of the untruths that have been said and maybe I should not call them untruths, Mr. Speaker, because I believe the Honourable Leader of the Opposition really got those figures from I cannot remember if he said the CDB or ECCB, but the figures were very wrong, very, very wrong. But Mr. Speaker, I wonder when I listen to them if they understand that there is a financial crisis internationally, but that if they were in office by some miracle, if they would know how to deal with it.12Mr. Speaker, at a time like this, one does not hide their face you know. We have to make sure that St. Vincent and the Grenadines is ready to take advantage of anything when the world comes out of this financial crisis. You do not wait until you come out of it then start to prepare to take advantage of it. We have to be prepared now. So I mean there is still two Members of the Opposition to speak, I am wondering if any of them, Mr. Speaker, would be able to say what they would have done if they were on this side. How would you have dealt with it, what would you have given us, an annual Budget for what $100 million? What would you have done, fired some civil servants and tell them well because of this you know, we have to lay you off? Would you stop the cleaning programmes, what exactly would they have done? And I am hoping one of the two Members that are left to speak will have the guts, Mr. Speaker, to say what it is they would have done, I hope they have the guts to say it.Mr. Speaker, we know what is taking place worldwide right now, we know, but I believe the Honourable Leader of the Opposition using the 2008 figures with strategy to get as much political mileage as possible, because Mr. Speaker, we have much of the 2009 figures. But I am going to go the 2008 figures, because as I have said before, a lot of what was said was not true. Mr. Speaker, I want the camera man to zoom in to something I am going to show here, because it is very important. Mr. Speaker, in my hand I have two charts, one is the chart the visitor arrivals to SVG from 2000 to 2008 that is the top chart and the chart below it is the chart of the Dow Jones Industrials 2000 to 2009, this is it, Mr. Speaker.And Mr. Speaker, when you look at it, you can see that both of them are very similar. As the Dow Jones goes up our figures go up, as they go down our figures go down, Mr. Speaker that is a rocket science, it is common sense, when people have jobs and they have money, of course they are going to travel, when they do not have money they are going to hold back, common sense, Mr. Speaker, but it is funny that the..., yet they are against the international airport. But Mr. Speaker, let us face it, St. Vincent and the Grenadines presently as we speak were at a disadvantage, not only because of where we lie in the Caribbean that was so far down South and our main markets are like North America and England and so on, but also, Mr. Speaker, because we do not have an international airport. We cannot get direct flights into St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Mr. Speaker, you look at Buccama, you look at a lot of the investments that is taking place in the Grenadines, Mr. Speaker and they will tell you that one of the reasons they are putting money into St. Vincent and the Grenadines now is because the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines is building an international airport [applause] they say so all the time.But I can tell Vincentians one thing you know, if by some miracle NDP was to win elections next year, they would stop the airport and they could not be able to get the money, because...,DR. THE HONOURABLE GODWIN FRIDAY: Mr. Speaker, the point of order is that the Honourable Member is misrepresenting the position of the New Democratic Party which has been stated publicly by the Leader of the Opposition and in this Honourable House with respect to the International Airport that the Government is constructing. And what has been said, the position of the New Democratic Party is that the New Democratic Party would have to assess the project when we get into office. I mean that is just common sense [laughter] I do not know what is so funny and that, Mr. Speaker, is nobody in the New Democratic Party, the leadership of the New Democratic Party or any organs of the New Democratic Party has said that they would13stop the International Airport. Be accurate, do not put up a straw man to try and knock it down. The New Democratic Party conducted the study that the new administration continued. If the New Democratic Party was not interested in the airport development, they would not have done it, this was done, thank you. So the Honourable Member should not mislead this House and the persons who are listening outside. [Interjection]HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Honourable Members, would you please allow the Member to make his point of order?DR. THE HONOURABLE GODWIN FRIDAY: That is right, I am finished, Mr. Speaker. Nice tie by the way.HONOURABLE GLEN BEACHE: Yes, it is gold; you might be a bit colour blind, not yellow. HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Honourable Member, the Honourable Member denies that they have madestatements in relation to them stopping the International Airport.HONOURABLE GLEN BEACHE: Okay, I apologise, Mr. Speaker, they will not stop the International Airport, they will look at the Canouan option, they will look at extending the ET Joshua Airport, those are the options they...,HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Well he said they will assess the situation. Let us accept that and move on with that.HONOURABLE GLEN BEACHE: Yes, Mr. Speaker, I have heard them..., Mr. Speaker about those two options though, but I apologies, they all will not stop it, they just would not be able to get the money to complete it, Mr. Speaker. But Mr. Speaker, so no fresh idea against the International Airport, yet tourism is so important to the Opposition, Mr. Speaker. This is the same Opposition you know, I think tourism overtook agriculture and I could be corrected by a few years, Mr. Speaker, I could be off by a few years, somewhere around 1992 or 1993 as the chief foreign exchange earner in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. I could be wrong by one or two years, Mr. Speaker. So we knew the importance of tourism since then.You are telling me, Mr. Speaker, that up to 2001 when ULP took office, the Budget for tourism was $1.2 million, $1.2 million Mr. Speaker? As a matter of fact tourism was so important to the then Government, it was in its own Ministry, they were side barring the Ministry of Foreign Affairs where was not even enough desk or chairs for members of staff to sit that is how important and how they have embraced tourism so much that up to 2001 when we took office, the marketing Budget was $1.2 million and they tell you how important it was even so Mr. Speaker, the same Government with a Budget of $1.2 million went and spent US$80,000 on a full page ad, I think it was in the Washington Post, a full page ad that they claim to be a tourism ad with a picture of Sir James Mitchell and that was the ad, that was the tourism ad, a picture of Sir James Mitchell.Mr. Speaker, I would like to look at myself and think I am fairly good looking, but even if they put an ad of me, I am sure I am not attracting anybody to St. Vincent and the Grenadines. That is their tourism you know, a full14page ad of Sir James Mitchell in the Washington Post. Mr. Speaker, you just do not feel the love for tourism from the Opposition. It warms my heart.Mr. Speaker, the Honourable Leader of the Opposition made some points. He spoke about the 2008, comparing the 2008 figures to the 2007 figures, Mr. Speaker. He went through it; he spoke about how the rest of the Caribbean was doing so well that even the Canadian market that the Canadian market was down in St. Vincent where the only Caribbean country where the Canadian market was down in figures in the Caribbean Mr. Speaker.Mr. Speaker that is not the case, Mr. Speaker, in 2008 the Canadian figures were up 2.2% from 2007. I have said in many Press Conferences, Mr. Speaker, that the Canadian market is very important, because out of all the developed countries, Mr. Speaker, they seemed to be withstanding the economic crisis the most and the figures and stats coming out of Canada show that Canadians are continuing to travel. But only that Mr. Speaker, the Honourable Leader of the Opposition also went on to say that our yachting figures for 2008 were down compared to 2007.Mr. Speaker, every single year I debated in this Honourable House, I have to correct the Leader of the Opposition on his figures, every single year. Mr. Speaker, our yachting figures for 2008 were up by 2.4%, so when the Opposition speaks and tells me about being truthful, the need to look at the man in the mirror, Mr. Speaker. I know Michael Jackson is dead, but listen to the song. Those are the figures, Mr. Speaker. Then we have to be realistic on how we are looking at things. He spoke about the cruise ship figures 2008 compared to 2007, Mr. Speaker, the reason the 2008 figures were down for cruise ships were simple. We had a ship that used to come in here every week even in the off season, so for the whole year we had that ship coming in, Mr. Speaker. That company went bankrupt, so we lost that business. Mr. Speaker, that is substantial business that has gone, I cannot do anything about them going bankrupt, the Government here cannot do anything about them going bankrupt, but Mr. Speaker, so far for 2009 up to October, the cruise ship figures are up 50%. But you see, Mr. Speaker, you would not hear that from the Opposition, because they only want to pick out certain things that suit them.But to even go further than that, Mr. Speaker, I am totally shocked that the Opposition can speak about cruise ships. It is this Government, Mr. Speaker, that got Princess to come back here. It is that Government that got Royal Caribbean to come in here. We have never seen such strong figures in the cruise ship industry as we are seeing now, never in the history of St. Vincent and the Grenadines [applause]. This is the Government that just governed without any policy, without any rules, without any laws Mr. Speaker. Kingstown was dirty, so what you leave it that is why Princess moved out of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. That is why Princess left here, Mr. Speaker, you know and I know you know, if the Honourable Member for the Northern Grenadines was speaking after me, I know the first thing he would say, he would say yes, but we are the ones who put the cruise ship terminal up there that is what he will say. Yes Mr. Speaker, they did build the cruise ship terminal up there, they built it in the wrong place without taking any advice from anybody and without listening to the technical people, because right now, Mr. Speaker, that same cruise ship terminal is hindering us from attracting new ships, because the new ships cannot come in.15Ignore the technical people you know Mr. Speaker and built it. As a matter of fact when I became the Minister of Tourism, Mr. Speaker, when I met with the FCCA, the FCCA is the Further Caribbean Cruise line Association, they made it clear, Mr. Speaker, they say, but Minister you all built a new cruise ship terminal, why did not you all not come to us for advice or even possibly financial assistance, Mr. Speaker? Because what happens, when you get the financial assistance from the FCCA, Mr. Speaker, it is a benefit for them to come into that port, so they send as many ships as possible there. But Mr. Speaker, this is a know it all administration; they knew everything about nothing at all. The engineer from Barbados came here, when he came in he say listen, I am getting paid for this job to do the (what is the technical term) piles, he said, but you all sure you want to put this here? He said, it is not in my place to say it, but I mean as an engineer, this is not the right place for this. So what you have caused, Mr. Speaker, is congestion up there also, lots of congestion, but Mr. Speaker, we have put some things in place and we will continue to deal with it, Mr. Speaker and work to the best of our ability to make sure people can travel as easily as possible when leaving the cruise ship terminal.But Mr. Speaker, I want to read some other figures for you, because you see the Opposition loves to come up here and prance around and say certain things...,DR. THE HONOURABLE GODWIN FRIDAY: Nothing controversial, but you said something earlier on regarding the yachting figures of 2.2% increase and I just wanted the reference here [interjection] 2.4%.HONOURABLE GLEN BEACHE: Yes from the Department of Tourism Statistical Figures DR. THE HONOURABLE GODWIN FRIDAY: For which year? HONOURABLE GLEN BEACHE: Pardon me? DR. THE HONOURABLE GODWIN FRIDAY: Which year?HONOURABLE GLEN BEACHE: 2008 DR. THE HONOURABLE GODWIN FRIDAY: 2008HONOURABLE GLEN BEACHE: Yes, I said it compare..., just like what you all did comparing 2008 to 2007.DR. THE HONOURABLE GODWIN FRIDAY: Okay, well, Mr. Speaker, then I need to make a correction, because the Honourable Leader of the Opposition and the Honourable Member maybe were misled, because he said he was not sure what source the Honourable Leader of the Opposition was quoting whether it was the Central Bank or Caribbean Development Bank.HONOURABLE GLEN BEACHE: No but I said that you know. 16DR. THE HONOURABLE GODWIN FRIDAY: Yes, but he said that the Honourable Leader of the Opposition was wrong. I was just telling you the source again, because he pointed that out that he was quoting from the 2008 Annual Economic Report Economic and Financial Review.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Yes, I have it written.DR. THE HONOURABLE GODWIN FRIDAY: And what that said is that ...,HONOURABLE GLEN BEACHE: Member for the Northern Grenadines, let me say this, I probably should have said it when I was speaking. Mr. Speaker, I had asked the Honourable Leader of the Opposition where he was quoting from and he told me where he was quoting from, but I should also say, Mr. Speaker, that these figures at times change, because sometimes we get in new figures that have been delayed in coming in, so I do not think the Leader of the Opposition was being malicious in that sense, but Mr. Speaker, I have to put it correctly. So I mean...,HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Just a minute, you cannot have two persons standing on the floor at the same time.DR. THE HONOURABLE GODWIN FRIDAY: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, the impression that he is giving is that the Leader of the Opposition...,HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: I think it is table 49 of the St. Vincent Economic and Financial Review 2008, Central Bank.DR. THE HONOURABLE GODWIN FRIDAY: What the Leader of the Opposition quoted was that at page 72 of the Financial Report for 2008 that the number of yacht passengers and excursionists fell by 57.9% and 7.0% respectively and that is from the Central Bank.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Yes, okay, the ECCB.HONOURABLE GLEN BEACHE: Mr. Speaker, let me make this clear, those figures comes from us, they come from the Statistical Department of the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines who get the figures from the Ministry of Tourism and well now, the tourism authority, Mr. Speaker and as I have said before, the figures sometimes change, because sometimes immigration will have to correct some figures with some things they might have forgotten or misplaced. So Mr. Speaker, the figures I am quoting here are the correct figures. The document that you have they probably have not had a chance to correct them, but they get the figures from us, Mr. Speaker [interjection] exactly that is what I am saying, they cannot correct now, they have to wait until later on to correct it.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: But Honourable Member, maybe in that case the Central Bank should have at least a note that these figures are subject to change or something of that sort, so maybe communication need to be established with them on these issues, all right okay, or provisional figures, continue.17HONOURABLE GLEN BEACHE: Yes Mr. Speaker. So Mr. Speaker, we have done certain things and we have continued to move forward with tourism Mr. Speaker. We you know listening to the Opposition as I was saying before, Mr. Speaker, certain figures they like to compare to and the figures that suit them they speak about and they love to compare St. Vincent and the Grenadines to other countries. I am one I tend not to like to do that, Mr. Speaker, because there are so many different things that would affect how many visitors come to St. Vincent and the Grenadines and every country has its own issues, Mr. Speaker.But you see, Mr. Speaker, they spoke about the stopovers and how important it is the Honourable Member for the Northern Grenadines and the fact that it was down and so on, but Mr. Speaker, this is the same Opposition that was against us putting any money into LIAT. They were against us putting any money into LIAT because they were in favour of Caribbean Star staying in the sky forever. But Mr. Speaker and I want Vincentians to know, if Caribbean Star was the lone airline left, where would St. Vincent and the Grenadines be presently.DR. THE HONOURABLE GODWIN FRIDAY: I mean the point of order again is misrepresentation. Where did the Leader of the Opposition did..., the Members of this Opposition ever took a position with respect to Caribbean Star or LIAT as to who should be in the air and who should not be in the air? This debate is degenerating into a tissue of inaccuracies, Mr. Speaker.HONOURABLE GLEN BEACHE: Let me deal with that.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Just now, just now. Honourable...DR. THE HONOURABLE GODWIN FRIDAY: If you say that we are critical of the finances and that there were comments that were made about accountability and the future of LIAT, fine, but do not say we prefer one airline over another that is a private business.HONOURABLE GLEN BEACHE: Mr. Speaker, the Opposition made it clear when we were pumping money into LIAT, when we were financing LIAT, said let the market take care of it, we should not be putting any money into LIAT, let the market take care of it Mr. Speaker, if it dies, it dies. That is what they say, Mr. Speaker, on many different political platforms, they were against LIAT completely. So this is not..., Mr. Speaker, I am 100% sure of what I have just stated. This is not any misrepresentation. They have too much of a short memory, they are still living in that narrow corridor where they cannot see anywhere outside of it [applause]. They must remember what they say before they get up for points of order. There is not one Vincentian that does not know this Mr. Speaker and if Caribbean Star was left to rule the air in the Caribbean, Mr. Speaker, where will the same tourism that is so important to them be? And that is why I said before you know, Mr. Speaker, the Opposition has no plan at all you know.DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: Mr. Speaker, one lives and one learns, is the first time I have seen, Mr. Speaker, in all my years here that an Honourable Member can be so disrespectful of the office of the Speaker that he sits and holds a long conversation and gives you directions. These are depths to which we are sinking. I just draw this matter to your attention, Mr. Speaker. I crave your indulgence so to do.18HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Thank you very much, Prime Minister. Let me put it this way, you see, I am very glad for the observation because you know we have certain incidents that arose this morning and from time to time they arrive and I made the point that sometimes when the issue is on one’s shoe it affects one set of people and on the other it affects another set of people and I actually pointed to that matter this morning about the respecting the Chair and respecting the ruling of the Chair this morning and I had to deal with that aspect obviously if it continues. Where do we put the blame, where do we put the blame? Honourable Minister of Tourism continue please.HONOURABLE GLEN BEACHE: Much obliged, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I will let that go. As I was saying before, Mr. Speaker, love to compare St. Vincent and the Grenadines to other countries, love it. Last year, I heard all the talk about Anguilla and how well Anguilla was doing and so beautiful and we need to take a page out of Anguilla’s books. I heard about Dominica, I heard I mean, Barbados their tourism figures, I mean, Mr. Speaker, we were to learn from everybody else and Anguilla was doing so.., let me say this, Mr. Speaker, as we speak, Anguilla Stay-Over is down 22.6%, Antigua and Barbuda down 12.7%.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Let me just stop you because now that an idea has been raised and I need to deal with it, because I notice also when it comes to respect that when this House adjourns or suspends even before the Speaker leaves his seat, Members are outside and that is in my mind..., and I noticed that quite clearly and I know who is guilty of that, I know who is guilty of that and I want to say that is a matter of total disrespect for the Chair. These issues I do not normally comment on, because for me I am just a simple humble servant of the people here in this Parliament. I have the authority, but as the Minister of Ecclesiastical Affairs said, I am a man of the Bible and sometimes these things go to nought, but it is something that I am observing and I would deal with it in due course. Thank you very much.HONOURABLE GLEN BEACHE: Mr. Speaker, if you would do me the favour, Mr. Speaker, with so many interruptions I am figuring I have about an hour left.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: 41 minutes, you have been speaking for 41 minutes.HONOURABLE GLEN BEACHE: Okay, I thought was 21, Mr. Speaker, thank you. Yes, Mr. Speaker, Barbados down 9.6; Bahamas 11.4; Bermuda 12.5; Bonaire 16.7; BVI 17; Grenada 14.4; Montserrat 17.4; St. Martin 9.7 Mr. Speaker, I could go on and on and I can go down this list from CTO. Every single member of CTO with the exception of Cuba which is up 3.3%; Curacao which is up .4% and I know for a fact, Mr. Speaker, Jamaica is not here, but I know Jamaica is also up something like 3% which Mr. Speaker, let me explain that which is really not a true indication of how Jamaica is doing, but that will take a long explanation, Mr. Speaker and I wouldn’t go into that.Mr. Speaker, we are down for this year from January to October we are down 12.1% and I use this, Mr. Speaker, to show that this is not something that only St. Vincent and the Grenadines is going through. The region is going through it and Mr. Speaker, while I am not happy that we are down 12.1% Mr. Speaker, I know that this can be a lot worse and when I look at the October figures, Mr. Speaker, and I look at the November figures of which all seemed to be positive, Mr. Speaker, it looks like by the end of December, because we have had such a good last quarter of 2009 it looks as if we would be breaking even which, Mr. Speaker, if you speak19to anybody in the tourism industry now, breaking even you have to give yourself a clap for that [applause]. It is not an easy world that we are in right now, Mr. Speaker. It is not as much fun to travel anymore and we deal with some of these issues, Mr. Speaker, we just open 14 new sites, 14 Mr. Speaker, refurbished or opened them and a space of eight years in office, Mr. Speaker.I am racking my brain right now to come up with one new site NDP did in their 17 years, or even if we do not want to go back to 17 years from since 1992 when tourism became the bread earner. I am racking my brain right now to come up with one. It is under this administration, Mr. Speaker, that the Tobago Cays got some normalcy. It is under this administration, Member for Northern Grenadines speaks about the dollar and so on, spend 25 minutes on it and you that Bequia is..., Bequia is part of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. All of us paid the dollar but on top of that Mr. Speaker, I mean Mr. Speaker, I am wondering if people know that electricity is subsidised to the Grenadines, water is subsidised that the boats that leave Kingstown to go to the Grenadines do not pay the business tax, Mr. Speaker, that they are exempt from it, but you would not [hear] that Mr. Speaker, you would not hear those things, that for the NDP that they are so strong in the Grenadines that it was this Government that put electricity in Mayreau that it is this Government that put a new school in Bequia and Union Island, not NDP. As a matter of fact, the Northern Grenadines had the Prime Minister as their representative and you still had children going to the bathroom outside, you are there for 17 years you never saw it fit to look after your constituency and you are the Prime Minister.So if the Prime Minister could not do anything for the constituency, Mr. Speaker, I doubt anybody else on the NDP side will do anything for the constituency, because or much further, Mr. Speaker, for St. Vincent and the Grenadines, you know I doubt they can do anything, Mr. Speaker, because they have no vision whatsoever. Lack ideas you know, a brand new school is what we had to put into Bequia, but that is not a problem, Mr. Speaker, because it is part of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. It is our job as the Government to represent every Vincentian no matter where they are, something that the previous administration never used to, but I am not going back to victimization, I have more you know, I am not going back there, because I have to deal with my Ministry.Mr. Speaker, the Ministry of Tourism and the staff of the Ministry and when I say this, by extension the Tourism Authority and National Parks, in 2009 have performed very, very well. When one looks at the condition in which they have had to operate, Mr. Speaker, there is no doubt. Once upon a time, Mr. Speaker, as a country, as a tourism entity, used to have to beg people to come to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, journalists. We use to have to pick up every single cost that was the only reason they would come. At trade shows like World Travel Market, ITB, Sea Trade and so on Mr. Speaker, we used to have to beg for meetings, Mr. Speaker, that is no longer the case. They are now requesting meetings from us, they are requesting to come to St. Vincent and the Grenadines to see what it is we have to offer, what makes this island so beautiful and Mr. Speaker, this does not come without a plan you know and it hasn’t come without hard work.In 2003 Mr. Speaker, no, 2002 we knew we did not have the money to compete with the Barbados, the Jamaica, the Bahamas in terms of their marketing Budget, Mr. Speaker. Barbados is US$50 million, Jamaica is US$45 million, Bahamas is US$79 million and they cut back on that, Mr. Speaker, from US$85 million the US$79 million and when I speak those figures, Mr. Speaker, I mean US and we knew what was most important, Mr.20Speaker, was that we needed to make sure people were aware that St. Vincent and the Grenadines was here and our marketing plans and so on showed this and Mr. Speaker, we continue to do familiarization trips, we continue to do some of the trade shows, some of which, Mr. Speaker, some people might say are not beneficial to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, but because of the magnitude of them you have to have some sort of presence there. Our overseas offices have done a remarkable job, Mr. Speaker and we have kept on working hard at it.Mind you, you know, Mr. Speaker, some people do not understand it, it is funny, everybody seems to think there is either a marketing expert or an expert in tourism in terms of what you should do and what you should not do. I remember listening to a radio programme one morning two years ago and a caller called in and saying why does not the Honourable Prime Minister just go to Miami and speak to Michelle Paige and get more ships to come here? Mr. Speaker, that is simplifying the matter on a whole and so Mr. Speaker, we have worked hard to get where we are now and Mr. Speaker, I can tell you that when the International Airport is completed and with all the investments that are taking place in St. Vincent and the Grenadines as we speak, you know Mr. Speaker, something that is remarkable right now, Honourable Member for the Northern Grenadines asked me a question last week in Parliament about Adams Bay and I answered him, but something remarkable is taking place right now, in places like St. Lucia where five hotels have stopped construction, Barbados, two other countries in the Caribbean have suffered this, Buccama is still going strong and will be opening its doors for the first phase of 365 rooms on July 2nd of this year, something that the Opposition said will never take place that we would flood. I mean so many things, I mean you would wonder when you listen to the Opposition speak you know, you wonder if they are Vincentians, because I mean when you listen to them, there are so many negative things about St. Vincent and the Grenadines you wonder if this country is doing anything right or if we have anything that worth marketing and it is going all over the internet and they do not realise this.Buccama is still going strong, Mr. Speaker, and as a matter of fact I met with them last week and by next week, they would start taking applications for the running of the hotel, at start-up they will need over 500 people. Presently they are employing over 800 people, three hundred and sixty-five rooms in the first phase Mr. Speaker and to coincide with the opening of the Argyle International Airport, the second phase of which time it would be 1000 units.Mr. Speaker, this administration is doing something right. We are getting the job done, hard time, Mr. Speaker, yes we are in challenging times, but we have projects on our schedule that will create employment. Mr. Speaker, we go through it, we see the developments that are taking place, Adams Bay, Union Island, Canouan and Prime Minister spoke about some of that last week, but Mr. Speaker, it is something that will take time. We are new in the tourism industry, but we are getting there and the proof is in the pudding.Mr. Speaker, I also heard the Honourable Leader of the Opposition speak about the Tourism Authority, about the number of resignations that he heard and he is wondering if we do not have enough staff he is saying that 80% of the Tourism Authority has been staffed and so on. Mr. Speaker, this is a new entity. They have had one or two resignations, nothing significant, they have moved on and they have done their work, they are responsible for good morning America, they are responsible for Christ Robinson, they are responsible for the travel channel, it is an authority full of young professionals who know what they are doing, well educated in21their field, but beyond that Mr. Speaker, know the industry inside out and that is the key you know, Mr. Speaker, knowing the industry inside out.The education, I once heard the Prime Minister say you know, getting your degree and so on is the easiest part, it is what you do with it afterwards that really sets you apart and he is absolutely right, because as I tell some of them I say you know, school has given you a very good base, but when you come out into this world and you understand how the tourism sector works you realise that school is not everything, it does not tell you everything. So have no fear Opposition, the Tourism Authority is strong and will continue to do what is expected of them.Mr. Speaker, I move to National Parks. Some Members on this side do not like to hear me say so, but I am yet to see a Statutory Body that is more efficient than National Parks [applause] they have done wonders with that project, Mr. Speaker [applause] have done wonders with it. Many people did not expect those 14 sites to be completed in the three year time span and they have done it and when you look at the marketing plan for these sites Mr. Speaker that is also something to behold.Mr. Speaker, National Parks is (how should I put it?) an entity or Statutory Body that I am very proud to have under the Ministry of Tourism. They have worked exceptionally well. They have been professional to the utmost. They have delivered on time. One or two hiccups, Mr. Speaker, we all have them, but they have come through with flying colours and I want to thank them and the Board of National Parks especially for the work they have done, Mr. Speaker. I am hoping that Vincentians go out and look at these sites. Visit these sites [applause] you know local tourism is very important to us Mr. Speaker. You do not need to carry your family to North America and Europe and so on, visit Bequia, go down for their Jazz Festival, for their Blues Festival you know, have a rum and coke with the Honourable Member for the Northern Grenadines. I do not know if is rum he drinks or fruit punch and so on you know or Gonsalves Black Wine or whatever it is, but have a drink with him you know and I know he would be happy to foot the bill because he is all about supporting the local economy you know and plus you are doing so well as a law practitioner, I mean you could afford to do that. I mean after this week I think Friday afternoon you should buy all of us a round of drinks, but Mr. Speaker, go down and support that.And you know it is funny I do not hear the Member speaking about tourism and what tourism does for Bequia you know that for the same Blues Festival, the Tourism Authority is the one that is paying for the ticket, that is paying for the radio and newspaper advertising, yes, because it is a very important part of our product, but you are not hearing that Mr. Speaker, you are hearing all the negatives. But Mr. Speaker, so you hear all these things and we do this with nearly every Regatta, every festival that takes place in the Grenadines. So Mr. Speaker, it does not matter whether it is the Grenadines or St. Vincent, it is St. Vincent and the Grenadines and I wish we would stop trying to divide and conquer. Mr. Speaker, if this administration was a selfish administration, if we had no vision, if we do not respect the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, I mean let us look at it politically, if that was the case, really and truly I mean would we bother to do any work in the Grenadines at all? Mr. Speaker, we represent every Vincentian, I will say that again, because I think it is something that needs to be driven home. We represent every single Vincentian including those in the Diaspora and you know it is funny, as a Minister when I travel and it is something that I have never experienced before,22even when I used to travel before as I was a Minister, there is new found respect for St. Vincent and the Grenadines since this administration took office [applause].I mean honestly speaking, Mr. Speaker, I think you would find it hard to find one Caribbean country leader that is more respected than the Honourable Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines [applause] yes, Mr. Speaker.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: 15 minutes remaining. HONOURABLE GLEN BEACHE: 50? HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: 15 minutes.HONOURABLE GLEN BEACHE: Sorry, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, you know why, because it is not only a vision for St. Vincent and the Grenadines, it is a vision for the Caribbean that will affect all of us. You know, Mr. Speaker, in the Budget, you will see certain sums of money for one the Coast Guard and two the Airport. Mr. Speaker, I consider these two projects tourism projects, because I heard the Honourable Member speak about yacht crimes and so on, Mr. Speaker that is why we have on order three new Coast Guard Boats, Mr. Speaker, and I cannot remember how may rigs the Coast Guard they are looking at and then, Mr. Speaker, you are looking also at money for the International Airport, they are tourism projects, major tourism projects, but we also, Mr. Speaker, have to be aware and understand that to monitor the waters of a country like St. Vincent and the Grenadines is not an easy job. We are 32 Islands and Cays, it is a lot of water to monitor, but Mr. Speaker, we are on top of it and as the Prime Minister said in his speech under the NDP never once, not one new boat for the Coast Guard in 17 years, but we have put three into this year’s Budget Mr. Speaker and as I said, I cannot tell you how many rigs because I do not have it off hand and well, Mr. Speaker, the International Airport speaks for itself.I have met with British Airways, Virgin, Iberia out of Spain, Air France to speak about this airport and I think, Mr. Speaker, speaking to them we are in a very good position to make some headway because Mr. Speaker, the state of the airline industry as we speak is not good and what is taking place right now is that all of these airlines are looking to get a heads up on their competition. So they are all looking for that new destination that they think is going to take off that they are not going into ride. And so Mr. Speaker, I believe that as we continue to market Argyle International Airport which now falls under the marketing responsibilities which fall under the Tourism Authority. As we continue to market international airport, I am sure, Mr. Speaker, that you would be seeing a lot more businesses coming into St. Vincent and the Grenadines, not only tourism wise, but in terms of Agriculture and business so that we can do much more business.Mr. Speaker, I move now to South Windward. Mr. Speaker, I have been grateful to represent South Windward since 2005. At times, Mr. Speaker, there are certain things that I have wanted to get done which sometimes is taking a bit longer than I would have wanted or one of those such projects is the Rescue road and we have done a piece of it, we still have another piece to finish, but that should be done in the first quarter of this year by BRAGSA. But Mr. Speaker, I make no apologies when I speak about South Windward as being the shining star23in all constituencies in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and you notice, Mr. Speaker, that nobody on this side would clap for that because they all jealous of South Windward. Mr. Speaker, it is by no accident that out of the 14 sites the most beautiful one is Rawacou. It is by no accident, by no accident, Mr. Speaker, it is by no accident that my God brother has put his centre of excellence in South Windward, it is by no accident that the Hospitality and Marine Institute will be in South Windward, it is by no accident that the International Airport is being built in South Windward [applause] it is by no accident that the best police station is in South Windward, we call it the hotel, Mr. Speaker, it is by no accident that the best hard court in St. Vincent and the Grenadines is the Biabou hard court, it is by no accident that after Arnos Vale Playing Field the best playing field is Stubbs Playing Field. Mr. Speaker, we have done so much. I hope the people of Biabou and so on remember when they could not get water on Sundays and up in Simon we did the water project.Mr. Speaker, the playing field at Stubbs that I spoke about, we spoke about the Stubbs Health Clinic, I do not know when last you passed out there, Mr. Speaker, by the clinic to see how beautiful that looks and we cannot wait for the opening. Follow me, Mr. Speaker? And I thank Minister Slater for that, the repairs to the Stubbs Police Station, the Biabou Health Clinic, the expansion to Carapan Secondary School, Mr. Speaker. You know, Mr. Speaker, I look at Diamond in South Windward and you know I do not know of anybody has ever stopped on top of Kings Hill and just look down over Diamond and you look at that land, Mr. Speaker, could you imagine the sort of housing project this Government could have put in Diamond if NDP just did not send anybody to just go and squat there? Could you imagine the type of housing project? But Mr. Speaker, it is because of this Government you know that Diamond has been regularized. In NDP’s day it was just any and anybody it did not matter, you put your road, a house anything, anywhere. We came into office, Mr. Speaker, we surveyed the property, there are still a few people who need electricity, but majority of them in Diamond now have electricity and water, we regularized it and I have to thank Senator Francis for that Mr. Speaker, because that was not an easy job.Mr. Speaker, we in South Windward have a lot to be thankful for, not only in South Windward, in St. Vincent and the Grenadines because we are a blessed people and as we continue to progress, Mr. Speaker, I know investments, we have just gotten something in tourism where somebody is putting up a hotel in Spring and that is to coincide with the opening of the Argyle International Airport. You know after I leave office, Mr. Speaker, I was thinking of putting up a guest house but I do not think I am suited for managing a property like that, for managing a property like that, Mr. Speaker. You know the Peruvian Vale School, Mr. Speaker, what a beautiful primary school and as a matter of fact the first primary school in St. Vincent and the Grenadines to have pre- school, the first one and with all these things I am saying to you, Mr. Speaker, you could understand what I came first and say it is the most progressive constituency in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the people of South Windward for letting me represent them over the past four years. I am more than grateful and honoured to have had that privilege. It is no secret, Mr. Speaker, that I would not be contesting elections next year. There are few people [interjection] next year [interjection] have no fear that whoever replaces me will be just as good or even better, Mr. Speaker, and will bring home that seat by more votes than I won it by or what Sir Vincent won it by. So I want to thank the people of South Windward, Mr. Speaker.24Mr. Speaker, I also want to thank my Ministry. It is a Ministry that is not easy to operate in, because of the importance, every Ministry is important, but because of the pressures of tourism and tourism always seems to be in the limelight for one reason or another, I have to thank my PS Mr. speaker, she has really been a tower of strength in that Ministry and I do not think we would have gotten as much done [applause] as we have if it was not for her. I want to thank other Members of staff in the Ministry, those who deal with everything from Duty Free Concessions and so on, very professional in the way they go about their work, I want to thank them, Mr. Speaker.I want to thank the Tourism Authority, they have had some hiccups in the first year of operation, but they have come through with flying colours. I think we are now on a track which is a sound one, we have a sound plan in place, and we have a sound person who is in-charge of the Tourism Authority in Miss Faylene Findlay-Scrub. She has a young team behind her [applause] that is second to none in the Caribbean, Mr. Speaker, I always say I will put up the Tourism Authority team against any other Tourism Authority in the Caribbean and they have really done some remarkable work and have been very creative in the things they have done, Mr. Speaker.National Parks I already spoke about them and obviously you know the high regard that I hold them in and enough said about them. I also want to thank the Board of the Tourism Authority, Mr. Speaker. Let me not leave them out because they have had some tribulations to deal with, some trials to deal with in the first year of operation also. A bit hardened at times, but I think they have come through with flying colours and I think they now understand some of the things that I had spoken about earlier on in the operation of the Tourism Authority. But overall, Mr. Speaker, I work with a great set of people.I want to thank my colleagues on this side of the House, at one point I was the youngest member on this side of the House and they brought in Minister Caesar and so I am a year older than him you know but I want to thank my colleagues on this side of the House, Mr. Speaker, for everything, for the guidance you know from the Prime Minister come right down. You know the great thing about this side of the House, Mr. Speaker, we laugh a lot, very good camaraderie, we do not agree on everything you know, Mr. Speaker and we should not agree on everything, because we are each individuals, but at the end of the day when we come to a decision whatever arguments have taken place it is all forgotten because we are adults, Mr. Speaker.I can tell you this you know, Mr. Speaker, my Prime Minister, the Leader of my party never stop talking to me for two months or anything like that you know, I mean we really have a good team over here. I mean you know we have not become so arrogant that we believe we are untouchable [interjection] well who the cap fit let them wear it nah, I just made a point, you all are going into something different, Mr. Speaker. You know, Mr. Speaker, I want to tell the Opposition that no offence to the licks they got today, but it was well in coming because I think you know they have become a bit over confident and a bit arrogant after the Referendum and it would please me so much after elections next year when the ULP is sworn in again [applause] for a third consecutive term as the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, because Mr. Speaker, I hope the Opposition knows the propaganda that they let fly during the Referendum vote, this party will not tolerate it any longer. We try to be the big brother and go along with it and we will continue that way, Mr. Speaker, but you know we cannot tolerate mudslinging at all, at all, at all.25Mr. Speaker, I want to thank you also for everything. I think your judgments have been fair, I do not always agree with them, but I am not the Speaker of the House and I respect your decision and I will always respect your decision, Mr. Speaker. If you notice I do not give any back answers you know because I respect your decision. Your decision is final in this Honourable House. So I want to thank you for everything, Mr. Speaker, in your wisdom I think you know, I think eventually we would probably going to have to call you Sir Hendrick Alexander one of these days, but thank you for everything, Mr. Speaker and once again let me thank my Members on this team for everything that has taken place, Mr. Speaker and last but not least, Mr. Speaker, all of your staff here at the House of Assembly. I know it is not an easy job, especially for the Clerk you know. I admire you sitting up there every day and you cannot move I mean, I know it is not easy you know, so nuff respect due, nuff, nuff, nuff respect due Clerk and thank the Opposition for being the best, the very best worst Opposition in the history of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. I want to thank them and it is all in good fun, you know I am joking around. I see Senator Cummings laughing and so on, I know it is in good fun, yes and I thank you for giving me water to my house Senator Cummings. Much obliged, Mr. Speaker and I wish this a safe passage, thank you.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Well I recognise the Honourable Julian Francis, Honourable Mike and then I will take you third as the case may be. These two were on their feet almost together; you were a little slow in coming.Honourable Senator Francis I must remind you that you have 45 minutes to make your presentation.HONOURABLE JULIAN FRANCIS: Mr. Speaker, good morning to my colleagues here in Parliament, to those in the gallery and to those listening to us on radio and watching us on television. Mr. Speaker, if you may permit me, even though you have to include it in my time, Mr. Speaker, I consider it important enough to make a statement before I get into my Budget, if you allow me I will, I am...,HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Go ahead make you statement. HONOURABLE JULIAN FRANCIS: Thank you, if you think it is sufficient you can give me my full timeafter I am finished.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: I will deal with it accordingly. Let me hear the statement.HONOURABLE JULIAN FRANCIS: Mr. Speaker, on Tuesday when the Leader of the Opposition was responding to the Budget, I made certain remarks in this Honourable House across the floor and again yesterday I did make those cross-talk that the “NO” campaign ran at the cost at about $7 million and that I was aware that the US dollar transactions were not only limited to us the “YES” campaign, but that I had inside information, I do not know if you recall the exchange, inside information from the NDP that I had such information. The Leader of the Opposition later in his presentation said, he had certain information and if anybody asked him about them, he will say, I think we all recall these.26Coincidentally this morning, Mr. Speaker, on my way to the Parliament my Secretary at the party office called and said that the party office has been broken into. I immediately changed direction and went straight to the party office and Mr. Speaker, they did quite a number on it. I immediately called the Commissioner of Police, I went straight to the head, told him what had happened and I proceeded to the office, the policemen are there now, I will invite the media after the police has left, because I think it is something that the media should have some interest in.Mr. Speaker, when I saw the hallmarks of an organised job, maybe somebody is paid to do a job like that there is no question in my mind about it and I said coincidentally this happened. There is graffiti on the walls, Mr. Speaker, NDP you go fall Julian, very nasty remarks about a picture that was on the with the Political Leader and every single..., well the two locked offices were ransacked inside out. There are two laptops that are gone. At cursory glance that is all I can pick up. I have an external hard drive to my laptop and my computers, that is gone and I have a camera that I used to take pictures and that is gone. Those are the things I can see at a cursory glance because I did not want to touch anything, because of the ransack. I took pictures myself, Mr. Speaker for my records and there may be some cash in the Secretary’s Office I cannot tell you the quantum that is also gone and maybe two bags of $1 coins that were there from the last event that we had up there, that is gone. Alcohol is there, my office always has alcohol because we have an event every Friday night, four, five, six bottles of black label strong rum, those are not touched, the Campari is still there, but that is a cheap liquor so they wouldn’t steal that they believe it is exotic because I drink it. The graffiti on the wall was done in a gold spray very discernable when you take pictures of them and I am sure it is going to come out.Mr. Speaker, I have reported the matter to the police, I have my suspicions as to what transpired there and I have relayed my suspicions to the police and they have assured me that they will be keeping a close on the port and the airport based on certain information that I give to the police. There are persons who have operated within this country within recent times and it is not a normal behaviour among political parties in this country, let me put it this way. Certain things have happened within recent times and certain persons who have been involved I know and I have been warned of the levels to which they would go. I therefore leave that to the Commissioner of Police, all my papers were thrown all over the office, I had some Cabinet papers there, I had party office papers, my personal Cabinet papers, everything is opened, there was an envelope there with some cheques for some people, the envelopes were opened and the cheques lying on the ground, so the purpose obviously is more than just robbery and cash in my humble opinion.So Mr. Speaker that is what I thought I should mention to the Parliament this morning. It is somewhat disconcerting and I want to use this opportunity at the same time to go into my presentation on the Budget, but if you would permit me right after I have finished my presentation to go back to the office because I would need to be there to give the police a statement.I happened to have left the office late, last night after Parliament I went there, I went to pick up a copy of the 2006 Estimates and the 2004 Estimates that I did not get sufficient information from at the office here and I left there may be about 10 o’clock last night. So I know the office was secured, it would appear that they chopped the lock off on the grill on the front and shock opened the sliding door and went in. The locks were broken out and everything else on the inside.27Mr. Speaker, when you asked me to speak you said to me that I have 45 minutes. Once before since the nine years I have been in this Parliament that I was afforded 45 minutes that was between April of 2005 and December of 2005 for the meetings of Parliament then as I was a Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister then, but I have neither Constituency nor Ministry, so 45 minutes Mr. Speaker, I think is more than ample for one to speak. I observe in the seating arrangement in Parliament that I now sit on the Government side in the same position that Senator Leacock sits on the Opposition side that is the furthest end from our Political Leaders, quailing the forces in between them and I as General Secretary not that he holds that position in the NDP, their General Secretary is now a next member of Parliament, Allan Cruickshank [Interjection] let me say it Prime Minister, please, I know what you are going to say and I am going to say it too [laughter] the difference is I am here to make sure that nobody unseat my political leader, but on the other side where Senator Leacock sits he will love and he has done it, he has said it and will continue to try to unseat his political leader, there is no question about that [laughter]. I do not, Prime Minister if that is what you were going to say, but I suspect that is what you were going to say. But I must say to the Senator that..., I was saying, Senator the seat does feel good to be at the end, you do not have to ask anybody to excuse me to come out.Mr. Speaker..., HONOURABLE ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: Mr. Speaker, you are inviting me to respond?HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: No, well you are looking at me..., [laughter] I am saying that you seem to be saying to me that I need to...,HONOURABLE ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: I am good, Mr. Speaker. HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Okay. HONOURABLE ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: I am good.HONOURABLE JULIAN FRANCIS: As two colleagues and pairs and contemporaries we both went to Grammar School and left Grammar School around the same time. I cannot recall, I think the Honourable Senator went on to six form, I did not but the most troublesome days in the Grammar School naturally would be between Form 1 and Form 5 which we spent together up to the time I got my licence and we had some very exciting days with a little moke, so a little heckle in between does not help, but politically we know where we stand.Mr. Speaker, [interjection] [laughter] I can assure you Mr. Honourable Prime Minister that those secrets are long past they are no longer valid. I have nothing to protect in the form of what the Honourable Senator has, so if there are any secrets being held I have them not him and if they are exposed I will not suffer he will. So I will say.Mr. Speaker, I must commend the Leader of the Opposition in naturally congratulating me for being promoted once again to run the affairs of the party. He termed it in that way that he thought it was a promotion, but I will28say Mr. Speaker, I am sure that on Monday they realised that such comments, because he made them during the Estimates, such comments were not wise as Monday showed that the party and the organisation to which I have been put to head came out and literally made the NDP stayed home from Tuesday until today. Had he seen that before I am sure the congratulations would not have been as genuine?Mr. Speaker, in my presentation I may, because I have neither Constituency nor Ministry, I may wind a little bit on the road and as I approached danger curves, Mr. Speaker, I would expect that you would see them, the dangerous curves before I get there and if so I expect that you will stop me, but [interjection] yes, I did yesterday until Honourable Minister of Education were saying something to me and my eyes were closed and she thought I was sleeping.Mr. Speaker, there is an old adage that says: when the going gets tough the tough gets going. Mr. Speaker, I believe that the converse is also true that when the going gets tough the weak runs away in despair. Mr. Speaker, the first part naturally did reference to my political leader. These are tough times and the tough got going in the form of my Prime Minister and we all know to whom I refer with the converse.Mr. Speaker, let me establish early that I consider the Budget to be a remarkable feat and there is no question of my support for it and I would try to establish the basis of this support. Mr. Speaker, in hard times and I want to commend the Honourable Minister of Health in his simple explanation as to how Budgets are prepared and the need and use of money. I thought he did a wonderful job on that in his presentation and therefore I need not go into that, but I will just reinforce it by saying, Mr. Speaker, the average man in St. Vincent the day that things cannot work out that is, income is not sufficient to cover his expenses one of the first things he does is to either ask a friend to lend him some money to go to the bank and borrow some money and it was the opening shot of the Prime Minister in his Budgetary address, he said basically look, these are hard times and I am crafting this Budget with this backdrop and we remember President Obama and the decisions that he had to take and the exercises that he had to put in place to make sure that there is not a total collapse of the US economy.Mr. Speaker, because of those and we all know them very well I need not spend too much time on them and this happen well over a year ago or just about a year ago and it is being described now as the spring of the recovery that they are seeing little green grasses coming out in the economy which will indicate that the stimulus packages that he had put in place are paying. Took a lot of risks, put his political credit on the line, he was just elected one of the most popular Presidents of the United States and decided that he will take the risks to make sure that the people of US and the world do not..., that the depression or recession gets a chance of recovery.Mr. Speaker, without those stimuli that was put in place by President Obama I believe that we would have gone back to the days of the great depression and one of the things he said basically is, let us spend money. Let us spend money and put people to work, let us build bridges, let us build roads, let us build highways, let us build sky scrapers, let us build round-a-bouts, let us build trains, let us build cars, work out the money, put it into the hands of the people and let us stem this tide.Mr. Speaker, if the income or revenue as we call it is not coming to us as was explained in the Prime Minister’s Budget, we have to be creative in getting what is necessary to keep us at the levels to which this ULP29administration has taken the people of this country. There is no question in my mind, Mr. Speaker, and in the minds of the majority of Vincentians that our state of development and our standard of living have been substantially improved since the ULP took the reins of office in 2001 [applause] there is no question in my mind.Mr. Speaker, as just a first shot from the Prime Minister’s address, if we go to page 92 of the PM’s address, just this alone, Mr. Speaker, reinforces what I am saying. In 2001 the GDP, that is the Gross Domestic Product at market prices were in 2001 the GDP per head for St. Vincent and the Grenadines was $8,655 which placed it at the bottom of the comparative table, but by 2009 the figure had risen to $15,593 almost double in eight years. This speaks for itself, Mr. Speaker, that we have elevated economic activity in this country and it is going into the pockets of the average man and woman in the country.Mr. Speaker, if we look around us, we can see the state of physical development in this country. The physical landscape stands out at us each day, Mr. Speaker and very early in my presentation, let me establish and ask you to follow me as I take you for a ride into the city of Kingstown, I want to do it because it is important we establish, you do not need a convertible to see it, you could have tinted windows and you still cannot miss it. Mr. Speaker, apart from the fantastic rebuilt Windward Highway, I am starting from Arnos Vale, my uncle Joseph house where he live for many years with George Francis and Lennox Francis and so on that has been converted to a pharmacy.Just round the corner from that Howie Prince has put up a three storey building right there by Kenton, across the road from there, there is Digicel’s tower and right after that Adams electrical is now putting up a fantastic big building there for his operation. You go up the highway, Big John garage, on the right hand side Rent and Drive and Pastor Kennedy Church, Trotman Depot, I am talking about things that have flourished, Mr. Speaker or have been significantly enhanced since we have been into office in 2001 the physical landscape of this country, I am taking you on a ride.There is a new air-condition place, I cannot remember the name of it in St. Clair Robinson building, what is the name of it? Skyline recent, Deckie’s Auto Zone, Dolly Thomas Blue Building, you cannot miss it, the rebuilt round-a-bout, Ace Hardware, Abbott Show Room, Denzel Bacchus had it there as a piece of shack for a while, a good businessman has leased it and is cleaning it up and it looks fantastic. The new Aunt Jobe’s KFC development, Pizza was there before.Mr. Speaker, the Arnos Vale Stadium you can see as soon as you go across the road we have enhanced that. There is a new tyre centre as you pass the bus stop. Pastor Wilson Church has been significantly improved, enhanced, there is a business right in the corner, is it Ava Maria? [interjection] not Samuel, Samuel tools was there before [interjection] Fine Things, Public Works Fence, significant..., I am talking about how the landscape looks and what people see who have not been this country and who do not drive about. Nature Best Bakery, we spiced up ET Joshua, spruced up ET Joshua Airport, you remember how it used to look before we did the paint job on it, Sion Hill Intersection, they may say is them build it, but Mr. Speaker, when we took it, it was a dustbin. I physically with Leroy Llewellyn and others cleaned it up and the grass and fence that you see there is since we have been in office, before that it was dirt, ugly. Alban Gonsalves Building Cabano, he sells30all sorts of things, Jules Williams has put up an electronic bill board, the Marion House, the building I just spoke about that they broke into last night, the ULP Headquarters, somebody is now renovating the Tennis Court on the left hand side which was..., it belongs to Silky Garage, to Silky and Casper, the Lottery Lawn Tennis Court and Play Ground and the Gem, the Modern State of the Art National Library, Thomas Saunders Secondary School, UWI Centre refurbished, Documentation Centre, Peace Memorial Hall Building, the Curriculum Unit, the YES Building we could include in that, look how it looks, pretty and nice, Curtis Lewis Building that used to be the old part of Wheel a Deal and across the road from there, the Allan’s Building that has been an eye sore there for years. They are now fixing it up, I understand there is a subway restaurant going downstairs and there is a fantastic Lounge operating upstairs, air-conditioned lounge and I stopped at KFC.I do not want to take you through the city, Mr. Speaker, if you give me another hour I can take you through the city and give you a tour of the suburban and rural areas, but I will save us that. Mr. Speaker, I am sure that the people out there are following me what I am saying. I am speaking here of the physical and economic development of this country since the Unity Labour Party has been in office and we hear the Leader of the Opposition coming here and telling us all sorts of things and I would deal with that shortly.Mr. Speaker, if I go to the Windward side I will take whole day describing the 20 tourism projects that the Minister of Tourism has put in place. The Argyle International Airport and the Bypass, those are three that I will mention outside of the city, but Mr. Speaker, I also have to mention from the Leeward side, because I cannot describe the approach to the city on one side and not the other side starting in Layou. Mr. Speaker, have you seen Minister of Foreign Affairs the residential extension of Layou, what is over there called again? Rutland Vale Development, Mr. Speaker, the Layou Water Front, Mr. Speaker, Martie Gas Station and Supermarket, the massive Buccama Bay $500 million project, the cleaned up Bernard Punnett Garage, the cleaned up [interjection] yes, the phantom project that is now employing over 1000 people.Mr. Speaker, I want to paint this picture so that people will follow me along the highway and see what this party has done since it has been in Government in this country. So when others come and tell you but things ain’t happening and people suffering and you could get a half cake of soap and a half pound of back and neck, Mr. Speaker, I will show you other things just now to show you that obviously the gentlemen as one member on this side said are all from the city and travel very little outside of the city [applause] that is all I can conclude. Mark Punnett Housing, I understand that the Greaves Family now recently started their Mall, if you go there, there is an excavator excavating the foundation for the start of a Mall just up from Martie’s Supermarket, the renovated Pembroke Church, looks beautiful with a parking lot and everything now [interjection] I ain’t reach town yet, oh yes, I forget Linton’s Lewis Building in truth, must be the colour [laughter] confidence in the economy and confidence otherwise.Mr. Speaker, I intend to take the people on a ride today that the picture I am going to paint they wouldn’t forget it, Mr. Speaker. The beautiful homes at Pembroke where Dr. Providence and all the other people who got..., some people got dislocated from Gibson Corner, some other public servants, bankers have built their houses going up there. The new..., I said mark Punnett already, there is new tyre centre in Chauncey, Mr. Speaker, recently opened, there is a butcher stall established on the Chauncey Highway on the stretch, I believe that the Minister of Health has a lot to do with it with his friends there in an advisory capacity.31Mr. Speaker, we do not know that there is a counter top processing operations in Chauncey, Christ builds counter tops there. He has a hardware that he has rented where the man used to have his disco, [Sic] [interjection] yes, there is a vehicle spare parts developed there now in the corner, the feller who runs the taxi, maxi taxi, Dexter Bar and Night Club Desire, Questelles Police Station and Learning Resource Centres right there on the highway, go around the corner you meet Kelly’s Tyre Shop, Mr. Speaker, Hairoun has extended, PVC Factory has extended, built new factories you know, Mr. Speaker, Bottlers, Allan’s Bakery, Kendra’s Aluminium, Labour Party Gas the LPG Plant down there, Lowmans VINLEC, Lowman’s Famo, Famo has a nice operation round in the back of Lowmans there you know, Lowmans Fuel Storage, Nici Shop, it get lick down by vehicles two three times but she put up some barriers in front there, nobody could knock it down again because she paint it up nice and I love the colours that she put on it. The million dollar wall, I cannot leave that out, you know the back wall we have built in West Kingstown there for the Learning Resource Centre with the lands slipped. You have midway butchers, Mr. Speaker, some of the choices cuts that you can get in meats now is right up on top Lowmans on the highway, West Kingstown Learning Resource Centre has commenced, cleaned up Botanic Gardens, the big Moussa Building on..., I mean this is public and private showing that the public is prepared..., the public sector providing and facilitating and the private sector having confidence in the economy see what is happening and investing their money [applause].Mr. Speaker, I do not know how the Opposition..., I do not see how the Opposition can say that there is nothing happening in this country. CWSA, Russell’s Cinema, they just reopen you know, NEMO Building, Aunt Jobe’s again Mr. Speaker, Victoria Pharmacy, cleaned up Victoria Park, lighted, O T Mayers Parking Lot I stopped there on Back Street again, I am just painting both sides of the approach to the city, Mr. Speaker, how can anyone say otherwise than what I have said that this administration has invested the hardworking dollars of the taxpayers of this country, borrowed significantly yes, but the value of the borrowings is there on the ground [applause]. Not because we owe $1.2 billion, look at the value that is on the ground for it. Education Revolution alone spells that sort of money and we are borrowing so much money, but we are only 60% of our GDP. There are islands in this Caribbean, Mr. Speaker, that are 120% of their GDP you know, 120% they have been beating us back in the Growth Rate and so on and what not, the Prime Minister dealt with a lot of that, 160, I not as up-to-date on this matter, but I hear the clippings from time to time when I hear the news and I follow some of it and I read some of it. Mr. Speaker, where am I with time?HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: You have 20 minutes.HONOURABLE JULIAN FRANCIS: Okay, so I have 20 minutes all right. Mr. Speaker, the physical landscape tells the story. Mr. Speaker, on the other hand, the Leader of the Opposition says that he has a deep sense of shame for what is in the Budget. There are needs and there are wants. The Budget is a fraud, the Budget is a pack of cards, but the worse statement [he] has made, Mr. Speaker, is this he said the people of SVG do not deserve what they are now getting. You believe that, Mr. Speaker? They do not deserve the Argyle Airport, they do not deserve the West St. George Secondary School, they do not deserve Sandy Bay and Troumaca Schools renovated, six laboratories is in the schools, modern library in Kingstown, people do not deserve that. The people deserve to stay inside of a storeroom inside Middle Street as a library that is what the Leader of the Opposition is telling the people, the people of SVG do not deserve what they are now getting. In other words, give me a chance to come back; I will give you what you want. Bankruptcy $129.5 million inside32of this Budget for the Education Revolution, $129 million between current and capital, early childhood education 18 pre-schools, Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition is saying to the mothers that you do not deserve to get the pre-schools that the ULP is giving you 18 of them. The 171 jobs that are being created in this Budget for public servants alone, I ain’t talking the private sector, thousands are being laid off overseas, but in St. Vincent we are employing, we got to be doing something right, got to be doing some things right, 65 graduate teachers, he is saying to those teachers (primary school) look, you do not deserve to become a graduate teacher in a primary school that is what he says, he has a deep sense of shame, those are the statements the gentleman made, the Honourable Leader of the Opposition made, special needs for children a million dollars if you look on pages 37 and 38 of the Prime Minister address for students support services, you do not need that, you do not deserve that. Free primary health care under 15 and over 65 old people and young people you all do not deserve to get that sort of free health care that is what the Leader of the Opposition is saying. A health centre in Evesham you mean to tell me the people in Evesham do not deserve to get a health centre, Mr. Speaker. I am not saying that you know, is the Leader of Opposition saying it. Modern Medical Complex in Georgetown, the policeman paternity leave, policemen, he say no, you cannot get the paternity leave you do not deserve it and this thing about mandatory requirement if you ain’t reach the rank of Sergeant, Prime Minister addressed that or Corporal? Corporal, in other words policemen, the Leader of the Opposition is saying to you, you do not deserve to stay in the police force if you ain’t reached Corporal at age 50. Mr. Speaker, this is what the Leader of the Opposition is saying. Georgetown Police Station, three Coast Guard Vessels Mr. Speaker, if we do not deserve the three Coast Guard Vessels [interjection] Well I do not mention that already, therefore anything and everything can happen in the port, anything and everything. US dollars coming in, drugs coming in, everything coming in and Mr. Speaker, a whole set of things have been said here about US dollars and I made my statement here this morning, I still have the information, I have the information on the US dollars. That Leader of the Opposition said this in his address, he say he has the information and anybody who ask him he is going to tell them, so I asked him, I say I am asking you, he ain’t tell me, he ain’t go want tell me, Mr. Speaker.Mr. Speaker, village roads and back walls that we have put in on page 64 of the Prime Minister address, this year is the year for people to get what they used to call “agouti track”. This year we are going to build village roads and build back walls and help you with materials for house and all them kind of things. The Leader of the Opposition is saying, you do not deserve that, we in this party and in this Government believe that you deserve it, but he say you do not deserve it [applause].Mr. Speaker, if you look at pages 53 and 54 of the Prime Minister’s Budgetary Address and pages 58 and 59 you would see numerous projects listed there. I asked Members, please go back so that those of you who have to come afterwards I do not have the time, I only got 45 minutes, deal with some of these projects that the Leader of the Opposition is saying the people do not deserve. But Mr. Speaker, I want to say this that the Leader of the Opposition continues to say that there is nothing happening in this country, there is no economic activity that we are bankrupt and things like these. Mr. Speaker, let me highlight the businesses in Kingstown that is doing well. It will tell you a story too. I am painting pictures today, Mr. Speaker, I turn Sulle today, I painting pictures, cell phones, I am calling out those that are doing well you know. Let us understand if they are needs are wants, businesses that are doing well in this country, vehicle and spare parts, almost over the last three, four months about two or three new vehicles spare parts operations have opened in this country and33existing ones have expanded in the non-city centre. They realise the city centre is getting congested, so they say boy, let me go out Arnos Vale, let me go here and so on and what not, you know, hardware stores they are realizing again city centre getting crowded, let us get out of the city, let us start to sell our things, look around you would see them. I did not mention Spunky hardware this morning you know above Yvette Pork City, I forget that when I was painting the picture coming up there. Well I said vehicle things and spare parts. I could go through those, but fast foods Mr. Speaker, these are businesses that are doing well you know and you tell me people ain’t get money in their pockets, eh, fast foods. There was one fast food that came here Mr. Speaker, within two years it done branch off into another one. It get two KFC outlets, you are getting a subway now, it get Ricks Pizza out the road, Pizza Hut, Mr. Speaker, everybody expanding in the fast food business that is when people have money that they can spend.On the construction side I remember the Leader of the Opposition saying, construction is in a decline in this country. Mr. Speaker, I have never seen more ready mixed concrete operators than what we have in this country here now. Almost every contractor now wants to get his ready mixed concrete truck. Specks get about 10 or 12, he used to have 1 or 2, 3 he used to build balusters, he do not bother with that now. Let the smaller men build balusters. He is a big ready mixed concrete. You have Gibson’s, you have the Arthur Brothers.Tradesmen in this country, Mr. Speaker, I am showing you now where the construction industry is taking care of economic activity in this country. Tradesmen are benefiting Mr. Speaker, quarry operations and Mr. Speaker, believe or not, vendors are doing well. There is constant expansion of the vendors. Vendors now have 3 and 4 outlets you know. Long ago they used to set up one tray, now is one down on Bay Street, one by the Market, one up by Abbotts, one over by KFC and they have a minivan on evenings picking up the stuff. Their own, they are not rent anymore; they are not hiring taxi anymore, Mr. Speaker. Some of them have $60,000 and $70,000 vehicles that they are selling their produce from, because business is expanding, people have money to spend and everybody want a little piece of the action. Mr. Speaker, my time?HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: I have 33 minutes.HONOURABLE JULIAN FRANCIS: So I have 12 minutes left. Mr. Speaker, I need to make a couple points on..., I have many other matters, but did you take my statement away from my time, [laughter] no you did not. Okay I was just wondering, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the Member for the Northern Grenadines spent half of his time yesterday on the $1 dollar charge, but the most shocking thing that I heard from him yesterday, Mr. Speaker, was this, when I said across the floor there is the ISPS Code, he said to me, you ain’t know what the “I” stand for? International, now that is the shallowest statement I have heard in a long time from a supposedly educated man, Mr. Speaker, because all persons any country will say that “I” is international. St. Vincent is international, if you are in the states, St. Vincent is international, so it is an international code. So you cannot say it is local, the international only refer to the US and America and England and so on, is the international code. So you could come and tell me about if I do not know the “I” is for international, so I do not understand what that means.Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition spent a lot of time yesterday in his response trying to [interjection] yes, in his response on Tuesday trying to whip the Political Leader apart, the Prime Minister apart when he34speaks of..., and he spent a lot of time on other capital receipts. But Mr. Speaker, I had all this, Mr. Speaker, do not forget you know the laptop that was stolen from me last night is the second laptop they stole from me. Last year Good Friday Night, they broke my office and they stole my laptop that night or that weekend, they also thief the Leader of the Opposition laptop or desktop, they say the NDP Headquarters was broken into and a computer was missing there.Mr. Speaker, I just got a nice piece of information that I was asking the public servants for, so it comes in handy. Mr. Speaker, I just did a couple things, I want to say this that the Budget of $913,475 million is two and a half times, almost two and a half times the 1998 Budget of the NDP. We do not realise it you know. The Budget in 1998 was $385,683 million, today no wonder now I can relate all these things and paint this sort of picture that I have been painting to you, because of the amount of monies that we have been pumping into the economy and as the PM say, if you can get concessionary loans and grants, take them regardless of who they come from. We will maintain our existing friends, you do not want to give us anything, we will go and look for new friends who will give us something and I thank God for Cuba and Venezuela, I thank God for Taiwan [applause] I see some placards outside...,HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Excuse me, I will ask the strangers in the gallery to refrain from participating in the debate you are not supposed to be participating, please.HONOURABLE JULIAN FRANCIS: Please do not clap eh, I do not want you to leave, please do not clap. Mr. Speaker, I saw a placard outside thank God for Ralph Gonsalves and I say thank God for Ralph Gonsalves, because Ralph Gonsalves has an understanding of many subject areas. One thing I admire about him eh, when I talk about him people does say is me first cousin. But let me say this, I know him long before, ever since me and he born we are first cousin, you realise that ever since we born we are first cousin, but I got involved with him politically when he came back from Barbados in 1979 and at that time certain persons went to Milton Cato and complained how Ralph Gonsalves driving my Volkswagen and Milton called me up and said Julian imagine what they come and tell nah that Ralph come back and he driving your Volkswagen but I know all yo is first cousin and second cousin, I know the whole family strain, so it is not now, but I respect the man, he has trained himself, he educates himself, he has prepared himself to run this country and he has run this country the best [applause] of all the Prime Ministers in this country.I will stick with him through thick and thin. So I am telling you that the NDP which is really the last year that the NDP function eh Mr. Speaker, 1998 after 1998 results of the election you know when we got the 55% of the votes and they 44% they could not function you know, Government done that is why they had to fall within the term. They could not function they were mesmerized, they wondered what happened, who hit them about their ears, they were spinning, they were seeing stars [laughter]. You know when you get a lash in your ears Mr. Speaker, you see stars, they saw stars until today they will continue to see stars for a long time to come.So Mr. Speaker, let me just give you what I have come up with, he will say it is unscientific, he is the trained economist, I am not, but I am an accountant and I like figures and I play around with them, I am a trained accountant, so when I see figures and they jump out at me I use them, so he was bellowing about this other. Mr. Speaker, the average percentage over the period of the NDP and the ULP for Other under the Capital Received,35in other words, I took the percentage of Other of the total Budget, Other Receipts and did an average over the NDP and did an average over the ULP. Between 1996 and 2001 it was 6.39% and ours between 2002 and 2010 7.7% what is the difference between a 1% so both sides have done this over the years. In fact, the NDP’s accounting system included the payment of your debt in their current account, but yet if you look at the figures and I invite Members of this Parliament and members of the public who have the figures to look and see how exact those figures were during the years of the NDP. If they have $230 million in Current Expenditure they automatically get $230 million in the Revenue section, if they have $197,000 under Capital Expenditure they automatically get $197,000 in the Capital Receipts. Check it and you will see, but we changed it and while the Leader of the Opposition agreed that it is an internationally accepted standard, he fails to accept the accounting procedure where we account for Amortization outside of the current account. So this is why we can say in hard times we are running in this Budget, Mr. Speaker, a 20% deficit, ten more minutes, Mr. Speaker, just two more main points I have.We are $20 million deficit. Mr. Speaker, the highest, the figure other of total Budget I will give you this one because you will ask me why I did not say that one, is 7.7% the highest of other, 7.7% for the NDP in 1997 that was a Budget of $395 million and the highest of the ULP is 12.24% in 2010 a Budget of $913 million. The 2010 Budget is 2.31 times the 1997 Budget so we should have been about if you did the extrapolation about 17.7% because that is the norm. Both parties practiced it, just that we account for our debt servicing differently to them.Mr. Speaker, with regards to the repayment, I want to ask Members and all those members of the public, I heard the Leader of the Opposition, well he referred to it as rubbish, the Budget, Mr. Speaker, I want to use back the same word, he spoke a lot of rubbish about, well, Mr. Speaker, as I say if I am approaching a dangerous curve you tell me.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Yes.HONOURABLE JULIAN FRANCIS: All right, so I back off. Mr. Speaker, if we go page 81 Resource Requirements, Mr. Speaker, you will see how this Budget..., in other words what the PM has done here basically is to say, look I am getting so much money, I am not really allocating these to any specific projects, in fact, I am not even allocating them to Current or Capital Revenue, I am putting them where I think best over this very tight financial period I can play around with this money that I am getting. That is what he has said in this Budget Mr. Speaker, and it is plain, but the Leader of the Opposition refuses to accept the truth and the fact, because he does not have the creative imagination to do what Ralph Gonsalves, the Prime Minister is doing [applause].Mr. Speaker, one final thing, comparative performance of capital programme. I did not prepare this one, it came to me in an envelope, you see me open it, I was trying to get it since last night I got it now while I am speaking. 1995 revised Budget expenditure $89 million actual expenditure $26 million, 29.4% utilization rate. 1996 $1.9 million, they spend $35 million, 32% rate. 1997 they had $171 million; they spend $63 million, 37% implementation rate. 1998 they had $163 million, actual expenditure $102 million, that is when they build the cruise ship berth and so on, 62% the highest the NDP has ever gotten to Mr. Speaker. 1999, 44% hear this one36$2000 that is the last year they been in office you know, Mr. Speaker, they had capital expenditure in their Budget of $144 million they only spend $35 million.Mr. Speaker, in fact, an interesting figure that I have here in these things is the same year 2000 with regards to Capital Receipts, Mr. Speaker, you will be shocked to know that the Capital Receipts for the year 2000, Mr. Speaker, was $12 million for the NDP that is the most they could have pulled out of (let me just find it here 2000, the year 2000 capital I will get it for you in one minute, Mr. Speaker, the year 2000) capital $134,563 million was their capital revenue for the year, they only get $12 million out of that in 2000. If the Government ceases to function, no wonder the people changed them and put this Unity Labour Party in office [applause] a look at our performance since then. We have done since 2001, we have spent 31% in 2001 remember we did not prepare that Budget eh and our year did not start until June when we had supplementary estimates in this Parliament. The next year we did 52%, 46.8%, 52%, 36%, 59.8%, 61.3%, 54.3% and 2009 44% these are preliminary figures and there is an asterisk here which says, preliminary figures.Mr. Speaker, if you can see the graph, one peak under the NDP until 2000 and you have many peaks and troughs here, but this is the performance of this administration, Mr. Speaker, when the Leader of the Opposition gets up he must stop talking what he talking and talk facts for the people to understand. People do not elect people who tell lies, Mr. Speaker, or speak untruths or spread things too thin. I am very graphic when I speak but I try to back it up with painting a picture, telling you what we are doing, showing you figures, extracting figures from the same Estimates that he had prepared for years as Minister of Finance and advisor to the then Prime Minister.Mr. Speaker, I think I have done what I wanted to do. I want to thank you for allowing me to make the statement I made, I trust that this matter will be resolved and Mr. Speaker, I want to say thanks to you, the Honourable Prime Minister, to the Members of the Unity Labour Party of which I am a servant, never been afraid to say it. My parents always tell me there is dignity in hard work. It ain’t how much money, it ain’t the job you have, it is what you do and how well you do it. I want to thank my colleagues; I want to particularly congratulate Minister of Housing, Informal Human Settlements, Physical Planning, Lands and Surveys, Local Government. I think that the Ministry has been handed over into very capable hands [applause]. I listened to his presentation yesterday and I said to myself, Julian you could not have done it any better. He did a good job in his first presentation as a full Minister.Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the members at the office of the Unity Labour Party where I now sojourn, all the ladies and men up there, the work crew that I have that was responsible for what we had outside on Monday and remember again we are there tomorrow morning for the wrap session, we will be there. Police has authorised it, I have a letter of authority from the police saying where we could stand and we will be there from 10 o’clock tomorrow morning.Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the members of staff of the Parliament for the assistance you have given me. I wanted to say something on airport financing because I think Mr. Speaker that I have been..., both Senator Leacock and the Parliamentary Representative for Northern Grenadines said I said in this House that we will have no loans when we finish the airport, I will deal with that another time. Just to say that I said, there is37Arnos Vale with 65 acres of land and if we run into any problems and we have any deficit at the end of it we could sell it at $400 a square foot and I did the calculations but they left that out.Mr. Speaker, I want to thank you very much. It is Government land, it ain’t nobody else land. National Properties is Government and Government is Government. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank you very much and I wish the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines a prosperous, continued prosperous 2010, thank you [applause].HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: No I, oh you obviously was not inside Honourable Senator Leacock, because I have the Honourable Mike Browne and the Honourable Terrance Ollivierre who have all indicated already [interjection] hello [interjection] yes you will come after, well you are securing that position [laughter]. Honourable Minister, you have..., you know your time, you have..., okay, when you are ready Honourable Member.HONOURABLE MICHAEL BROWNE: Thank you. St. Vincent and the Grenadines is too small for a crisis centre at this time. There are questions of security, Human and Social Resources. Words Mr. Speaker, of the New Democratic Party said in this very House on Thursday February 4th 1999 almost 11 years ago and these words were uttered in response to our question when we were on the other side in the Opposition. The question being, what plans are there to provide a crisis centre for families or persons affected by domestic violence? And the more fulsome answer is St. Vincent and the Grenadines is too small for a crisis centre at this time. There are questions of Security, Human and Social Resources, the focus is to help victims to integrate into the family circle.Well Mr. Speaker, St. Vincent and the Grenadines 11 years later is still the same size, but in this year Budget we are creating history and we are indeed fulfilling our promise in two electronic manifestos to establish the crisis centre and to make it fully operational. This, Mr. Speaker, after we had bought the property at Kingstown Park and we had repaired it, it is currently being repaired and in this Budget we have made provision for the operation and the staffing; I begin Mr. Speaker, this way in order to highlight the important difference philosophically and programmatically between the ULP administrations here on this side and the NDP Opposition on the other side.In this House Mr. Speaker, over the years, I hope you excuse the voice, and I hope this sound man could give me a little bit more bass and a little bit more volume. Over the years I have taken a strong role in highlighting the differences between the two political parties. Mr. Speaker, not all motor cars are the same, not all mangoes are the same, not all politicians are the same, not all political parties are the same, yes, we fall into the category of political party because of an outlook and organisation and so on, but there are salient differences between political parties as is the case in our St. Vincent and the Grenadines.The New Democratic Party like the ULP party is an all class party. We represent all class interests in St. Vincent and the Grenadines; the difference is that because the ULP is a social democratic party of a progressive leaning our emphasis in representing all interest in the society, all classes, and our emphasis is on the most disadvantaged sectors of our society. They on the other hand while full of platitudes in relation to the working38people, the most disadvantaged sectors, they are particularly concerned with the more well to do, the business sector and their policies and programme reflect that.Last year I held up a glass of water half full to emphasize and dramatize the difference that while we will see the glass is half full they will see it as half empty because in this Budget we have kept on our track philosophically and programmatically by providing for the disadvantaged sectors of our society and as Julian Francis who now left has pointed out, they do not consider the nation and the working people deserving of the inclusion of those benefits that we have put into this particular Budget. So to them, this Budget is a curse, but the working people will understand that this Budget is their Budget. It is a Budget extraordinaire because it retains our commitment to the disadvantaged while at the same crafting a chart in the turbulent waters of today and that is a difficult thing. That makes the Budget a Budget extraordinaire, because the circumstances are extraordinaire, they are extraordinary, they are not ordinary, yet our Minister of Finance, our political leader with his skills has been able to say we will retain our loyalty to our philosophy and our outlook, but we are going to make sure we are creative in the particular extraordinary circumstances to come up with a Budget that could carry us further in 2010.So there is a profound difference between us over here and the other side and it is reflected in their perspective on the Budget as well as our perspective and this Budget did not see the light of day when the Prime Minister presented the estimates last week Tuesday. This Budget has a long track record in its creation, it is a bottom’s up Budget where our Ministries individually submitted proposals for the Budget which proposals emanate from the bowels of the Ministry and as in the case of my own Ministry certainly reflecting the downtrodden in the society and those had to be negotiated with the Ministry of Finance officials, come to Cabinet, refashioned in Cabinet and of course the Prime Minister with his numerous consultations. All of those were inputted into the Budget to arrive at this point. So this is not an ambush, this Budget is not an ambush. This Budget is the product of careful consideration and consultation to arrive at this point and taken in its totality and the total circumstances in which it finds itself. I repeat, we have a Budget extraordinaire.The Unity Labour Party is a social democratic party of a progressive kind and our constitution which is the life blood of our party confirms that. It says, and a number of these have been extracted from the preamble of the constitution that we have and that constitution captures the national philosophy of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. It says the building of a society in accordance with the principles of participatory democracy basic human rights as enshrined in the constitution of SVG, free institutions, social justice, equality before the law and human dignity. Indeed the word dignity appears twice in the preamble of our current constitution.Our party constitution says that we are committed to the fostering of the pursuit of just economic rewards for labour and that is a precise lift from the constitution of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The development of people’s talents and skills to the fullest extent possible through training and education, the sustained improvement of the material, social and cultural levels of living of our people as a whole and this is the one that I love the most, the especial protection of those sections of the society which are disadvantaged, weak and defenceless. These are the things that defined the party, defined this side in Government, and defined the Budget that we have.39Mr. Speaker, the other side would not see it like that. Indeed, the Leader of the Opposition led the charge in attempting to rubbish the constitution and I repeat, in doing that he was reflecting his own class position in the society, a member of the business class. I wrote an article during the Referendum discussion where I pointed out the three leaders of the new Democratic Party, the current leader of the Opposition, the founding father James Mitchell and the Chairman are all millionaire capitalists, they reflect that outlook, those are the lens through which you see the world, through which they see St. Vincent and the Grenadines, through which they see this Budget, their own class outlook.The Leader of the Opposition says that the Budget is a practical joke, it is a worthless document that we should be ashamed, that he is ashamed of that document and crossing the line of his training in economics to psychiatry he says that the Prime Minister cannot distinguish between appearance and reality, that he has a handicap, that he cannot tell the difference between the appearance and reality. So the reality is that this is a drug, but the Prime Minister will see it as a cheer, because he cannot understand that that is reality and the psychiatrist have a term for this condition “schizophrenia” well I have been working with this Prime Minister 19... well before that since in Grammar School in the 1960’s so over 50 years and I am now discovering last Tuesday that my Prime Minister is a schizophrenic, because schizophrenia is when you do not have the ability to distinguish between reality and unreality and these are the kinds of depths to which the other side sinks in these discussions.The Leader of the Opposition to use his own words said, “there is a correlation between crime and economic growth” and he produces some statistics to try to give credence to that thesis. Well there some truth in it except the correlation is never linear, is never a straight line, it is much more complicated, but hear this, between the period 1966 and that is a critical year in my presentation, I will return to it, 12 years after the NDP was in office, report 1966, [interjection] oh I am sorry 1996, 12 years after the NDP came into office, the crimes reported by the police were 10,184 it reached the highest point under them the year 1997; 10,217. Since we took office there has been a progressive decline: in 2001, it was 10 thousand and something; 2002, 8 thousand and something; 2003, 8 thousand and something; 2004, 8 thousand and something; 2005, 7 thousand and something; 2006, 7 thousand and something; 2007, 6 thousand and something; 2008, 6 thousand and something; 2009, it started to back up and I think we understand some of the effects, not so much of the economy but of certain developments in relation to our war in drugs in the hills and Vincy Pac.If you accept the thesis of the Leader of the Opposition then basically you will have to concede that since crime was at such a high rate that they were doing extremely badly in terms of the economy in 1996. So I make the point that we could produce as the statistician say figures do not lie, but you can lie with figures depends on how you manipulate them and you could produce figures to demonstrate that we are doing too badly in terms of the economy, but Mr. Speaker, the crisis centre entry into the presentation in order to highlight the differences. What has been the record of the New Democratic Party in relation, and I will take the words from our constitution, in relation to the disadvantaged, weak and defenceless.In 1994 10 years after the NDP came to office they commissioned a study on poverty done by Kairi Consultants of Trinidad and Tobago, the same consultants that they did want a couple years ago and I will come to that. The research was done in 1995 and the report was tabled December of 1996, so we come back to the year 1996. That report came on the heels of a bad situation in the country. In 1992 bananas nearly 60,000 tons were40produced, 1993 had a drought and that went down to about 1⁄2 for the same time 1994 you had the new banana regime coming in which accentuated competition between our area and Central American Bananas, so we had a very difficult time in the country. I say this because the follow up report which is done under our regime by the same people 2007 – 2008 that it came in those kinds of circumstances, difficult circumstances. The 1996 report said, and remember the research was done in 1995 that 25.7% of our population 1 in 41⁄4 and this is the head count, not households, the head, the total population. One quarter of the population was living in indigence and the literature give all kinds of other formulation for indigence, extreme poverty, critical poverty, food poverty, dirt poverty, you heard the Prime Minister talk about dirt poverty in his address, but the bottom line is this, when they talk about indigence, they are talking about the level below which members of a household or an individual are threatened with ill health and even death. It is the minimum food requirement necessary for existence. In other words, they worked it out in a family $364 per month is needed, if you go below that you are entering into the realm of ill health leading on to possibly death. In other words, you are talking about the starvation line that is what the NDP has bequeathed to us, 12 years in office that is what they have done to our people. Disadvantaged, weak and defenceless, quarter of them starving and we want to go back to that.The poverty as distinct from the indigence or the starvation line is where you add that indigence line and you put on some other what you call non-food thing so that have a cost. The poverty line was 37.5%, in other words, nearly 4 out of every 10 citizens were living in poverty. They went on to make some other points as we all know the distinction between rural and urban poverty. Rural poverty was a bit higher 39% as compared to 35% in town on so on, not significant, but notable and this is why our Prime Minister in fashioning the Cabinet had said, we have to pay attention to rural development and the criticisms we get for establishing what some people call one of the Mickey Mouse ministries has this consideration in mind, when we set up our rural ministry. Bad and terrible as these figures are or were that is not the whole story, the report says, I am quoting some exact words of the report, although the economy does not reflect the same dependence on bananas as it did in its 1970’s. Now remember the writing in 1976 they writing up the report after the research 1996.The diversification that has been achieved has not been adequate to protect it from the vagaries of the international economy and from the difficulty in the industry itself that is bananas. But this is the critical part, the trends, because the consultants come from the different disciplines, the economics and so on and so forth, so they could spot trends. The trends that they saw in the economy at the time under the NDP, the trends impact negatively not only on the existing poor they also increased the ranks with new poor. It goes on, on page 55 of the report to talk about the spread of poverty. It goes on further on page 121 the Government lacks the resources to increase expenditure under social services generally and on the social safety net, that is what does protect the poor, the social safety net specially, thus, and hear this, thus as poverty increased the Government had found itself with less capacity for poverty alleviation. So at the same time it is increasing the same time their capacity was declining to deal with poverty in short. By the time the Unity Labour Party got to office in 2001, 6 years after the research, it is likely that indigence extreme poverty and starvation had entered into the 40% of the population, oh sorry, in the 30% indigence, because it was going up it was not static. It is likely that poverty, general poverty had reached into the forties, forty something percent of the population.The report in other words indicated extremely high levels of starvation and poverty and that they were both increasing, both starvation and poverty. Now are we going back to that with those kinds of policies that we hear41reflected on the other side as distinct from the progressive social democratic content of this Budget? They go on further, the poverty gap was 12.6% and let me explain this, I will take a little time, Mr. Speaker, because you notice in the Prime Minister’s Budget I believe the biggest section of his Budget speech, may be about 10 to 12 pages was dealing with poverty, alleviation poverty, reduction poverty, elimination which is one of our portfolios.The poverty gap means that when they say it is 12.6% what it means, is that you have to transfer that percentage, let us say you are talking about $100 it means you have to transfer $12.60 to the poor extra in order for them to move out of poverty, I put it in a simple way but it is a little more complicated than that. There are so many things in that report. It goes on to point out what we all know that among the poorest section of the society, the unemployment rate was four times higher than in the upper echelons, the top 20%, the lowest 20% of the population the poorest the unemployment rate was four times the unemployment rate in the top section, the better off section in our society. So we see the close interconnection of course between poverty and unemployment.Now what is interesting and which is of so much relevance to us here is that the consultants in 1996 says to the NDP administration at the time, it says, look you all need to find the resources to embark on a counter cyclical programme in the economy, are those words familiar, counter cyclical? In other words, the crisis is the economy, the cycle in which it was going, they say, no, no, no, no if you go like that you will continue to get more and more poverty which is what was happening. But you need to generate and find resources to put the cycle in the other direction, to go the opposition direction, counter to how the cycle is going.Now our Prime Minister has made that crystal clear since 2001 that we need in those times rather than take a position of conservatism in the economy, at the same time the people are suffering more and more. You have to inject resources to reverse the cycle that was heavily criticised by the Leader of the Opposition and in..., they had that option you know, the consultants give them that option. Mr. Speaker, one of the other recommendations and I lift it as an exact quote for poverty reduction was the elimination of abuse of violence against women and girls and the need for a crisis centre. But three years later in this Parliament they say, no, St. Vincent and the Grenadines too small for a crisis centre, their words, not Mike Browne words, not the ULP words, their words when we asked them the question, but we have it in the Budget for 2010. We are going to take care as the Prime Minister say, we are going to take care of our women and men, because some of them men get licks too and they will need the crisis centre. But Mr. Speaker, I gone.One of the people who worked closely with that poverty report and research was a man from the constituency of West St. George he has a radio programme, from Dauphnie, his name is Junior Bacchus. In 1996 the same year in October he wrote a letter to the newspapers, I do not know if the camera could pick it up, but the title as published in the newspaper is “John must go” [interjection] I am coming to that and down below it signed Junior Bacchus, Dauphnie, “John must go” I could see it on the TV Junior Bacchus, Dauphnie. He worked on this poverty report you know and I read the letter.The year 1996, if you do not know who is Junior Bacchus, he has that programme, he been on the NDP demonstration day, what day it was? The one of the biggest placards the other day you know, this week Monday, one of the biggest placards outside. The year 1996 began with crisis in education, so when they say42John must go you know what they mean, John Horne the Minister of Education, John must go, when the parents of Troumaca refused to send their children to the shift system with the Troumaca Ontario Secondary School, you remember when they used to build shift system left right and centre, have you ever heard of shift system under this administration? And this is when times were still reasonably good. This action became necessary because of..., hear the language you know, Junior Bacchus who stand on the NDP line you know, hear the language, this action became necessary because of the blatant neglect, not neglect you know, blatant neglect by the Government in the maintenance of the building that housed the Troumaca Primary School. It is now October and crisis after crisis continues, same Junior Bacchus, this is under NDP you know, lack of furniture in Questelles, asbestos in several schools, the need for school building in Greggs, shortage of teachers in North Union Secondary, Barrouallie Secondary, Infant School, a shortage of furniture in Barrouallie Secondary, gross ill discipline at the St. Vincent Grammar School, lack of furniture at several schools in the Grenadines, pest attack at Richmond Hill School and the list continues. Is not this enough for the Prime Minister meaning Mitchell? Is not this enough for the Prime Minister to take corrective measures? No, it seems the only time this Ministry of Education, hear the language, under the incompetent, hostile and infective leadership of John E. the only time they take action is when teachers and parents protest. I am happy that Vincentians are now becoming aware of the importance of their children’s education to the extent of taking serious action. I did call on Vincentians to protest if they need change. With the ever growing national debt, their language you know, and the need of Government to service its many loans, we will see the Ministry of Finance cutting back more and more from the social sectors like education, health and community services. Remember not a cent for them; you remember that, not a cent for them?But hear this part here now, it try in with this poverty thing you know and this is his figure, 1996 so it is at variance with the 37.5% that I talked about, our 41.9% poverty rate, I do not know how we reconciled those figures, Junior Bacchus would know, because basically he is saying it is 42% poverty in the same year, the report was saying 37.5%. Our 41.9% poverty rate will soon get up to 60%, well his climb is more precipitous than mine, I was not going so rapid, but he reading it and he been involved in research. Our 41.9% poverty rate will soon get up to 60% if we continue along this path and serious [inaudible] is made to improve the productive sector. It is unfortunate that the Teachers Union would not look deeper into the cause of the problems of the education system. Technically speaking, the unions should not have called for the resignation of the CEO in spite of the short comings of the Chief. He is not the one who is to take the blame for the lack of funds for the appointment of new teachers and the compensation of graduates; he is just the mouth piece of the Ministry.The Minister is the one who is responsible for the present policy or lack of policy in the Ministry. The Chief is just a servant. If the Public Service Commission bows to the call of the union by dismissing the Chief, any future appointee will easily compromise to meet the wishes of the union for fear of public embarrassment and he concludes, I think the union should examine the issue deeper and issue a serious call for the resignation of John Horne.When Cabinet fails to consider funds to employ teachers, who to blame, John; when teachers ain’t appointed, who to blame, John; when McCauley Peters and Cools Vanloo mash up the education system, who to blame, John; when schools cannot get basic supplies, who to blame, John; get the message? John must go. 1996 how quick people forget. But ain’t forgetting and Junior Bacchus is on the other side. On the 26th August 1997 he43had been making soundings that he wants to replace me as a candidate in West St. George at the time, the night before we had our candidate selection on the 27th August 1997, the day before on August 26th, he rush and took in his application to the Unity Labour Party, it was received on the same day, because he was hoping to replace me as a candidate. You see the kind of opportunism that emerges when people have their own agendas. I have the application form here, a copy of it. It is dated the 26th August, 2997 because the selection was the next day, the 27th. When opportunism guides people rather than fundamental principles, he end up in all kind of waters and you find some kind of justification and rationale for doing it.Mr. Speaker, we fast forward the 2009 last year, that was when the same Kairi Consultants delivered a report to the Ministry of Finance and Planning, they were the..., they had carriage of the research even though we have carriage in our Ministry of addressing the problems of poverty. The Honourable Member for the Northern Grenadines say they asked the question couple meetings ago about the report and the Prime Minister answered to indicate that they were doing some final corrections and so to a final report and it would be made available, but we had access to, should we say, the draft or the first copy. So we fast forward to 2009 report reflecting the research done on poverty in 2007 and 2008.The report indicated that general poverty had declined from the previous report of 37.5% but my projected figure of around 40% because it was going up at the time, had declined to 30.2% in other words, the pre must drop let us say from 40% under the NDP to 30% in 2007 that is to say a 10% in the six and half years we have been in office and if you follow that projection from where we are now I would suggest that general poverty might be in the vicinity of about 25% based on their figures. But the more dramatic reduction has been in the area of indigence or extreme poverty, dirt poor poverty, food poverty, starvation and that declined from their figure 25.7% and I had projected it upwards to about 30% when we came to office, had declined from say 30% to 2.9% [applause] so that is 3% and if you project it further to where we are now from 2007, clearly, extreme poverty would be minimal and I have already alerted my staff at the Ministry that we must go on a focussed and concentrated thrust to identify the extreme poor in our society including the vagrants, because what is happening in the macro economy has led to a provision of jobs and there have been particularly focussed interventions. Certainly by my Ministry and as the Prime Minister say, all Ministries and all policies connect with this issue of poverty reduction elimination because it is our number two priority after education which is our number one priority and there is a nexus between education and poverty reduction [interjection] they are the Siamese twins and I am going to make a point on that just now, another point.So it is easier to reduce extreme poverty or indigence because the household that is in extreme poverty or indigence really needs a smaller insertion of resources to move them from starvation level to into the poverty zone. It is always harder to move from the poverty zone into the none poverty zone, but limited resources injected into a family could bring them out of the starvation syndrome and our macro economy has taken care of that with the provision of numerous jobs, I think the figure was given, Prime Minister you could correct me, some 8000 jobs have been created, [interjection] 10,000 jobs have been created that makes a difference. If you put somebody in a family situation on a yes programme which is really still a study-training programme it is not a salary and you get the basic of $450.00 it could shift them out of extreme poverty but still they may remain in the poverty zone. So from that standpoint, yes, it is easier to reduce extreme poverty than poverty in general.44But certainly, this Government has to take kudos for the drastic transformation in the society is a quiet social revolution which is taking place. Just stand up by the High School gap on afternoons and to see the odd mixture of people from all class, backgrounds in the same uniforms integrating and mixing. There is a quiet social transformation revolution taking place in the society that is not being adequately recognised. They are changing the whole composition and fabric of the society and that is because of the outlook of this administration, reflected in our programmes policies and most definitely in the Budget.There is a figure that the Prime Minister referred to in this report; it is a technical thing that poverty researchers deal with. They have a whole set of measures and some of them complicated in the calculation, but there is one they call the gene coefficient that the Prime Minister refer to and basically there is a range from zero to one, the closer the figure is to one the more extreme is the inequality in the society, the closer the figure move to zero is the less extreme in the inequality in other words, you are getting closer to equality in the society and that figure under the NDP went down from .56% to .40% it seemed a small drop but it is significant in terms of what it means, the ramifications per poverty.The report said that the Government, meaning the ULP Government through its agencies has mounted a vigorous programme of poverty reduction, they summarise it in that sense. It goes on to say that poverty and indigence levels have fallen, comparative social indicators that is health, education, la, la, la and a number of other things, those are what you call comparative social indicators, show improvement in living conditions.The nexus between education and poverty, in 1995 when the research was actually done, and I am going to round the figures out only 3 out of every 100 heads of households, whether it is male or female heading the household, only 3 of them out of every 100 had acquired education higher than, well I will say post-secondary and university education, past secondary education, only 3. In 2007 the number had jumped to nearly 9%.HONOURABLE ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: Mr. Speaker, I am just trying to seek the assistance from the Honourable Minister for elucidation on a matter, I do not know if he would be grateful to assist me. I think that is so for most of us on this side have not have the benefit of seeing these reports which indeed is a very important document and I think steps ought to be made to make sure that we all have that report, because it bothers me as a person who is interested in representing people in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Let us make it non-political, but I think I understood and the Honourable Minister, this is why I am asking for your assistance that you identify the statistics as 3% being indigent I do not know if that is what you are saying.HONOURABLE MICHAEL BROWNE: 2.9%.HONOURABLE ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: 2.9% well I round it off to 3% of the population indigent. Just to do easy Maths I am rounding the population of the country at 100,000 just for the ease of calculations and you are saying that 3% of that 100,000 are indigent.HONOURABLE MICHAEL BROWNE: 3% of?45HONOURABLE ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: 3% of the 100,000 are indigent so we have 3000 people in St. Vincent roughly speaking on a constituency basis it is about 200 people in every constituency can be considered to be very poor that is what this statistic is saying. Just doing linear Mathematics, 200 persons per 15 constituencies 3000 are very poor, very poor, very, very poor that is correct? Mr. Minister, I am asking for your help.HONOURABLE MICHAEL BROWNE: Now, I will explain, let me explain, I was saying [interjection]. HONOURABLE ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: Allow me with the Honourable Minister please. [Interjection] Iwill get to that I am just asking for the assistance of Honourable Minister please.HONOURABLE MICHAEL BROWNE: Mr. Speaker, the Honourable Senator was not following the totality of my presentation. I made the point that we dropped from the percentage on paper of 25.7% in the 1996 report which you all commissioned, but I was projecting the figure upwards based on the trends and I felt that by 2001 when we came into office is that the figure for indigence or starvation was about 30%. I went on to say [interjection] hello [interjection] no, no, no follow me carefully, the research was done in 1995 of the first report under the NDP administration. The report came out in December 1996, the report says that 25.7% of the population was indigent, I am saying to you, based on the report where it indicating that the trend was upwards with poverty, I am projecting that six years later between 1995 and 2001, six years when this administration came into office, in the remaining six years the figure may have climbed another 4.3% to about 30% roughly.I went on to say that the 30% according to the latest report has been reduced dramatically to 2.9% when they did research in 2007/2008 because it really went over an extended period of time. But I am saying further Senator Leacock is that based on the downward trend that if you take it at 2007/2008 at 2.9% from 30% in 2001, the downward trend will suggest that where we are now in January 2010 we may be down to about 1% or under 1% because of the downward trend that is what I am saying. But we are taking it [interjection] okay, well the Prime Minister has calculated under your time how much it would have been under the 25.7%.HONOURABLE ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: So Honourable Minister I am so grateful to you because as I understand it and I want to be accurate, because this is work for us to do, we just have about 1000 very, very poor persons on starvation near dead that kind of situation.HONOURABLE MICHAEL BROWNE: Precisely. HONOURABLE ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: 1000 in the country. HONOURABLE MICHAEL BROWNE: Yes. HONOURABLE ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: On a constituency basis less than 100. HONOURABLE MICHAEL BROWNE: Yes.46HONOURABLE ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: Thank you. HONOURABLE MICHAEL BROWNE: And I believe it is manageable. HONOURABLE ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: I am grateful to you Honourable Member.HONOURABLE MICHAEL BROWNE: As a Government, but the point is if you take 1/3 roughly of the population or one quarter of the population Senator Leacock in your time it meant that you had in the area of indigence starvation, you would have been approaching twenty something thousand people in that bracket compared with maybe 1000 now. But whatever it is and you are right in this sense that we all collectively have to address that because we have an obligation as leaders and people of some influence in the society to certainly take care of the poorest of the poor in our society and I am saying to you that is what this administration is doing and I am saying to you further that is what this Budget is doing.Mr. Speaker, our Ministry has responsibility for this work and our various department, I should point out you know Mr. Speaker..., Mr. Speaker, how much time I have, help me out here.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: You have 1 hour 10 minutes already.HONOURABLE MICHAEL BROWNE: Roughly half an hour, okay I got to move on quickly. Mr. Speaker, our Ministry has thirteen portfolios assigned to it. I consider it a super Ministry. Some Ministries are lucky with just stand alone one portfolio, but we have to address thirteen in nine departments and we have in our Ministries. Poverty eradication pervades all of the departments and every programme has to connect with it. Some more pointedly than others, so in our community social development thing, we have of course the famous CAP programme, Children Against Poverty, an extremely successful programme. We have the issue of provision of water for homes that do not have. We have general building community structures to carry out work in their communities, the cooperative and I just saw the Registrar walking, has as it lead the work in poverty eradication and the establishment of cooperatives whether in schools or generally in the society, they have a responsibility to address this question of harnessing and corralling resourcing financially in order that children can have certain kinds of resources and use them in a productive way.Mr. Speaker, our family affairs is one of the lead Ministry’s in this regard, or Departments and whether it is dealing with the elderly and we have the home help provision for the elderly poor, this is the administration that dealt with that you know. This administration had set that up, the elderly poor, they lead on that. They deal with issues of child abuse because we have quite a bit of that happening in families in general certainly among the poor families in part because of the stress they have to undergo.We have the street children programme. We are the ones who did the research on it and have implemented a pastoral programme to address that. The street children, Mr. Speaker, are not street children in the traditional sense that you see in Latin America where they live and sleep on the street, but they spend an inordinate percentage of time on the street and they are truant they do not go to school all the time because of all the47difficult circumstances. We have a responsibility as a Government and certainly we have as a Ministry that responsibility to assist in that regard.Mr. Speaker, we are dealing with the students at risk. We are dealing with persons with disabilities the challenged people. Mr. Speaker, on December 10th of last year a report entitled “Persons with disabilities in St. Vincent and the Grenadines” was registered based on a survey conducted by Projects Promotion Limited, commissioned by the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Social Investment Fund and on behalf of the National Society of Persons with Disabilities. They produce their report and in that report, they have information on 2,540 persons with disabilities stored in the computer for follow up work and they have all kind of tables in relation to social and demographic characteristics, number, nature, living arrangements, conditions and so on.Mr. Speaker, this administration has taken a lead on addressing the disabled and this year, we are going to see a mega project, which involves research on the disabled. I go back, Mr. Speaker, to what our party has said about the disadvantaged, weak and defenceless. We have an obligation to defend the defenceless, to provide advantages to the disadvantaged, because the way the world is set up advantages accrue to the advantaged that is why we have a particular outlook on this side, because we know that and disadvantages accrue to the disadvantaged. Well we have to have an affirmative intervention programme to turn that around and this administration under the leadership of the Prime Minister himself has been spearheading a programme, an ALBA programme which programme has been done in Cuba, Ecuador, help me now, Nicaragua, Venezuela, a number of Latin American countries to identify each and every quote unquote “disabled”, you call them challenged persons, to identify their needs to do all kind of things. Genetic research to see if there is something in the genes from one generation to the next and so on, a complex scientific study in order to inform a more comprehensive intervention in the society and I think the Cuban team as I understand, it would be back here working with local doctors and so on in March.Our Gender Affairs Department, Mr. Speaker, we are dealing with poverty eradication as our one. We are working with our teen mothers to get them back into school, because again we understand the connection between education and poverty elimination. Working with parents, rural women in income generation, the Liberty Lodge Boys basically that is a poor boy school for poor people children to give them a chance in life because the home situation is difficult and we have that programme going, we are working with them, they are doing some excellent work in Agriculture because they have a few acres of land and we are seeking where possible to reintegrate them into their families, but that is after a whole set of work with parents and so on.Mr. Speaker, Physical Education and Sports, again those are the areas of recreation with our hard courts and our playing fields where poor people get a chance to exercise and participate in recreational activities. The wellness programme, we are encouraging our nation as a whole to be involved in activities of this nature. I cannot go into all the programmes, Mr. Speaker, because of the limitation of time. The youth programme recently the Youth Empowerment Service programme earned a hemispheric award for this part of the world, North, South America or North America, South America, the Caribbean, our youth officer went to Mexico to receive this. They had a selection from I do not know how many hundred, six hundred or so and projects dealing with youth and employment have emerged, Mr. Speaker, as one of the top ones and we have been awarded.48This afternoon, Mr. Speaker, I leave to represent my Prime Minister at a CARICOM Heads of Government Meeting on Youth in Suriname and these are matters that will be dealt with. Only last week, Mr. Speaker, I opened a conference dealing with Caribbean Youths in Agriculture and we are looking at how we could get the young people reconnect with the land so they could understand the importance of their own food production for their own wellbeing and certainly in the context of poverty alleviation. Mr. Speaker, there is so much I could say. I wanted to talk a lot more on some of the programmes and I hope my staff will understand the pressures of time.Mr. Speaker, I turn to the constituency of West St. George. We start from the legacy of the New Democratic Party. In that constituency, Mr. Speaker, in 2001 when we took office, I was faced with the hand from the previous administration 17 years, because they bin dey since 1984 of some 200 roads that had to be fixed, either repaired or to be constructed from dirt to concrete. I have done I think about 120, but we still have ways to go and the people complaining and that is understandable. But you would have heard from the Budget address from the Prime Minister and other Ministers that there is going to be a concerted effort in doing this and Mr. Speaker, there are times I will take money out of my pocket, we have a horrendous road up in Gomea by the Gomea Methodist Church, absolutely horrendous. The last time that it was fixed in 2007 I took money out of my pocket to get a team to patch out the holes, and we try to get it fix. The next year yes, we had the money, we had a contractor, and they did not have asphalt. Then when they have asphalt there was a problem with cash flow. Last year it was to have been done and then they say BRAGSA will do it and BRAGSA has it as its number one priority in West St. George because it is just simply horrendous and we are going to expect in this year a lot of work to be done in the constituencies addressing the feeder roads and what has been referred to as the gouti tracks but you know what I mean the lanes where it cannot be roads. It has to be done and while we accept the fact that we do not have the Budget to do all there are some critical ones that need to be done and in this regard, Mr. Speaker, we are going to work as a team in this administration and I know Cabinet is going to be exceedingly vigilant on this in 2010.Mr. Speaker, education was in a shambles, general in the country. You heard Junior Bacchus letter and certainly in West St. George we inherited all the schools in West St. George, everyone was in a rundown state. We have done major work on the Sion Hill School, because that is a hurricane shelter we had to do a lot, a lot, a lot of major work there, the roof and everything. We have done major work on the Gomea Methodist School which is going to..., there is going to be some ceremony soon. We have done repairs to Dorsetshire Hill, Belmont, and the other Belair School; we put on a top floor because we had to vacate the top section, a different section an annex which we converted into the West St. George Secondary School. We have done work on the Technical College, Teacher’s College and so on.Mr. Speaker, education is important and permit me, Mr. Speaker, just to return to a point that I was making earlier about the nexus between..., just about the time when Senator Leacock got up, so I lost track of that point, but I am going to return to it, because I am on education. I had made the point that in 1996 post secondary and university education only 3% of households had compared with 2007/2008 9% and the figure is climbing and that is wonderful. We are not taking about the children in the house you know, we are talking about the head of the household.49Mr. Speaker, I mean the facts are there, the facts are there, the facts are there. Mr. Speaker, last week there was a meeting at the Girls’ High School, our Form Four Students study Spanish, History and they have a trip was going to Cuba. Last night I wrote a cheque for my daughter, she is in that group, my Permanent Secretary is here, she had twin daughters, identical twins, they are well known because they are outstanding in dances and we were both at the meeting and I realise a $1000 in January hard and I tell you, it was not easy to bend my wrist last night to write that cheque for $1000 for my daughter to carry to school today. But what is interesting, when you go into the meeting, I think about 40 of the students have been selected and they are not selected because it is Mike Browne daughter or Rosita Alexander daughter, they had to do a whole set of work before and on the basis of who do work they were selected. I told the Principal I love that approach, I love that approach. If you want to go, let everybody work, well who did not work, they ain’t show the interest, then you select on the basis of that. But what was beautiful about the meeting, Mr. Speaker, is when you sit down there and somebody like me from an established middle class back ground and you watch grass root parents in that meeting and they articulate and they could stand up and make the points for themselves, they ain’t need a Mike Browne to talk for them, it was beautiful, beautiful, this is what the revolution is about, this is what it is about [applause].And when I see those kinds of things you know, Mr. Speaker, I could go home, I could retire because I know we have made an impact, I know we have made an impact and I could go home and pass the baton to other people, but it is a challenge, they had to raise about two hundred and something thousand dollars and I told PS, I say, PS we have to try we best to help lobby because I want these children go and experience the Cuban Revolution. The programme they have, many places are visiting, my own self and we have to make an effort and I hope those who are outside there hearing could come forward and ring the Girls’ High School this afternoon and talk to Mrs. Bowman and say, well I could give you $5000 because some of the grass root children I know it is going to be difficult for them to go and we really have to make an effort for them to. Let them get the exposure. Yes, it is easy for me and Rosita to buy a plane ticket and carry our children to Cuba on one of the trips or something, but here is an opportunity for grass root children, working class children to go on these trips, but because of the pressure of the money, especially in this time of the year January, it ain’t easy, we have to see how we could support them to the max.Mr. Speaker, the West St. George constituency like the North Windward constituency never had a secondary school under the New Democratic Party.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: 10 minutes.HONOURABLE MICHAEL BROWNE: That is corrected, that is corrected, we are going to have a glorious new school you know, $18 million but our Cabinet said to me, you are the representative, World Bank taking a little time you do not have to wait on World Bank, let us put something together. So we had to be creative, I had to be creative as a representative supported by our Prime Minister who we consider the lead Minister of Education. Never mind my colleague here, I accepted that in my time and the colleagues and they say, yes go let us see how creatively we could be, we cannot wait, because we do not know when they will come, it would take them a long time, because World Bank ain’t easy with their procedures you know, it is not like CDB, Caribbean Development Bank you get through a little earlier, but the point I am making is that we started the50school. We built a wing on the Primary School, we shifted the other students down and we had the compound which we just keep adding on bit by bit, they have a lab now, they have a tuck shop, we keep putting on things [interjection] and we went there together.I remember one day when you had visited, you were making your rounds of the schools, you was down Barrouallie then you come, I think [interjection] man, hands on, this is not no theoretical esoteric kind of thing over here you know, these are hands on people. Mr. Speaker, I does put on my water boots and weed eater and go and trim by the Spa, trim a tree in West St. George. Every child that went into that went into that school, they never used to call it Mike Browne School..., I mean they never used to call it West St. George, they say, Minister this is your school, that is Mike Browne School. Every child, 103 of them admitted, every single one of them had failed Common Entrance, everyone. They say Minister, where to put them? I say, send them by my school, this is my school send them. Give me the poor people children. So they came, the teachers worked, Mr. Speaker, I go really cannot sing the praises more of them teachers, they work for them children. Some of them had real serious remedial problems and they take them in like their own children and they work with them. Five years later, last year Mr. Speaker, the children them deliver a 60% pass rate in CXC [applause] children who would have gone in the mountains.DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: How many are there now? HONOURABLE MICHAEL BROWNE: I am not sure how many now, I do not..., DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: Inaudible.HONOURABLE MICHAEL BROWNE: Three hundred and something. You know I mean..., some gone on to College, Technical College, “A Level College,” the Community College, they gone on. I mean I could go home; I could go home now...,DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: Inaudible.HONOURABLE MICHAEL BROWNE: Thank you, thank you Prime Minister, 330 students in West St. George. I have a full school, so we did not sit back and wait on World Bank; we use our creativity, our ingenuity to solve these problems at the constituency level. What a Government? [Applause] Mr. Speaker, oh there is so much, there is so much, I really need more time. This might be my last Budget, Mr. Speaker; could I get an extra half an hour?HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: You have 5 minutes remaining. DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: Inaudible.HONOURABLE MICHAEL BROWNE: Oh yes, yes, that is your call Prime Minister, that is your call, that is your call51DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: You have another one. HONOURABLE MICHAEL BROWNE: Oh, I have another one? Okay, good. DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: Under the constitution..., [laughter].HONOURABLE MICHAEL BROWNE: Mr. Speaker, but seriously the Budget, and I really have to..., I will go on another programme, Mr. Speaker, on the air and elaborate a number of these things, but very quickly, we do have a lot in the Budget in capital expenditure for rehabilitation of roads. The Vigie road is going to continue. It is amazing you know, holes in the Vigie road bad, you spend nearly $2 million for the piece, every morning you hear on the radio, oh Mike Browne where he dey, he not doing nothing, the Government, watch so much holes, the road done, not a person call in and say, uh, thank you for the road, nobody, no, no. We are going to do Fenton road and Feeder roads in the constituency that is in the Budget. In the Budget we have a lot for poverty eradication and community development in West St. George, in general in the country. We are going to do some more work on the Arnos Vale Playing Field, we are going to have three, one days coming up. I could not even touch Arnos Vale Stadium and all that today, next time I will have to do that. The YES programme we are going to continue to take on a number of the YES youths as participants, they have work to be done on the airport. River defences, I have challenged the new representative or plural, depends on what happens there, how it is configured or reconfigured, I have challenged them that when they come in, one of the main headaches they are going to have is river defences. That Rara-rara river where everybody property is right next to it, it is going to take a lot of money and a lot of challenges for the new representative.Mr. Speaker, the no income programme has started and I want to thank my young energetic Minister who spoke so eloquently on it last night, Senator Caesar for the work he is doing nationally. In this case, Mr. Speaker, we have one, two, no income houses under construction right now and those are for people who had land, and one of the people I glad..., and I am sure the Minister of Culture will be happy to hear this, there is a little feller Adams who plays with the banjo team in town, banjo man we call him, he is getting one, because his house is about to literally fall down and there are old people who indigent, talk about indigent, people except their relatives bring food they do not have a shelter, those are some of the people we are taking care of. One person in the twenty’s, one person in the thirty’s, one person in the forty’s, we are also dealing with young people with that.Mr. Speaker, we have built, we cannot even go over the record of what we have done last year, and you do not have time for that. We have built two houses for two people; one guy who was sleeping under the plastic you would have seen him. He has a nice little cabana now. We have in the Budget to purchase land; we have to definitely get the land for the Dorsetshire Hill Playing Field and a number of other things that we have to deal with.Mr. Speaker, I will have to do a special programme on West St. George and also on the Ministry because I really..., it is so much that have to be done in this short presentation. But I want to thank you, Mr. Speaker, and your staff for the work here. Certainly I want to thank the Prime Minister for this creative Budget. I mean I never envy his job. When he put me to act when he and the Deputy are out I pray they come back quick,52because that is a work I do not want permanently. I salute him not so much as Prime Minister here, but as Minister of Finance to create this Budget which remains loyal to our outlook and our commitment to the disadvantaged, the weak and defenceless as we say in our constitution. I want to thank my colleagues on this side. We have worked as a team, we know we speak very frankly but respectfully with each other and when we see things go wrong, we point them out to each other, because the whole objective is not to go on the defensive but to correct any errors that are being made.I certainly want to thank my Ministry. We have a special meeting on Monday, I go straight from the airport here when I left to that meeting where we have already circulated sections of the Throne Speech and the Prime Minister’s address, they are studying them now over the weekend and they are going to craft different programmes which we are going to follow through based on the directives contained in the Budget address. They know we have a serious, serious year ahead and all of us have to bend our backs a little bit more.I thank the people of this country, I thank the Government, I thank my Ministry, Cabinet, Prime Minister, my party and I really was distraught with the news about the breaking and the vandalizing of the office, I mean this is really, really sad. My own family, they were hoping to be here, but I was scheduled to speak later, so I want to thank my wife for having promised to come. The Speaker and his staff and of course the wonderful constituents of West St. George, let it be clear, as I close, Mr. Speaker, let it be crystal clear that West St. George is now a ULP fort. It will not be cracked, it will remain a ULP fort and anybody who wants to launch an assault on West St. George understand that we have flanks that you have cross and I in the front of that flanks before it even reach the candidate. You have to cross me first and flanks because I have some wires in West St. George there they do not bite nice and you have to cross them. So do not ever think about counting West St. George in yours, because you have to come on my turf and we have some wires that they really do not bite nice in West St. George Mr. Speaker. So let them understand that, not because Mike Browne going out, I ain’t going out of politics you know, I just going out of the electoral thing, I have other things to deal with.I want to thank you, Mr. Speaker and my colleagues for this opportunity to have made this presentation. Thank you [applause].HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: I suppose we will take the luncheon suspension now and then we will have the Member for the Southern Grenadines who had indicated that he wants to speak after.DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: Mr. Speaker, in as much as today is going to be a shortened day, perhaps we can take a shortened lunch in about half an hour, so we return at 3 o’clock rather than, it would have been 3:30.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Oh, okay shortened by half an hour. DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: Shortened lunch period. Accordingly Mr. Speaker, Ibeg to move that this Honourable House do stand suspended for the luncheon interval until 3:00 p.m.53Question put and agreed to. House suspended at 1:20 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. (Luncheon) House resumed at 3:00 p.m.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Honourable gentlemen when we break for the lunch session we recognised then the Honourable Member for the Southern Grenadines and in a few moments I will invite him to start making his presentation. I just want to make sure I get his time correctly. Honourable Member you may begin.HONOURABLE TERRANCE OLLIVIERRE: Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, throughout this debate, I have heard the talk of the global economic situation and all its many problems that seem to be attributed to this global economic meltdown, but what is essential, Mr. Speaker, is that we provide the leadership to steadily steer the ship into safe waters, because the crew and passengers must feel safe knowing that as they sail rough waters that we have a good captain.Mr. Speaker, because we all know when the wind is heavy and the sea is rough that you need to put the head of the ship into the wind and hold her steady, because if you do not and you keep on swaying all over the ocean and we end up on broadside, we know what could happen, Mr. Speaker and I am saying all of this to say that the quality of life we live is dependent on how we utilise our resources in rough times in order to bring about sustainability.So Mr. Speaker, it is simply not true to say that the Opposition all the time, all we are doing is opposing and not proposing. We are a responsible Opposition and throughout our tenure in this House, we have said that when proposals are within the interest of the people of this country that we will support and we have supported [applause]. And we have also said, if we think that it is not within the interest of the people, then it is within our rights to oppose [applause] and Mr. Speaker, other Members and myself, we have made an input into proposals when it comes to this House because I remember even speaking on education have made certain proposals some of which have been implemented by this Government, so it is simply not true to say that the Opposition has been opposing all the time, we have been making our positive contribution in this House, Mr. Speaker. I do not know if anybody has the monopoly on knowledge, but what I do know is that we are representatives of the people and when we come here, we have to address the issues that they face every day and that are what we bring before this House, Mr. Speaker. So Mr. Speaker, through it all, we have to make certain decisions. We look at the problems, see which are most critical and those which have impacted on the wellbeing of the people and based on that we make a decision on the problems that we have to tackle first.And Mr. Speaker, this takes me into education. Learning for all, that is what it should be. Whatever it takes, no matter the locality, whether it is urban or rural, country or town and for this, Mr. Speaker, the Grenadines should be of no exception, because I believe we must have equity within the education system and sometimes that means giving more, or spending more in areas where you do not have the type of services and facilities in order to bring them up to par with those that have such facilities, because we have to try our best to make sure that every student regardless of the locality find themselves on the same footing and that is what we on this side54of the House have always proposed, Mr. Speaker. Because I have seen the difference that education can make in young people’s hopes, dreams and aspirations.Mr. Speaker, I went to school with certain people in Canouan and I know if their parents had the financial means in order to send them to a secondary school that they would have made overwhelming strides, Mr. Speaker. How else, but education? Can children of parents of modest means, or who come from a poorer background hope to overcome the cycle of poverty? How else, Mr. Speaker, other than through education can these people expect to develop their full potential, Mr. Speaker? How else can they develop or go through, choose certain career which would not only change their lives, Mr. Speaker, but also have an impact on their country, their community? Mr. Speaker, I say this to say, an average of three students per year drop out of secondary school from Canouan alone, because of the various problems which they face and over the years I have been addressing this issue in this Honourable House and for something to be done to help these children. Because, Mr. Speaker, the residents of Canouan have called for a secondary school on the island, preferably from Form 1 to 3 and this they think will help and go a long way so that when they are of that age they will be able to handle the situation better being away from home. Because, Mr. Speaker, we have to realise it is just Tuesday I got a call from a parent and sometimes we knock the fathers, but this was a father and he got a call that he had to come and find different accommodation for his daughter who is attending one of the colleges in St. Vincent.Over the years I went to visit a parent and when I got there I knock the door, I thought no one was home, but Mr. Speaker, she took a while before she came and I realise why, because when she reached she was in tears and what caused her tears, her daughter in Form 5, she got a call the morning that she had to come move her immediately with immediate effect and that child would have moved for as much as 5 to 6 times from different homes already, Mr. Speaker, and this is not only the problem of Canouan, Union, but it is also Mayreau. These children sometimes, some people move no less than 10 times into different homes, Mr. Speaker and it is very hard and they need help in order to make it. I have spoken to students who told me that they had to do their homework under street lights, study under street lights because where they live they have to turn off the lights at a certain hour and Mr. Speaker, it is not easy for students, children of that age having to face all these difficulties in order to get an education. Those who made it, they are real strong; I commend them for the effort they are making just to try to get a secondary education. We have had several town hall meetings with people from all the islands, Mr. Speaker, and two main problems they always identify, one is proper accommodation and the other is some sort of financial assistance could be given to these students.Mr. Speaker, in this House the issue was raised when I asked the Honourable Minister of Education and with your permission I would quote the question, “students from the island of Canouan have been faced with various problems in accessing secondary education on the mainland, Bequia and Union, the residents have thus expressed the need for the introduction of secondary education on the island to aid accessibility”, and Mr. Speaker, this question was answered on the 24th February 2009, as recent as that and in reply the Minister said, “I must start by reminding the Honourable Member that there is a new school being built on Union Island.” We are fully aware that the school itself is nearing completion and very importantly, student’s accommodation is under construction, but Mr. Speaker, the point is they are using the school, staff quarters were built, but there is no student accommodation that is the point, Mr. Speaker.55At the beginning after the 2009 Common Entrance Results, all the students from Canouan was sent to Union Island, the parents were having great difficulty in finding accommodation, because sometimes we think because it is the Grenadines, people from Canouan will have people in Union Island, but Mr. Speaker, sometimes you move. Long ago you move for employment reasons and you would have had family on the mainland instead of on Union Island, so Mr. Speaker, I had to contact the Ministry of Education and also the Minister and I must say to her that she took up the matter and I had to work feverishly in order to replace those students on the mainland Mr. Speaker. But it still brings me to the point, Mr. Speaker, will the dorm be built? Will it be built and when or is there an alternative for accessing secondary education especially to people who come from Canouan and Mayreau, Mr. Speaker and also, the people of Canouan would also like to know if they are getting the secondary school or you know is it still priority in order to put a school there in Canouan because, Mr. Speaker, it is really needed and this is why I say, whenever we make the point, no child will be left behind. We must give meaning to it, because if we do the calculation an average of three per year and even one is bad, but do the calculations, Mr. Speaker and you will see, because I am sure there are Members of this Honourable House who would have gone to school with students from the Grenadines and sometimes you would have known of some of their problems that they face up here on a daily basis. So Mr. Speaker, I am really asking, I am passionate about this one that something must be done.I know, we could say all things, Mr. Speaker, but what is needed too, I will admit there must be a push to have top secondary schools in rural areas so we can get away from the concept of elite schools. We have..., we really have to do in every..., as much as possible, every locality. You could break it down to certain geographical area where you have a top secondary school. So you find that students from Canouan and Mayreau and Union Island, because you have students from Union Island who also come to secondary school on the mainland trying to get to these top secondary schools. But if we get away from the elite school concept and you have top schools in these areas, then that is one way of helping to solve the problems of accessing secondary education, Mr. Speaker.Mr. Speaker, we also have the point where you have even the students from Bequia, Mr. Speaker, they need help. I see sometimes you to go Bequia, you meet them, it is not easy every day you are on the boat coming up in the morning, go down in the evening, I know also, know the transportation cost would also be high. The transportation from the home, boat transportation, then transportation again when they reach on the mainland and Mr. Speaker, they need assistance, and they need some kind of help. So if we could sit down, just all sit down together and come up with a plan of how we are going to manage education especially secondary and tertiary education in the Grenadines, if we could come up with a plan, Mr. Speaker, one that is workable for the benefit of all, then the students from the Grenadines will know that they are on the same footing with those on the mainland and Mr. Speaker, that is very important.I also need to ask the question in terms of the Mary Hutchinson Primary School. We have structural problems, you had to move them. They are now in the building that used to house the former secondary school, but I am not hearing anything about that. What is the plan for the Mary Hutchinson Primary School in Union Island and I also have to bring up the issue of also of accommodation dealing with the Head teacher from that school who is from the mainland, because just two days ago, a member of the PTA called me and they were highlighting the56problem also that the Head teacher of the school faces in accommodation on Union Island there that member said to me the whole body PTA, they are not satisfied with the accommodation that has been given to the Principal of that school. So that is another thing we also have to look at Mr. Speaker in order to try to bring quality education to our people, because both students and teachers must be in a conducive environment, Mr. Speaker.Mr. Speaker, in his Budget presentation, the Prime Minister made mention of additional massive investment in Canouan, but the question I have to ask, what has been set in place to ensure that the young people of the Southern Grenadines would be able to compete for better paying jobs, because I am there, you know, on a regular basis and I see what happens. It has people from practically all over the world and they have the better job, sometimes even maintenance and all these kinds of things, but there is need for training for these young people, there is need for training and this is why I have called for, Mr. Speaker, repeatedly some of the resource centres that we have, we know where the country is going and especially in terms of tourism and some of these courses can be made and certification provided in order to give these young people the opportunity, because if Canouan is taking off, then our young people must also have the opportunity to take off also.HONOURABLE GLEN BEACHE: Mr. Speaker, point of clarification, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister stated in his speech, I stated it this morning that a hospitality and marine institute is being built. We have gone out to tender, or will be going next week, Mr. Speaker, and we should be having a ground breaking ceremony by July of this year of which there will be living quarters for people for the Grenadines or for people from the other islands to come and do the courses here. We have spoken about this for months now, Mr. Speaker. Community College has courses, Technical College has courses.HONOURABLE TERRANCE OLLIVIERRE: Mr. Speaker, perhaps the Minister ain’t getting the idea of what I am saying. Mr. Speaker, the point is that proposal was made by this side of the House years ago. We made that proposal. I remember speaking about that, Mr. Speaker. The other thing is, while we wait for the hospitality institution...,HONOURABLE GLEN BEACHE: Point of clarification, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, point of clarification, with all due respect to the Honourable Member, we must be truthful in this Honourable House. The hospitality institution did not come from that side of the House, Mr. Speaker. Since when Minister Baptiste was in charge of Tourism and I was the Marketing Manager, we have been speaking about this and then we even carried it further when we spoke to the EU, Mr. Speaker, and it is now a hospitality or marine institute because of the strength of the marine sector here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. It came from over here; we have been speaking about it for years.HONOURABLE TERRANCE OLLIVIERRE: Mr. Speaker, on a point of clarification, let me state; I remember years ago I spoke about a hotel school that is needed in order to train our people to take advantage of the situation. I did talk about it in this Honourable House, Mr. Speaker, I did talk about it you understand. Mr. Speaker, well in the meanwhile, what I am saying, sometimes it is even..., what we do not get and we still not understanding, I know they said that accommodation will be there, this and all this kind of thing, but Mr. Speaker, what I am also saying in the meantime, what can we do?57Mr. Speaker, you know it is amazing, I sat here and I have been hearing of all good things that have been done by the Unity Labour Party and it seems as if NDP did little or nothing. It seems as if when you listen to the other Members from the other side of the House, it seems so. Mr. Speaker, from 1975 to 1984 life in the Grenadines is real, real hard and people do not like to hear us talk about that and it is because of the New Democratic Party why you had a turnaround in the Grenadines which was once known as a hard area, where you used to send civil servants for punishment anytime, they are down there you had to give them hard area allowance that does not happen anymore, that does not happen anymore, Mr. Speaker.Mr. Speaker, I remember even being a student at the Teachers’ College, Mr. Speaker, the first thing when you reach there, they used to..., we used to get...,HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Let us allow the Member to make his presentation. Obviously, if a member believes that the Member is not speaking the truth as the case may be, use the correct order, thank you.HONOURABLE TERRANCE OLLIVIERRE: Mr. Speaker, you know I have been since in this House very obedient. Mr. Speaker, one of the things, even at Teacher’s College, first thing they used to tell you about, water, you do not have proper water. When we come down there and we drink the water it is all sorts of belly problems and all these sorts of thing. Mr. Speaker, I remember talking to a past Head teacher who worked down within that period from the North Leeward area and he too was recounting how hard it was then in the Grenadines and the transformation that took place and he was amazed at that, because he was there as a Head teacher and he would have known, Mr. Speaker.But Mr. Speaker, in terms of life in the Grenadines, Mr. Speaker, there are numerous things that was done. You had significant road improvement, you had air transport and let me deal with that one time, because, Mr. Speaker, you know I will need to ask a question, if you build a three bedroom..., if you inherited a three bedroom house and you put on one bedroom and toilet and bath, would you say that you built it? No, you just added on. Mr. Speaker, when you got into office you met a runway there, three thousand six..., in Canouan, three thousand six hundred feet, you added on three hundred and wants to say to this country as if you build it, like there was nothing there before. It is amazing, Mr. Speaker, you understand and all that you know. From between 1975 and 1984 it remained a dirt strip, it remained a dirt strip under Labour for years, but now as Sir James with the New Democratic Party, you have seen his vision and the wisdom of putting the airport there and now you want to claim wholeheartedly the idea of airport development in Canouan [applause]. But that cannot be true, that cannot be true, you met it there.Mr. Speaker, give Jack his jacket. The NDP has done much in the Grenadines. Mr. Speaker, Jetty, Wharf, I remember in coming to town, you had this little row boat and you did not have engine, it is two hours you had to go in. You had to take it from the sand, the ladies they had to lift them up and put them in the boat and you row out, if rain comes down whatever happened, you got wet, you understand. It is because of the New Democratic Party we now have Jetties there. People could walk off, put on their high heel shoes and walk off in style that was not before, that was not there before. You could dress up now and come to town and that was not there before you understand, Mr. Speaker. You have health clinics that were built, improvements in basic health care and do not talk about the massive tourism development. If it was not the biggest project in St.58Vincent and the Grenadines to date, if it was not for the New Democratic party that would not be there and let me interject right here, it was the ULP that was in opposition to that project, now you see the wisdom of it [interjection] how you mean, you were in opposition to the development in Canouan, big time, big time you were in opposition to that.HONOURABLE SIR LOUIS STRAKER: Mr. Speaker, if..., just for a clarification, the Honourable Member from the Southern Grenadines when the jetport was opened that Mr. Saladino has said that the project in Canouan was not sustainable without the jetport, in other words, they would have had to close up the business there because it could not run on the type of airstrip that they have there. Secondly, the Honourable Member said earlier that the days when policemen used to get hard area pay going down to the Grenadines are no longer. I had to go outside and check with the policeman and it is not so, because of the distance away from home, policemen still get a separate allowance that is called, “hard area”, so let us speak the truth and the truth as they often say would set us free. Let us be fair that if it was not for what this Government has done in putting a jetport there, the Canouan project would have been closed, it would not be viable as Mr. Saladino said.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Continue, do I have to rule [laughter].HONOURABLE TERRANCE OLLIVIERRE: Mr. Speaker, electricity, banking system, all these things, Mr. Speaker, they went there, is the NDP who put them there, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I remember I went to go and buy kerosene to put in the lamps to study, Mr. Speaker. Employment, Mr. Speaker, at least in Canouan it is good. Long ago, most of us grow up with our grandparents, why? The other people they had to leave to go overseas England, Canada, America, Trinidad, and Barbados in order to seek employment. The reverse is happening right now, people from all over the world, we were unknown, Canouan is now known worldwide. You understand, Mr. Speaker. You had infrastructural development and in terms of the Tobago Cays, Mr. Speaker, I heard argument of that this morning, but it was the New Democratic Party with Sir James that bought the Tobago Cays from foreign hands and established the Tobago Cays Marine Park and all these things we are boasting about, Mr. Speaker, and we are not giving the New Democratic Party credit for these kind of things, Mr. Speaker, but we are going about talking as if the NDP for 17 years did absolutely nothing, Mr. Speaker, you understand, when we had to fight tooth and nail even to save the Tobago Cays from going into private hands, Mr. Speaker. Come on, we must remember all these things, Mr. Speaker. So admittedly, Mr. Speaker, admittedly, Mr. Speaker, we must admit that it is because of the New Democratic Party and the development that went on there in the Grenadines during that time that we..., you had the platform on which to take off and to make improvement and we must make that be known, Mr. Speaker [applause] because that is a fact and it is the truth.Mr. Speaker, but you know despite all of that what did you do? You went about and imposed a user fee on the Grenadines as a destination. You went about and did that and Mr. Speaker, that is why the people in the Grenadines, they have not forgotten about it, because you know why, they felt hurt, they felt humiliated and it was degrading to us that is why they protested against it, Mr. Speaker [applause]. That is the point we are trying to make. It is not that anywhere else you had to pay a fee to go anywhere, but once you are going to the Grenadines you had to pay, once you are up here and you are going home you had to pay that, Mr. Speaker. People from the mainland who are going to the Grenadines to work, even before they reach there and make a59dollar, you took one, the people who are selling their vegetables, I know, I heard a member say, so, it means nothing to you. Even the people who are going to sell vegetables and all these things, there was a charge on top of them, Mr. Speaker, and they spoke against that...,HONOURABLE SIR LOUIS STRAKER: [Inaudible.]HONOURABLE TERRANCE OLLIVIERRE: yes, I am glad the people of the Grenadines hear you saying that, not even a vagrant vex, but they vex. So what you are saying, they worse than vagrants, that is what you are trying to say, that is what you want to say? Imagine that, that is what you are saying, eh?HONOURABLE SIR LOUIS STRAKER: Speaker on a point of clarification, the point I am making, a dollar is not of much value now, when I go out there even the vagrants of the street on Kingstown beg me for five or twenty. Nobody begs for a dollar now, I am not saying the people in the Grenadines are vagrants, I never said that.HONOURABLE TERRANCE OLLIVIERRE: You said even a vagrant would not vex.HONOURABLE SIR LOUIS STRAKER: Would vex? No, I did not vex, I say would beg for a dollar, I never said anything about vex. I said not even a vagrant would beg for a dollar these days. So do not misinterpret what I say, he who had ears to hear let him hear what the Minister says.HONOURABLE TERRANCE OLLIVIERRE: But Mr. Speaker, the vagrants would get vex if you took away his dollar that is the point [laughter] that is the point, Mr. speaker. Mr. Speaker, further to that, you know what is happening, anytime you go to the Grenadines dock, Mr. Speaker, you are going with your groceries, and you have to present your bill to say that the grocery is yours or you buy it from arm. Why you have to prove that you buy your groceries? Whether somebody give it to you or not, why do you have to pull out your bill to show that..., why we keep on harassing the people in the Grenadines.You know one day I left Parliament and was going home, somebody down there give me something to buy for them, I bought it for them, I will tell you it is a big ice box, I could not carry it. It could not go into a transport, I put it on a cart, I also put my bag on top that cart and going to the wharf. Mr. Speaker, when I reach there the cart man was pulled aside, so I said to the person who was working there, I said, these are mine. You have to open the box, I have to check and see what is in it. I said, go ahead. I opened the..., I say, the box there, she say, take off the tape because it was in a big card board box, one of those big giant ice box. They open the box, look inside, pass their hands all around the rim and all of that.Mr. Speaker, apart from that hear what took place, I stood up there talking to some one of my constituents and low and behold my bag that I had the clothes from Parliament and other things was being opened, without even asking a question, can you open the bag. She just proceeded to open the bag. What is this, what is going on, why are we subjected to such harassment and treatment up on the port? Is this right? I am not going to another state. If I was going to another state I do not mind, so even though you are doing me that, much less to the people to who go there on a daily basis, searching bread, searching grocery, searching all these things. These things must stop, Mr. Speaker, because it is not correct, it is not correct [applause] it must stop, it must stop, Mr.60Speaker, come on, come on, and you have to cut out things like this, Mr. Speaker. It is just not right. You cannot be treating people like this; you cannot be treating them like that. We are not from another country. This is St. Vincent and the Grenadines and this is why Grenadines’ people feel this way, we feel this way and we will never forget, whether you call it a fee, a tax or whatever you impose on us, we will never forget and we will always remember what you do to us by the imposition of that fee. We would always remember that. The people spoke out loudly against that. I even remember when you had to protest, but I could not believe it, I heard the commotion, I was round at the building when I go the police officer just had Dr. Friday like that tossing him like a rag doll. He just put his hand behind his back [laughter] put his hand behind his back and kneel to the ground, Mr. Speaker and all he said, do what you want. Tears streaming from his eyes come on, Mr. Speaker, that is what they did to an Honourable Member of this House and I do not think any Member on that side would have liked to be subjected to that type of treatment, Mr. Speaker, I do not think so, I really do not think that, I do not think so. Our attitudes towards people in the Grenadines, the whole thing must change, it must change, Mr. Speaker.Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister in his Budgetary presentation also made mention of urgent consideration would be given to tougher laws and a more practical criminal procedure in tackling crime and vessels including yachts. Mr. Speaker, in Mayreau there is a problem from time to time. Not only Mayreau, should I say, in the whole country and I believe in the Southern Grenadines, the residents of Mayreau, the concerned citizens and business owners wrote a letter to the Honourable Prime Minister, it was copied to myself and the Honourable Minister of Tourism and I will read that letter, Mr. Speaker, with your permission.“We the undersigned petitioners wish to draw to your attention the continuing problem of inadequate yacht security in Mayreau, we depend on the visitors from the yachts to sustain our restaurant business which affects not only our families, but all the people of Mayreau. In the past we were able to raise money in Mayreau to hire a boat and personnel to patrol the harbour and protect the yachts, these encouraged yacht visitors to come ashore in the evening and enjoy the restaurants and other services in Mayreau.However, due to the downturn in the economy and the decline of business, we have more recently been unable to pay for our own offshore security service. Since then yacht breaking has increased in Mayreau. We are therefore petitioning you to provide funds to continue the offshore security patrols in Mayreau.This is vital to the continued growth and development of yacht service in Mayreau and by extension in our country as a whole.”Mr. Speaker, a boat was sent. It was not in top condition, so the residents of Mayreau, the guys they took the boat, they have it in Mayreau, they are working on it with assistance from the Tobago Cays Management, and they have certain equipment, because they have to rig it for themselves, put in the gear box, all those things apart from fixing it. But Mr. Speaker, they need help and we need to get this boat operational as soon as possible, because Mr. Speaker, on the 30th December I left Canouan heading to Mayreau, to Union Island sorry, via the ferry boat, it left Canouan late so you know we were in the nice weather, calm seas everything looking61good, Mr. Speaker, the moon was out and you hear they talked about breath-taking beauty, Mr. Speaker, you should have been there just to experience it. I was in the company of a visitor from..., sure she is a resident living in New York, she was going to visit her sister in Mayreau and Mr. Speaker, if you hear them talk like everybody..., people did not study to sit down inside, everybody was just outside. When we past Salt Whistle Bay, yachts over thirty something, Saline Bay same thing, the point is later in the evening one yacht was broken into, that news spread like wild fire, while the people of Mayreau prepare they say, well look at that, it is in the height of the season, yachts for so in the place, we are going to make something tonight, because of that one break in, no person from any yacht went ashore. The next day most of them pulled their anchors and they went away. So this is why we need to get this boat operational.You have a team of guys there working, all they are just asking for additional help in order to get it off the ground and they would do the job, they would do the job. They want to help and they would do the job, Mr. Speaker, and we need as soon as possible Mr. Speaker, to get this boat operational.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: 10 minutes Honourable Member. HONOURABLE TERRANCE OLLIVIERRE: 10 minutes? HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Yes.HONOURABLE TERRANCE OLLIVIERRE: While on Mayreau, Mr. Speaker, I must also mention the fact, because I brought this question to the House, in when the landowners of Mayreau, when they were dividing the lands and I asked a question in this Honourable House of the Government entering into negotiations with the land owners in order to get more land for the people of Mayreau. But Mr. Speaker that was not done, why did not the Government bargain with the Eustace family to get some more lands for the people? After roads and electricity and all these things went in, this benefitted the landowners. We should have..., and if it was negotiation, Mr. Speaker, if we had a good negotiator we would have gotten such lands, Mr. Speaker, but now the young people are in Mayreau, the young people there and they do not know what they are going to do, because there is no land. What you want them to do, migrate from Mayreau? People who born there and know Mayreau all their lives, what do they have to do? Because the people there are very resourceful from the lands that they got before they built restaurants and other things and they are making a living for themselves. We should have gone the extra mile, negotiate, a good negotiator would have negotiated with the family after those services were put in there to get more lands for the people and that is a fact and we should have done that, Mr. Speaker and it was not done, it was not done at all.Mr. Speaker, in Canouan [interjection] ah glad you say Canouan because in Canouan we have roads, Mr. Speaker, Union Island throughout the Southern Grenadines, one gentleman approached me and he was talking about a hole, Mr. Speaker, there is a Culvert there and there is a hole and he was so concerned about the children going to and from school, vehicles in the night and everything, a carpenter went and nail piece of plywood over the hole and the guy was saying to me, if you get somebody to fix it, I will buy the materials and let you give it to them and let them fix it. We must do better than that, Mr. Speaker, because even something like that, potholes all over the place. You have roads in Canouan, I have asked in this House about it, the62Honourable Minister of Works, the road from the Sandy’s family over to the Seventh Days Church, the roads through Bar brews, every..., [interjection] Seventh Day Adventist sorry my apology, Seventh Day Adventist Church, thank you.The road through Bar brews Mr. Speaker, every time I go to Canouan the residents there who live in the Bar brews area want to know what happen to our roads? Anytime it rains it get worse, Mr. Speaker. We need to look at all these things. The main road from Ashton to Clifton, when you are driving going Ashton you have to be dodging here, dodging there, Mr. Speaker, we need to do better than that. We were talking about getting the small things right you know and these are some small things and these things should have been put right, Mr. Speaker.Playing Field in Union Island, Mr. Speaker, we have a nice cricket programme going on there. You have teams that come from England, they play cricket there, but the facility is not good enough, but Mr. Speaker, I am not saying that you could do everything one time, but at least you can do something, Mr. Speaker and the report came back. They went to Carriacou, they went to Trinidad, they played cricket, these are several English teams that normally come to..., when they visit Carriacou they visit Trinidad, they come to Union Island to play cricket. But when you look at the playing facility, it is just not good enough, but despite that they come, they play their cricket, but you should hear the talk, they talk about the beauty..., they did not talk about beauty in Carriacou and Trinidad and thing, it is only when they reached to Union Island and such places, you hear they were talking about that. So Mr. Speaker, there is something that must be done and also in the area of sports, I was embarrassed that the Grenadines netball tournament which is being conducted by the Ministry of Sports had to be cancelled because of lack of funds and you have national players playing within that competition. Also most of the players from the Grenada under 21 team that placed second to St. Kitts in the OECS tournament who were there playing. There are teams of who have heard about this competition and want to come to play and we are talking about investments in youths, but yet here you have young people playing for the national team in a tournament in the Grenadines and it had to be cut short. The second leg was in Carriacou and that was totally abandoned, you could imagine the shame that that [interjection] of course, it was funded by the National Lottery, efforts were made to the Prime Minister, calls were made to the Prime Minister and I must admit, he did what he can to help, they got some money, but it just was not enough. If we are talking about development and sports and all these kinds of things and young people and giving them the opportunity, Mr. Speaker, you should hear one of these cricketers from the..., who play in this league and he is talking about..., they are so enthusiastic of what is happening and they are not asking for stadium and all these kinds of things you know, all they want is a proper facility in order to practice and develop their skill.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Honourable Members, allow the Honourable Member please to continue his debate, which he has two minutes.HONOURABLE TERRANCE OLLIVIERRE: Mr. Speaker, water, I know I asked the Minister of Health about the problem last week concerning the situation. I could have called him a couple days ago and the call said, Mr. Ollivierre there are people from Mayreau in Union Island looking to buy water, so you understand the situation. I mean the Grenadines, the business of [interjection] yes, well I know it is a historical problem, but we have to do something, we have to do something to solve the problem. I saw the Prime Minister has in his63Budgetary presentation improvement in water distribution, I know they build a system in Clifton, this administration build a system in Clifton, but the people cannot use the water to drink, because I do not know if it a problem of fencing or whatever it is, but animals on top it every day, so they cannot use the water to drink. So you either get it fenced properly or do something so that people would be able to use the water.Mr. Speaker, we have some basic problems in these islands and all I am asking as the representative of the Southern Grenadines is that some of these problems be addressed. I am not saying that you could address and solve all of these them one time, but at least, at least if you start and by talking to the people and by doing something, they would realise that something is being done. But Mr. Speaker..., and then you want to talk in comparison as if you did everything in the Grenadines and the New Democratic Party did nothing. That is not true, that is not right, you understand and talking about Sir James did not represent and all these things. Look I have a list here, Mr. Speaker, I could list out two pages of infrastructural development that was done in the Grenadines and I have already listed quite a lot, Mr. Speaker.Mr. Speaker, land ownership, quite a large number of lands, people own their homes, were able to build homes and all these things, because it was the new Democratic Party who give out lands to the people, it was then, now you cannot even get a piece, they cannot even get a piece, they cannot even get a piece whether it is Mayreau, Canouan or Union Island eh. Bequia also, so Mr. Speaker, so what you are talking about.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Honourable Members, please, please. Honourable Member would please wind up. Please wind up.HONOURABLE TERRANCE OLLIVIERRE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the people of the Grenadines, I wish I had another 30 minutes because I have other problems, other issues which I should take up. Mr. Speaker, but I will like to say to the people of the Grenadines as long as I am your representative, I will address your problems in this House despite whatever challenge I face. That is my pledge to you. I will do that.Mr. Speaker, they supported me over the past nine years and I am grateful for that. I am indeed humble that they have elected me to be their representative and I have continued to serve them, Mr. Speaker. It is not easy to be travelling from island to island to island on a regular basis. I do not have the..., you know you cannot use motor car and other things to get there, Mr. Speaker, sometimes it is speedboat and sometimes when they call and the sea is rough and this little boat you have to go, Mr. Speaker, I wonder if you could swim [interjection] one day.So Mr. Speaker, I am grateful for the opportunity that they have given me. I wish I had more time to really elucidate the problems they face. Mr. Speaker, I will continue Mr. Speaker, to represent them to the best of my ability. Thank you.Any further debate Honourable Senator, I just called you but before you do that I heard..., you know there is a recurring point that is being made by almost every person here in relation to their time for debate. I would want to, as the President for the local branch of the CPA, I would like to state that or put Members on notice that64sometime soon, or sometime we want to call a meeting of the local branch of the CPA to address a number of matters that seemed to be affecting us here and I know in the past we have called meetings and we did not get the kind of support that were looking for, but we continue to hear these cries about, I wish I had more time and I wish my time was X, Y, Z maybe we need to look at some these rules and the times allotted, but we have to do it in a particular way and maybe I can put Members on notice that we need to have a meeting of this branch so that we could look at some of these very same issues that we seem to think is affecting us here. Senator Leacock you have 45 minutes to make your presentation, I will tell you when to start. All right Senator Leacock you can begin and according to my watch you are starting at 4 o’clock.HONOURABLE ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: Mr. Speaker, I rise to make my contribution to the Appropriation Bill 2010. Before I proceed, Mr. Speaker, let me recognise in the strangers gallery the presence of my wife Mrs. Leacock and I believe she would be joined by my daughter and my mother, if they do I will certainly make reference to that, Mr. Speaker.Mr. Speaker, this session of Parliament has been a unique one in many ways. Unique Mr. Speaker, because over the time period that I have been here or have the privilege to be in this House is the greatest number of Members on the Government I have ever heard issuing statements of departure, resignations, intention to leave uncertainty about their political future. That is not for me to second guess, Mr. Speaker, but it is certainly a matter of moment. Whether or not it represents indictment, fulfillment, satisfaction, or renewal, time would tell.Mr. Speaker, I want to...HONOURABLE GLEN BEACHE: ...of the House has said they are resigning? You know, nobody on this side of the House have said they are resigning. I cannot remember that anybody on this side of the House say they are resigning. [Interjection] That is not resigning.HONOURABLE ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: Mr. Speaker, I did not give way, he did not seek my permission, he is on his feet, [interjection] but there is no such provision for a point of...,HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: All right. Honourable Member, let me make the point. I have sat here for the entire session and I cannot recall anybody making mention of any resignation. I know persons said that they may not contest or obviously everybody term comes to an end at a particular time and they say we may not continue, but that is not in any way a resignation. So if the resignation issue has been challenged, let us accept it and move one. What I am saying now as Speaker that no one made any point in any statement in relation to resignation. Go on.HONOURABLE ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: Mr. Speaker, some of us are here in this house at the people’s pleasure and others at our leader’s leisure, I am in that category, Mr. Speaker and so I have no determination of my departure of this House. I wanted to say, Mr. Speaker, that we have certainly heard farewell speeches of one kind or the other, but I say that to make the point, Mr. Speaker, that whatever are the contributions made in this House why Members going and or staying at leisure and or pleasure, we have an overriding responsibility to serve the people’s interest and to provide leadership to all privileged here in this Honourable House.65It therefore bothers me, Mr. Speaker, of the extent to which some Honourable Members on the other side of this House, either do not understand our financial dilemma or choose to ignore the seriousness of this budgetary debate and ignore its consequences. I say that, Mr. Speaker, because when I hear statements such as it is being a well constructed Budget, it is a Budget of great design, carefully planned and constructed, and then I ask to what extent they have really taken on board seriously the propositions that are before us in a quantitative and a qualitative sense. The statistical data in the Budget itself and those contained in the action plans by the various Ministries.Mr. Speaker, I have to return to the analysis and proposition by the Honourable Leader of the Opposition when he give us a lesson in Economics 101, when he walked us through and we should be grateful for it, Mr. Speaker. The Current Accounts of this Budget and then the Capital Accounts and proceeded also to go to our Public Debt situation and he did that, Mr. Speaker, to establish two fundamental points that on the Current Account side which no one disputes in this Honourable House and which I also stated last week in support of the Estimates that we simply do not have enough to meet our current responsibilities.Mr. Speaker, in business terms that translate to mean that we are insolvent, we cannot pay all of our debts when they become due. If we use precise and strong accounting language, it would say we have a deficit in our current ratio, our cash and receivables cannot pay for our current liabilities, that is what it say and in essence it indicates we will have to get funds to take care of our short term situation. Now Government like the private sector has always had that provision and I think I see indication here that they are going to embellish that in the sense that we have overdraft facilities to tie this over the short term. That has always been so historical with our Governments, but to the extent that we believe we are asking for increased overdraft, there is a recognition or anticipation that tough times are going to be ahead and we are going to have to be going for assistance to deal with our Current Accounts situation. So that immediately says that whether we like it or not we are functioning against serious financial constraints.But that is not the end of the story, Mr. Speaker, because we have to make the connection, the nexus the linkage between the current, the capital and our programmes of action. And on the Current Account side an important expenditure is that of interest. I want to repeat that, is that of interest. I am not addressing the question that our salaries and wages are fifty plus percent of our current responsibilities. I want to deal with the interest situation, because what that signals, Mr. Speaker, is that it is very easy from our expenditure and our proposals to finance our current expense; we can end up in a circular situation where we are digging a hole to full a hole. As we borrow and borrow we are increasing the interest expense so we are putting more and more pressure on our Current Accounts to take care of our responsibilities. So we have to find that balance, a fair challenge, but we must be mindful of it, we must be mindful of it.Mr. Speaker, the Honourable Member went on to show that to compound our dilemma we were proposing to spend an increased amount on the capital side. Three hundred and three million dollars in the life of this Government, they have not to date reach two hundred million dollars on the capital side. We have not got to one hundred and fifty million dollars. I think last year in a creditable performance, they got to one hundred and fifteen million dollars, 61% I think performance rate, something to be acknowledged and we concede that the NDP has had difficulty reaching those figures, but they got to 115. So that immediately says to us, Mr.66Speaker, that to propose the three hundred and three million dollars expenditure, it is wishful thinking, it is literally speaking, sending the fool a little further and the Honourable Member for East Kingstown went on to say that what we put on this record has implication for private sector Budgeting and planning, because if we put data before the business community, they would in turn organise their own business plans around that.Mr. Speaker, very quickly, I remind the Honourable House of what the Auditor General had to say about this and I repeat one more time, I am not going to read the whole statement, simply to say the Government should consider reviewing the total estimates for Capital Expenditure since these large shortfalls in Capital Revenue have implications for the credibility of a capital Budget. He has warned us, he has warned us. Mr. Speaker, what is worse about this, and we ought not to take any umbrage or shelter under the fact that has happened in the past administration. The Honourable Member for East Kingstown came clean. He said as a former Prime Minister and Minister of Finance he understood what happened and he was speaking with respect to these other receipts and which Senator Francis noted this morning in the statistics when it was 6% or 7% that of the figures listed in the past we have never get even close to 10% of the other receipts, but we list here $111 million to be achieve by other receipts and we know for a fact we will not even collect $11 million of the $111 million. It is a sin, it was misleading to work, to what does that mean as I would come on to show you later, Mr. Speaker, is that we are basically playing Russian Roulette with the lives of the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. A large number of the capital programmes in the Budget of various Ministries are not just going to happen and it begs the question, which of them are not going to happen?I do not want to rub salt in the wound, it was not a capital situation, but certainly the experience we are having now for example of drugs at the labs, or this project or that project not happening is a reflection that consistently we are hanging our hats where our hand cannot reach.HONOURABLE DR. JERROL THOMPSON: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: State your Point of Order.HONOURABLE DR. JERROL THOMPSON: I believe that the Honourable Senator is misleading the House with respect to what he is saying about the capital receipts and other receipts. Mr. Speaker, I think it was clear in the Prime Minister’s address that there were at least three projects totalling $54 million, one $40 million for the re-capitalisation of British American that the Leader of the Opposition had supported as well as another $50 million which is finance for..., there is vessels from Malaysia that came up to $110 million and that those three projects basically the financing on page 83 of the Prime Minister’s address, it was clearly outlined where the revenue was going to come from in relation to these other receipts. And so I think it is misleading to the House that irrespective of whether in the past that there may not have been receipts that in this 2010 Budget in terms of where the revenue was coming from to finance the capital Budget that those things were clearly outlined and I think the Honourable Senator should review page 83 to get that particular listing.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: All right. Honourable Senator.67HONOURABLE ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: Mr. Speaker, it takes me back to where I started in my presentation.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: You say I do not have calling to rule on everything.HONOURABLE ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: Oh thank you, I should ignore the interjection.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Go ahead with your...,HONOURABLE ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, I so do, I so ignore.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: I did not tell you anything about ignore, but I tell you it is not necessary...,HONOURABLE ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: I am sorry for the misinterpretation. HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Listen to me, listen to me, I am very serious with this, do not try to..., HONOURABLE ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: I am very sorry for the misinterpretation. HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Do not try to imply things that I did not. HONOURABLE ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: I apologise for the misinterpretation Mr. Speaker. HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Go on, let us proceed.HONOURABLE ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: Mr. Speaker, I proceed. Mr. Speaker, let me look for support from the Auditor General’s Report with respect to this vexing question of Capital Revenue, Capital Expenditure and I am going to go to the Public Accounts Report of the Auditor General for 2006. He says in that report, Mr. Speaker, that total Actuary Revenue was $84 million in that year an amount of $133 million below the estimates that is what he says, $133 million below what we said we should get that is what he is speaking about.Mr. Speaker, the..., let me just take my time Mr. Speaker, because we need to get it. On page 38 of that report, of the 2006 Auditor General’s Report, Mr. Speaker, he goes on further to say, the capital Budget outturn does not compare well with what was Budgeted. Remember he spoke about this the year before you know, he is continuing this year. He says, large differences between what was Budgeted and the actual outturn have persisted for several years, but this is what the indictment is Mr. Speaker. This situation contributes to lower Budget credibility and has the potential to call into question the capacity of the relevant Government officials to properly prepare this element of the Budget. This is what the Auditor General is saying that over and over again, we are having these large shortfalls. There is a credibility gap and that leaves me, Mr. Speaker, to enquire and to suggest that what we are saying this week is the twin side of my argument last week that we have68a serious financial integrity question with respect to our Budget. It lacks financial integrity and it was supported by the Auditor General’s Report and the analysis we wish to bring here today, Mr. Speaker.Mr. Speaker, this Government, and I am not saying that there are not areas in which there..., but it is building or attempting to build an economy or a country from the roof down. There is indeed a structural problem since foundational issues are improperly attended and in this regard, Mr. Speaker, I exclude what is taking place with education from this, but I certainly do not graduate national security to that level. Mr. Speaker, in a real sense and from a macroeconomic point of view all sectorial work is integrated, all, but I contend, Mr. Speaker, that even so, there is some orders.We would recall, Mr. Speaker, the adage “health before wealth” and in this regard, Mr. Speaker, I want to identify or distinguish between what I call the productive and support services sector. Mr. Speaker, let us look at some of the Ministries allocation. The Ministry of Agriculture has a $24.5 million allocation and I am speaking between capital and current. The Ministry of Tourism $27.4 million; the Ministry of Trade $10.6 million; the Ministry of Industry $17.6 million; the Ministry of Labour $5.2 million; a total of $85.3 million between 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 what I call productive Ministries, others may disagree. But let me add to that, Mr. Speaker, the Ministry of National Mobilisation $29.6 million; the Ministry of Rural Transformation $17.6; that takes us up, Mr. Speaker, to $132.5 million for the productive Ministries of the country, the engines as I call it.Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, that $132.5 million for production in the country is less than the Ministry of National Security etc. and let me hasten to say, the Ministry of National Security is a broad complex Ministry including a number of other Ministries, seaports, airports, NEMO etc. so I am not confining it to the police, but I am saying all of those productive Ministries that I have listed, $132.5 million is less than your $153 million to National Security. That is why I am saying that we are from the top down and Mr. Speaker, I did a random survey in this country of Vincentians and to a man they preferred jobs/work, food, shelter, and education before matters of security, all of them, their priority was jobs, jobs, jobs, food, clothes, shelter. National Security certainly did not come at the top of the list for any of them. That is not to down play Mr. Speaker, by any stretch of the imagination, the importance of security. I have been there, I have walked the path, but I am saying, there is an order and that is where the cap should be reflected in the national Budget.Mr. Speaker, in short this Budget seems to have as far as I am concerned, place the cart before the horse. The answer, Mr. Speaker, to resolving our problems is therefore not bigger Government. This administration certainly can be accused of one in favour of bigger Government. They are the three Ministries, three Ministries when they came into office in 2005/2006 and Mr. Speaker, to the extent may be adding Parastatal, public companies, private companies, other agencies and suggesting it is contributing to the fact that we are increasingly unable to feed ourselves while under utilising our national resources. But Mr. Speaker, let us move away from those statistics because we may consider them to be dry. Let us look at what we have been doing, let us look Mr. Speaker, at our national export strategy, a matter that I have raised in this House before. I brought a question before the Honourable Member for Central Leeward and he referred me to, is Invest St. Vincent now, that is the new name, formerly..., you give me an answer, but I came and I ask for it because I understand how important our export strategy is for feeding and taking care of ourselves.69Mr. Speaker, I quote from E Standards form, Financial Standard Foundation on the situation of trade and this is what is says for St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The Trade deficit in 2006 was US$233 million which was equal to a staggering 46.5% of our GDP. Mr. Speaker, that figure has now approached 50%, 10:1. In short, Mr. Speaker, in short, Mr. Speaker, we are finding ourselves where the import bill is increasing, increasing, increasing and the gap between what we are importing and exporting is widening.Mr. Speaker, let me go on to look at the national picture.HONOURABLE DR. JERROL THOMPSON: I am sorry I have to disrupt, but I want to make a point of clarification as misleading the House as regards the Ministry of National Security. Mr. Speaker, I think the Honourable Senator is correct when he cites the amount of money that is slated under the Ministry of National Security, but what he omitted was that $54 million is listed under the Ministry of National Security because Ministry of National Security covers seaports and airports.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: He mentioned thatHONOURABLE DR. JERROL THOMPSON: What is that?HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: He mentioned that, yes he mentioned that.HONOURABLE DR. JERROL THOMPSON: Well he mentioned that, but $54 million is for the productive sector.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: He mentioned that too.HONOURABLE DR. JERROL THOMPSON: He mentioned the total amount but of the total amount he mentioned that he said all these Ministries were less than $54 million. In other words, almost 31⁄4 of what is under the Ministry of National Security is for the Argyle International Airport in terms of a 2% loan, a very, very, soft loan that is there for that, but I believe he is misleading the House to give the impression that the Ministry of National Security, the amount there was far greater than all these other Ministries put together, in other words for poor people and all these other things that should have gone to poor people when we know and was not there also for the productive sector, when we know that the Argyle International Airport is one of the most important element that is going to boost our productive sector both for tourism and for agricultural export [applause] and I do not understand why he is not really making that particular point.HONOURABLE ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: Mr. Speaker, if I understand you quite clearly what you do not say at times is more important than what you say and I thank you again, Mr. Speaker, for this silence and I move on. Mr. Speaker, I am in your corner, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker...,HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: You are playing with me, you are playing with me, and you are playing with me.70HONOURABLE ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: I playing with your head.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: You are playing with me.HONOURABLE ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: That is all right, Mr. Speaker, you know..., Mr. Speaker, I want to quote from the national export strategy of St. Vincent and the Grenadines two or three salient points, Mr. Speaker. I want to read first on this macroeconomic framework. It says the impact of the climbing growth rates; widening trade balance, combined with the response of expansionary fiscal policies has yielded unfavourable, macroeconomic outcomes in the current period compared with a decade ago. The downturn of the local economy was partly due to a declining productive sector, rise in import bill and a trade deficit ratio of 8:1 a response to what I have just said there before.It goes on, Mr. Speaker, it says, the IMF macro assessment study of 2008 suggests that to achieve long-term, self-sustaining growth, policy makers must focus on creating local value added by progressively moving away from the long-term comparative advantage to competitiveness at both the country and sectorial levels. Improving overall competitiveness and productivity should be the engine of the growth or debt overhangs and job creation that is the relationship to my point of the productive sector. In other words, we are not building or constructing this economy properly.Mr. Speaker, you see the truth of the matter is that our economy is in big trouble. There is a veritable crisis on our hands and if we are not careful we may well be the first set of clients into the crisis centre being constructed somewhere there in Kingstown Park. This is the context, Mr. Speaker, and it is not as if the new Democratic Party or those of us on this side of the House are objecting to programmes proposed by the Government for objection sake or that we are just blindly arguing to cut this and to cut that. It will be more correct to say we have to learn how to cut and contrive how we prioritize in a challenging and tough economic climate.Mr. Speaker, the better question that must therefore be posed, is what you must fixed with the Budget and how do we live in a house while doing repairs? And Vincentians are pretty good at that, build the downstairs, build two rooms, shift here, shift there, add on a piece that is what we got to be doing and add, he said.Mr. Speaker, page 98 of the Prime Minister’s address which speaks about the need and the recommendation of the OECS-ECCU, it speaks about the stabilising package and it says, the objective is to identify the financing gap of the central Governments and put in place a set of policy measures to close the gap and address other structural issues. Mr. Speaker, every year I come to this Parliament, I make this point. We need to address the structural issues through our Budgetary measures so that we can get the right mix for carrying our economy forward. Mr. Speaker, they state very often that we are descriptive on this side of the House and I was glad to see the contribution my Honourable colleague for the Southern Grenadines and we do not make suggestions and recommendations and we are doing that all the time. But I said before, Mr. Speaker, that we were being advised by the IMF to move away from the comparative advantage approaches to the competitiveness issues which give importance to the Ministry of Telecom and ICT and its applications and how to spread across the various Ministries to make them more competitive, Mr. Speaker and that is why I consistently speak about the level of71our export readiness. That is why I speak to issues of our WTO compatibility for the new global world and challenges, Mr. Speaker.Mr. Speaker, another Honourable Member spoke, the Honourable Member I think is from West Kingstown, I do not know or I cannot remember which Member spoke, about the banana issue..., making more use of bananas or it was the Honourable Member for Marriaqua and I was touched about that. You know sometimes I get so disappointed about our Caribbean it ain’t funny. I mean, in 1975 as a university graduate that was a thesis that we did, Ken Browne and my colleagues and ourselves on bananas and I cannot understand the Caribbean Society with a global image cannot bring the collective wisdom up to now and have a meaningful manufacturing plant to utilise our banana produce and have value added of the over 26 range of products that we..., I mean the time is well-nigh, we must do it. Stop talking and concentrating at exporting the primary produce, because where we may not be competitive at that level at the value added level, we may well be able to achieve that.Mr. Speaker, let us take some simple solutions that we can deal with. Starlift Pan Yard, Potential Pan Yard, Mr. Speaker, and it is in relation to tourism and its cruise ships, why cannot we take the initiatives and persistent for example, not just fixing the roads, getting pan yards so that we can have pan concerts that they could be part of the tourism package when the ships come here so that they could go to the pan yard, listen to the pan concert, buy CD’s, buy art and craft from the pan men, why cannot they go to the Peace Memorial Hall, listen to a pan concert..., why cannot they go to Heritage Square or someplace down town and see a mini carnival parade and so forth, why we cannot do those imaginative things, Mr. Speaker?Mr. Speaker, why cannot we having passed legislation to have Bureaucratic Indication Act exploit low our seabed and collect patents and other things to see all the rich marine life that is there, why do not we do that, Mr. Speaker? Why do we simply have to reinvent the wheel? I read, Mr. Speaker, of the proposals of the Ministry of Telecommunications for Smaller Manufacturing Enterprises, but Mr. Speaker, these things are available since 1996 by the ILO, recommendations concerning giant conditions to stimulate job creation small and medium size enterprises and all these things are listed of how we can go about them and we have done our own work and they are there in the New Democratic Party’s Manifesto and in our economic plans for how we can go forward. Stop talking and put more emphasis on doing so that we can create the job opportunities for people, Mr. Speaker.Mr. Speaker, the Honourable Member raised a while ago the question of the $54 million for the Argyle Airport, so let me go back to the National Security issue, Mr. Speaker. I believe and I am being careful and guarded Minister Slater, I am being careful and guarded that we can have $60 to $70 million and redirect those monies to more productive efforts in the Budget. I almost said Minister Sayers, but you now have no executive function so I have to say the Honourable Member for Central Kingstown. The Coast Guard provision for $19 million if it is going to happen at all perhaps can be cut to $10 million. If we were going to do three or four vessels perhaps..., when one place in the Budgetary says two and another place it says three, so there is a little bit of confusion, but I do not [interjection] it supposed to be three so perhaps we can do two. Perhaps I say we can do two now and perhaps we can do another one after. Maybe, maybe, maybe, but I am saying if it is going to happen at all you know, because the money allocated they say it is coming from Malaysian funds, the money72is under “other” in the capital Budget and whenever you see “other”, you need to duck. You need to duck, if you have a Ministry, anywhere you see “other”, duck, it means you ain’t getting that.HONOURABLE SIR LOUIS STRAKER: You must be Vedet.HONOURABLE ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: Well if you are Vedet you can deal with that you are a Layou man. Mr. Speaker, I have addressed already the question of the airport at Argyle where we have borrowed $54 million and I still cannot be convinced that we should borrow it, because the Honourable Prime Minister in his previous address said, we have received grants of $388 million, pledges and grants of $388 and we have not seen it in any of the Budgetary provision since then. He has also said in this House, we have not collected a cent of the monies promised to us by Venezuela and I insist that at this time we ought to be seeing those monies coming ashore, Venezuela handing over to the cash they have promised us not, no in kind, we are speaking about cash for the $360,000 per month we have been paying for the last several months. I insist on that, I insist on that.The correctional facility, Mr. Speaker, the half a million dollars that is there I believe we could look at that. The airport at E.T. Joshua, well I tread carefully, but we are going to spend $4 million dollars to redo the runway perhaps this year or next year and in the next year we are going to turn it into a city, so I want to make sure, Mr. Speaker, that we tighten our planning so much that we have to decide whether or not this is going to happen or that is going to happen, because if we are going in fact to the next year building a city we have to decide whether we can really afford to spend $4 million just the year before, because the interest alone may be $6 million [interjection] I said I would be careful on the matter because it is a tight judgment call and you understand that, Mr. Speaker. [Interjection] I am saying that the provision for $1 million by the Energy Unit could be subsumed through VINLEC and its employment of a demand management approach for new energy efficiencies in the country.I am saying for certain the $200,000 placed here for Diaspora mobilisation compounds the wastage that took place last year for the homecoming exercise. I am saying the security quarters for $200,000 for the presidential guard in the Prime Minister’s offices can be deferred for better times. I am saying the $400,000 for purchasing and printing equipment for the Prime Minister’s Office for Quick and company to send letters to the news could be deferred.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Honourable Member, you have 10 minutes to conclude your presentation.HONOURABLE ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: I am doing well on time, Mr. Speaker, and I am saying, the non- productive $2.5 million for Ju-c building we would be better off if we sold the building to the private sector and bought drugs at the hospital with those monies [applause]. Mr. Speaker, I wanted to make a suggestion here with respect to our ability to think big, Mr. Speaker, to think big and to transform our economies, Mr. Speaker, because you know, every year I state, Mr. Speaker, here is a Deputy Prime Minister responsible for Trade in this country, for Trade, the life blood of any country and all of the provisions in that Ministry, and you will send me somewhere else again, because everything is for the Prime Minister, this $60,000 to buy equipment for some73foreign officer and I said since last week we do not even have enough money to buy a fridge, not even a diamint. I mean we got to be serious, Mr. Speaker...,HONOURABLE SIR LOUIS STRAKER: Mr. Speaker, my friend knows better than that we have a lot of money even for the Shan High Exposition that comes out of SVG Invest. We work with them in order to promote trade in the country. You said you got it in the answer that I give you previously in a fulsome way. So if the money is not in trade it is in SVG Invest, so do not look at one area, it is line upon line, precepts upon precepts, a little here and a little there.HONOURABLE ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: That is the response I wanted from you Honourable Minister. In essence you have outsourced half of the Ministry, the Trade portion to SVG Invest [interjection] well take the trade name off the Ministry because you do not do any trade thing. Take it off; you do nothing on the Ministry of Trade. Let us not go round in circles, Mr. Speaker and Trade is too important to be an attachment to some other portfolio or some other Ministry [applause] you are either responsible or you are not responsible that is the point I am making, because Mr. Speaker, I have raised these issues of trimming the capital programmes predominantly from the Ministry of National Security which I consider to be non-productive to be applied to other productive Ministries for the very important reason where we started the debate namely, we have to rebalance that finances somewhere.If we have investment projects going in the short to medium term, it is likely to contribute to more enterprises, firms and activities and increasing the tax collection on the current accounts and at the same breath Mr. Speaker, at the same breath, in the same breath, Mr. Speaker, if you cut some of the capital wastage that are necessary it will reduce the interest expend, so we butter our bread on both sides and we have to do that, that is necessary to get ourselves out of this quagmire increase income and reduce certain sets of expenditure, otherwise, Mr. Speaker, we end up in a vicious, vicious cycle.Mr. Speaker, the St. Vincent and the Grenadines competitiveness study has highlighted that in the long run a country’s stance of living depends on its productivity growth performance. Higher productivity growth rates are critical to allow wages to increase while maintaining competitiveness and it went on to say that an annual average productivity performance of 4.13% over 1981 to 2000 in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, I want to repeat that, it goes on to say that the 4.13% growth rate for the period 1981 to 2000 can be regarded as a strong performance. Seventeen of those years are NDP years and the competitiveness study from USAID Caribbean highlights that there was a high productivity factor in the New Democratic Party.It went on to say, Mr. Speaker and these are not our words, we are not making up these things, there are bench marking analysis in the case that productivity growth rates across the OECS region are falling in recent years including in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Five minutes. HONOURABLE ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: Enough time, Mr. Speaker, you are the one on time, and time isenough, Mr. Speaker, because I speak now in the five minutes, Mr. Speaker, well I have it on authority of the74Honourable Conrad Sayers that I can say on behalf of the Honourable Member and myself that statement normally comes at other occasions but we have a pact, we do have a pact. We have an agreement and an understanding; I do not say negative things about him and he does not also..., not in nine years [interjection] he will share that with you.But there are some things, Mr. Speaker, I do not have a constituency, let me start by saying that Mr. Speaker, but I have aspirations for a constituency, I do have aspirations and if Mr. Speaker, I am to pay attention to the Referendum results which you sampled and which had nothing to do with individuals appeal, but you know one cannot be blind about it, good things may well be in store for the New Democratic Party [applause].Education, Mr. Speaker, I want to see..., and I have heard a lot said about education. I said to the Honourable Member of Marriaqua yesterday I thought, and people always say this I tend to [go] across the island and get punish, we never say good things about people, I thought the presentation was genuinely a good one save and except when she got into the reference to Mr. Bowman a decent person who she should not have attacked since he cannot defend himself, but I quickly want to say that, that while we are talking about education and this school here and that school there and these last schools, do not forget..., and there is nothing wrong in recognising in every country that they have schools and excellence..., I hope my member for Northern Grenadines does not take issue with me, but I still want to see the Grammar School and High School being attended to in a proper way and in many respects. Our young people today who have worked hard to get to our best schools are performing in the worse squalor in this country. There is a sense of urgency towards the repair, improvement modernisation and or rebuilding of the Grammar School and the High School. They are in terrible dilapidated conditions, terrible. I want to see, Mr. Speaker, still on education that we move at a pace and you will ask where the money will come from, but you are Government now, tiling of floors for schools, because the tiling of floors for many of the schools in the country, the conditions under which teachers and students work, oh my gosh it is atrocious, some of these schools. I mean you go into them the floors are black; I mean it has nothing to do with the mopping and cleaning, they really need to do something about these. These are programmes we have to go to whether it is World Bank or whoever it is and we have to look at these situations. We need to do something about replacing the chalkboards in the schools, Mr. Speaker, and the bathrooms in general for schools, Mr. Speaker. I want to see something being done to them. The Roman Catholic School is a good model.Mr. Speaker, I want to see something done in Central Kingstown and I know it is hard for support from the Member for Central Kingstown, for the access lands in Green Hill to bring out those ginger and eddoes and tannia and cabbage etc and the same for Trigger Ridge. Mr. Speaker, Minister Mike Browne spoke about river defences and I want to see a systematic approach for that as well. We really need to do something about the river defences so to speak. And I say brethren, but we are not really brethren, but these little crossings over these little ravines that people have to deal with, little 5000 and things. We need to do something about it in Largo Height. I am sure Members could understand that and there may be so in other cases.Mr. Speaker I want to see us doing things stepping up on the apprenticeship programmes in Central Kingstown as I have said before making use of the Coast Guard to teach our young men fishing, to deepen that industry at VINLEC so that they could become certified wiremen, electricians, at ECGC, Port Authority, Water Authority,75so that they become plumbers and artisans, let us do something about them. We have had much loss of life in Central Kingstown because of the inadequacy of the fire service and I want to see us in a sense Kingstown and in other parts of the country doing something about fire hydrants. We have been losing too many lives in that regard. And it is something that we have to take a serious issue about; we need to pay attention to that.I have spoken before about the need for first responders and now that we have had the Haiti thing, we need to again revisit what we can do between the Red Cross, the Special Branch of the Police Service, the Cadet Force, the Medical Services to have and identify first respondent unit perhaps being..., not perhaps, being coordinated by NEMO, we need to do something about that.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: You could wrap up for me now.HONOURABLE ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: Mr. Speaker, yes, I will be less than a minute, Mr. Speaker. I have been asked by the Baptist Churches in the constituency, such as St. Bethel, St. Michael, and St. Peters in Bloc 2000, Sharps and Largo Height for some assistance with their churches. It has been done before and we can do more about it, Mr. Speaker. The drains in Old Montrose, Lodge Village road needs to be covered for those vans that have to commute this large body of people to the city, Mr. Speaker. The bridge above Stoney Ground need to be widened and need a better retaining wall and Mr. Speaker, I close finally disobeying my family. Did my mom make it to the House, she did not? I do not know. She did? Well I ask she..., mom stand up for me if you are in the House let me just see [laughter] where is my mother? Mr. Speaker, can I just ask for my mother in the stranger’s gallery to stand?HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: All right that is no problem.HONOURABLE ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: She is 87 years old, Mr. Speaker and she came here today to demonstrate that she considers her son very worthy and she has brought him up [applause] and she has brought him up in a way from which he has not departed. St. Vincent needs more Elsa Leacock’s, because even as I disobey..., and I am winding up this is my last 30 seconds, Mr. Speaker. I think in the audience is my daughter with a Master’s of Science Degree who cannot get a work in St. Vincent and you know my wife also was not able to keep that job that the World Bank had given to her, just now I have to suffer my own fate, but Mr. Speaker, I am reading from a book here, just a quotation as I end, Mr. Speaker.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: 30 seconds.HONOURABLE ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: 30 seconds, Mr. Speaker. And I am reading what they said about it. I am very proud of it, Mr. Speaker, it says, dad, this book is the Marine Officers Bible, it is call “war fighting” but everything in it applies. My son, Mr. Speaker, became an officer in the Marine Corps in December last year in the United Stated, a formidable achievement, he can become an Inspector in the Police Force here with, we need to modernise the Police Force and provide young fresh leadership so they can take control. The quotation I read, Mr. Speaker, simply says this, the essential thing..., I am speaking with respect to the Budget, the essential thing is action and it says, action has three stages, the decision born of thought, the order or preparation for execution and the execution itself, all three stages are governed by the will.76HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Thank you.HONOURABLE ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: The will, Mr. Speaker, Mr. Speaker, I have to finish the quotation, Mr. Speaker. The will is rooted in character and for the man of action; character is of more critical importance than intellect. Intellect without will is worthless and will without intellect is dangerous. Much obliged, Mr. Speaker.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Honourable Senator Fife just hold a second please, let me..., you can sit. All right Senator Fife, when you are ready.HONOURABLE MICHELLE FIFE: Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, I rise to make my contribution to this Budgetary debate of 2010. Mr. Speaker, this Government in recognising the challenges that the global economic meltdown has thrust upon us has elected to maintain what is called “a countercyclical fiscal approach” fashioning the 2010 Budget to enhance and uplift our population, Mr. Speaker, through creative ideas and targeted spending. Targeted spending, Mr. Speaker, which touches and includes all of our noble citizens, Mr. Speaker, our noble citizens who span the entire spectrum of our socio economic landscape, our professionals, our causal workers, our construction workers, our farmers, our skilled artisans, Mr. Speaker, our fishermen and women, our young men and women, the elderly, our children, sporting and cultural communities, Mr. Speaker, entrepreneurs, businesspersons, self-employed, nurses, policemen and women, public servants and so Mr. Speaker, this Government is crafted to include all people, Mr. Speaker, because this Government is the Government of the people, for the people and Mr. Speaker, we are not a communist regime, we are interested in democracy in this country and so to that extent we are thankful to Cuba, Venezuela and Taiwan who recognized our good intention towards our people.And Mr. Speaker, I am not standing here pretending that we can address every single personal issue that arises in the day-to-day lives of fellow Vincentians and neither can we immediately solve every single social problem and ill as soon as it occurs. No, Mr. Speaker, we cannot do that, not with all of the external pressures that have threatened to overwhelm our economy in recent times. Indeed, comparing the economic crisis of today to great American challenges of the past like the civil war and bloody struggle for civil rights in the 1960’s, President Barack Obama bluntly declared on Wednesday night Mr. Speaker that quote, “the devastation remains amid the worst recession in decades, and he called on all Americans, Mr. Speaker, to dig deep and answer history’s call.” And so today I ask other Vincentians to dig deep and also answer history’s call and show support for this Budget [applause].Mr. Speaker, President Obama began his first state of the union address with a long list of economic challenges his country confronts, as he enters his second year in office. A 10% unemployment rate, Mr. Speaker, while we are creating jobs in St. Vincent and the Grenadines [applause] bankrupt businesses, Mr. Speaker, while businesses are expanding in St. Vincent and the Grenadines; He spoke of fall in home values and rise in education costs, Mr. Speaker, amongst other things and he went on to state that job creation was his priority even amidst all of the health care issues, Mr. Speaker and I say emphatically today, Mr. Speaker, that jobs are a priority for this Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines [applause] and that is why we are purporting to create 170 new jobs, Mr. Speaker, it is in the Budget. Additionally, the Honourable Prime Minister in his77Budgetary address described the financial meltdown as the worst and I quote Mr. Speaker, “the worst economic crash in 80 years affecting economies across the Caribbean” and he added, Mr. Speaker, “that recovery was yet to be made manifest,” and so in light of the prevailing, Mr. Speaker, the formulation of this Budget has been no easy task at all, but we would not give up, Mr. Speaker, because of political division, we will not give in to fear, we will not let go of the promise to move this nation forward, Mr. Speaker, we will not let go of that promise and we will certainly not resign, Mr. Speaker, before the electoral trumpet sounds [applause]. We are committed to this country and we are committed to the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Mr. Speaker [applause].HONOURABLE ROCHELLE FORDE: Debate Senator, debate, you going good, you sound good.HONOURABLE MICHELLE FIFE: Mr. Speaker, this ULP administration has heard the cries of our people, Mr. Speaker. This administration has heard the cries of our people against the backdrop of global economic turbulence and we have sought to alleviate the pain financial hardship brings, Mr. Speaker, by devising a social economic strategy to propel this nation forward, to a higher plain of greatness which will in turn precipitate an expected end of peace, and health and wealth and prosperity and I can hear the voices of uncertainty asking, can this really be? Well, Mr. Speaker, not one solitary new tax has been introduced anywhere in this Budget [applause]. There has not been one single raise in any of the taxes that already exist. Even in these trying economic times, Mr. Speaker, even in these times no raises in tax at all and so yes, and this Budget is devised to alleviate the stress of financial hardship, Mr. Speaker.So, on this promise I remain standing, to wholeheartedly and unwaveringly endorse this Budget as presented. I endorse this Budget, Mr. Speaker, as a people centred document [applause] cleverly crafted to further advance our aspirations, to build this nation one brick at a time. Not by a panic attack, but by stabilising the economy and creating a balance through the marriage of sensible public polices and created detailed programmes even as we press towards that mark of recovery, Mr. Speaker.Yes Mr. Speaker, we have a vision of recovery and we have a hope and a vision to emerge ahead once this period of financial turmoil passes and we would not perish, Mr. Speaker, through lack of vision and so in wholeheartedly and unwaveringly endorsing the Budget, Mr. Speaker, I vigorously oppose any pronouncement that this Budget is a quote, “further monuments or proportion Mr. Speaker.” Is not this the same administration, Mr. Speaker, from which, came the Ottley Hall fraud and the Colonial Home issues in 1994? Allegations of fraud, Mr. Speaker, allegations of fraud, Mr. Speaker, issues of inconsistencies and accountability, Mr. Speaker, in the midst of those wounds that scarred and disfigured the epidermis of this country. Mr. Speaker, it is my opinion that the NDP administration has no ethical standing or factual basis to make such allegations [applause].HONOURABLE SABOTO CAESAR: No credibility.HONOURABLE MICHELLE FIFE: Mr. Speaker, and in standing of the support of the Budget, I continue by fervidly rejecting the view that this Budget is reflective of great incompetence and gross mismanagement by this administration. Mr. Speaker, I fervidly resist the idea that this Budget would bring the country to the brink78of collapse. There is nothing iota of evidence to suggest that this Budget is a fragile pack of cards. That view I opine, Mr. Speaker, is without foundation on factual merit.Mr. Speaker, having only been a Member of this Honourable House for less than two weeks, I thought it prudent to take the time to inform myself of certain accounting terms to assist me in making at least a reasonable contribution to the debate, Mr. Speaker and I listened with keen interest to all of the debates so far, particularly to the Honourable Members of the Opposition. Mr. Speaker, I listened with keen interest hoping to drink from the metaphoric river of knowledge which flows with veracity from constructive, analytical critique, Mr. Speaker,HONOURABLE ROCHELLE FORDE: Yes, they get that. HONOURABLE MICHELLE FIFE: But this was not meant to be, Mr. Speaker HONOURABLE ROCHELLE FORDE: You still thirsty.HONOURABLE MICHELLE FIFE: This was not meant to be, Mr. Speaker. Instead, Mr. Speaker, I struggled to catch a few drops from appear to be a spouting standpipe of incoherent attempts that rebottled, scattered between complaints and often times extensive irrelevancies which serve only as a diversion to the real expectation of what sensible alternatives, Mr. Speaker [applause].HONOURABLE ROCHELLE FORDE: Throat dry.HONOURABLE MICHELLE FIFE: Mr. Speaker, as the newest Member of the House I am not persuaded by this approach. It strikes a loud discordant note in the air of this Honourable House, Mr. Speaker. Is this the best of the Honourable Members of the Opposition can do? In my view there has been no demonstration [laughter]. Mr. Speaker, in my view there has been no demonstrations in this Budgetary debate that they are prepared to sojourn the highway of governance in this country again. Not yet. Mr. Speaker, where are the sustainable arguments, the credible suggestions, the constructive criticisms, Mr. Speaker?HONOURABLE SABOTO CAESAR: Lynch have them, Lynch have them.HONOURABLE MICHELLE FIFE: Where are the comparative analyses, Mr. Speaker, which are to lead us to that place of meaningful discussion? That place of meaningful discussion, Mr. Speaker, that place of compromise, that place of change and progression. Mr. Speaker, I have always maintained that our voices in this Honourable House should be the voices of peace and solution, especially in times of uncertainty and political divide. Where are the solutions that the Honourable Members of the Opposition have proffered, Mr. Speaker? Should they oppose for opposing sake without offering any sustainable alternatives, Mr. Speaker, how can this be? Instead, we hear criticism after criticism which is likened to a loud clanging symbol void of musical merit.79The Honourable Leader of the Opposition said, he was ashamed, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, are we to be ashamed, ashamed, Mr. Speaker, because we have elected not to destabilise the country? Mr. Speaker, the answer must be a resounding “no”. I like no in that context, Mr. Speaker [laughter]. Mr. Speaker, you see Mr. Speaker, the issue here is not debt alone you know, it is not debt by itself, Mr. Speaker, the issue here is connected to debt management, debt management Mr. Speaker, I repeat it for emphasis, debt management. You see the promise on which we borrow and the terms and conditions of repayment. There is an array of countries, Mr. Speaker, who run at a deficit and we are running at a deficit too, we acknowledge that but our borrowings are soft, Mr. Speaker, with concessionary loans at 2% interest, Mr. Speaker. We have to keep our economy stimulated.HONOURABLE ROCHELLE FORDE: Yes, yes [applause].HONOURABLE MICHELLE FIFE: Mr. Speaker, we have considered it you know, we have considered that we cannot run at a deficit for any prolonged period of time, hence the fiscal reform measures on the revenue and expenditure side of the Budget and this is propounded by the Honourable Prime Minister, Mr. Speaker, on page 83 of his address for clarity.Mr. Speaker, I do not wish to plum it into mindless repetition of the presentations of the colleagues that have gone before, but I do wish to turn now to consider why the capital Budget was increased by 50% and Mr. Speaker, it was increased by this margin due to three major projects. . a)  Forty ($40) million to provide equity contributions to British American which the Honourable Leader of the Opposition agreed was good so to do. . b)  Fifty ($50) million towards the Argyle International Airport, Mr. Speaker and . c)  Nineteen point one ($19.1) million for the Coast Guard Project. No 400704 page 658 for ease of reference, Mr. Speaker. And so Mr. Speaker, in addition to the three major reasons why the capital Budget has been increased, there are new programme, Mr. Speaker, amounting to about approximately $5 million in the Ministry of Finance Internal Audit Unit, Mr. Speaker, the Ministry of Education, the student support services, early childhood education, Mr. Speaker, the Ministry of National Mobilisation, Mr. Speaker, for a crisis centre. In the Ministry of Agriculture, banana services unit, Mr. Speaker. Ministry of Health, the Oxygen Production Plant, the Modern Medical Complex and these new programmes total about $5 million, Mr. Speaker and if we turn to page 89 of the Honourable Prime Minister’s Budgetary address we are able to see and identify new posts which cost about $2 million, $2,830,000 and some change, Mr. Speaker and so I was happy when the Honourable Member of the House spoke about jobs. Jobs are our priority, alleviation of poverty is our priority, Mr. Speaker and that is why this administration has purported over 170 new posts across mainly the vital areas of the public service such as, health, education, national security [interjection] page 89 of the Budgetary address, Mr. Speaker and so as I saying, in the areas of health, education, national security, public administration, among these new posts in health are 13 professional staff,80laboratory and nursing personnel at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital and 32 staff members for the Modern Medical Complex at Georgetown from October 2010, Mr. Speaker.In education there are 22 new posts, Mr. Speaker, mainly for teachers in Secondary Schools, Laboratory Assistants, Mr. Speaker and technicians for Information Technology Laboratories. In National Security there are 38 new posts in the Police force and 10 in the Coast Guard and other new posts, Mr. Speaker, are important in areas of public administration and Mr. Speaker, my presentation would not be complete at all if I was not to mention some increases in vital areas amounting to about $18 million or so and so we think of the contribution made to Social Welfare, we think of the contribution, Mr. Speaker, made to medicines and pharmaceuticals, retiring benefits, University of the West Indies in the amount of $1 million and so our young people can rest secure that their economic costs will be paid, Mr. Speaker [applause] again, a Government from the people, for the people, Mr. Speaker.And we think again of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Community College 65 graduate teachers, primary schools, a salary increase of 3% Mr. Speaker and all of these new programmes and posts, Mr. Speaker, were necessary. They were necessary, Mr. Speaker, in order to keep our economy stimulated and I posed the question again, are we to be ashamed, because we have elected not to destabilise St. Vincent and the Grenadines? Certainly not, Mr. Speaker, certainly not.And so Mr. Speaker, I turn now to consider page 96 of the Budgetary address of the Honourable Prime Minister, Mr. Speaker and because this Government is a people centred Government, Mr. Speaker, we have endeavoured to write some historic wrongs for central Government employees, Mr. Speaker: 1. The repeal of the legal provision which compels members of the Police Force who attained the age of 50 years to retire if they are still at the rank of Corporal. So we are not rejecting them just because they reach that age and that rank, Mr. Speaker and so yes, members of the Police Force who attain the age of 50 years to retire if they are still at the rank of Corporal unless they are granted Cabinet approval to continue beyond that age. This has been repealed, Mr. Speaker. 2. The extension of maternity leave for women in the Police Force and the public service from one month to three months, Mr. Speaker, [applause], again a Government from the people, for the people, Mr. Speaker. 3. The provision of paternity leave for Policemen and the men in the public service on the same terms, more or less as obtained in the teaching service. 4. The provision of retirement benefits for teachers employed in the Government Assisted Secondary Schools who had been appointed originally by the Public Service Commission would be pensionable, Mr. Speaker. 5. Special provisions for grants and scholarships for nurses and police officers who study at the tertiary level, Mr. Speaker and 816. The enhancement of the physical conditions for all categories of established central Government employees, Mr. SpeakerAnd so I stand here, Mr. Speaker, as the newest Member of the House and I am really of the view that the NDP policy is diametrically opposed to the ULP countercyclical fiscal approach. Mr. Speaker, from what I gathered from the various presentations, the prevailing NDP policy seems to be that when times are financially hard, we are to dramatically reduce expenditure and so make times even harder for the people. Mr. Speaker, how can this be? Moreover, the Honourable Leader of the Opposition Mr. Speaker, seemed Astounded that the estimates expenditure for the 2010 was more than 2009 and I recall that he wanted to know if the global meltdown did not affect St. Vincent and the Grenadines.I must admit, Mr. Speaker, that I was taken back when I heard this. I was taken back, but then I was only to learn that this view is a mere repetition of years past. I have learned that the Honourable Leader of the Opposition said the Budget was the worse Budget in 2001, and he said the same again in 2002 and again in 2003, Mr. Speaker, and again in 2004, Mr. Speaker and again in 2005, Mr. Speaker and so on and so on and so on, all the way up to 2010, Mr. Speaker. So that 2002 was 2001, Mr. Speaker and 2003 was worse than 2003, Mr. Speaker and 2004 was inevitably worse than 2005, Mr. Speaker and so I stand here and I say to myself, when huh, should not this country have already plummeted into the bowels of financial ruin? [Laughter] Mr. Speaker, should not we have already plummeted into the bowels of financial ruin, left holes in our noses at the stench of our own fiscal irresponsibility and recklessness? Of course not, Mr. Speaker, that has not happened and it will not happen under this administration, Mr. Speaker [applause] and I refuse to accept that this Government will allow this economy to fall into the hands of the IMF for a structural adjustment programme, Mr. Speaker.HONOURABLE ROCHELLE FORDE: Never.HONOURABLE MICHELLE FIFE: This Government will continue to create new initiatives in preparing for recovery with economic stimuli on farming subsidiaries on transfer to the elderly, poor and expectant and the like, Mr. Speaker.My people look at what you have seen over the last nine years or so. Look at the strides this Government has made and so appeal to you, do not oppose for opposing sake, cast your eyes on the landscape of our development and tell me what you see. Tell me what you see today. Mr. Speaker, this administration has been like a tree planted by streams of water yielding its fruit in season [applause] look at what we have accomplished, Mr. Speaker and look at what we continue to work on. Our administration and what we have achieved speaks for itself.There is a Latin term I recall from law, Res lpsa Loquitur, the thing speaks for itself, Mr. Speaker. The Education Revolution, Universal Secondary Education, Mr. Speaker, reform base on increasing access at all levels, labs in six secondary schools, the National Library, the rehabilitation of four secondary schools, Mr. Speaker, the training of teachers with over 300 teachers now trained at the graduate level, Mr. Speaker, no other administration has achieved this and we will acknowledge it and hold fast to it, because we are not ungrateful, Mr. Speaker [applause].82Mr. Speaker, we cannot forget nine new early childhood centres in addition to those already opened last year, Mr. Speaker, psychologists for those with behavioural challenges and problems, Mr. Speaker and increased university graduates. Mr. Speaker, look at the YES programme as well with the emphasis on training and so young people out there, we make up more than half of the population. If you are under the sound of my voice, seize the opportunities presented to you. Do not let your destiny slip away, not in this time when knowledge and information is so readily available. We must arise and move forward to better ourselves and push this country forward.Mr. Speaker, look at the strides in health, the wellness revolution, Mr. Speaker, the fitness programme for the elderly, the HIV AIDS initiatives, Mr. Speaker, the improvements made to the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital and the new location for the same, Mr. Speaker, I am excited. The new facilities in Evesham, Georgetown, the Bread of Life Orphanage in Georgetown, Mr. Speaker, all a part of our plan, Mr. Speaker, again Government of the people for the people. Look at the low income and no income housing projects, Mr. Speaker, and the 100% mortgage programme, the home building by public servants, poverty reduction which is being remarkably reduced since 2001 and we continue to press towards the mark of better, Mr. Speaker. The poor relief and pensions for the retirees and so I say to those of you who are not here who are looking at me over the television or under the sound of my voice by radio, the ULP Government cares about you.For those who see the merit in our national projects, the Argyle International Airport, for those who travel and labour under the inconvenience of transitioning from one destination to another, before you can get to and from St. Vincent and the Grenadines for the teenage boy or girl who will benefit from the facility of the library. You might be too young to remember what things were like before, but I say to you as a young person that this ULP administration has your interest at heart and that is why provisions are already in place to pay your economic cost when you are ready to go to university and we thank you for your ability to recognise progress and for your moral support, but for the lady who is also listening under the sound of my voice who may never travel beyond the shores of this blessed land, for the young man or woman who may never use the national library, because you cannot read so well, for the discouraged or anyone who may be feeling downtrodden we recognise, you this ULP administration recognises you. You are not alone, you are certainly not forgotten. We are here with you and we are here for you and we will address your needs through the programmes we have and will continue to put in place and Mr. Speaker, I do not want to labour too long, because I said earlier I did not want to descend into the level of repetition saying what my colleagues have already said before me, but I want to say to my people do not be deceived today, be anxious for nothing. There is no [need] for a panic attack. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, Mr. Speaker, the evidence of things not yet seen and by faith, by hard work, by determination and prudence this administration would steer the economic ship of this country away from collapse into a destiny of prosperity [interjection] it is a Budget of hope indeed and so I pray that the people of our nation, Mr. Speaker, that their eyes would be enlightened to identify the virtues of this Budget which was prepared under the theme “economic and financial stability, social cohesion and fiscal consolidation at a time of global recession and uneven recovery.”Mr. Speaker, long live this administration, long live St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Mr. Speaker and I wish to thank the Honourable Prime Minister and this Government for affording me the opportunity to make a contribution to this nation in a more meaningful way. I bid this Budget safe passage through this Honourable83House and there is much more that I could say, Mr. Speaker, but I feel that it has already been elaborated on and discussed at length. This Budget is a Budget for the people, from the Government of the people. I am obliged, Mr. Speaker [applause].HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Honourable Member for Central Kingstown. HONOURABLE ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: Mr. Speaker..., HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: You the Member for Central KingstownHONOURABLE ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: But I..., he would not mind, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker in a little light nature I just simply want to say to you because sometimes these things past, the Honourable Member just made her maiden contribution. We could have easily stood up and spoke about her reading, but I just want it to be acknowledged that we allowed her for flow until she gets her feet that is all I simply want to say, Mr. Speaker.DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: Honourable Speaker, Honourable Members, Mr. Speaker, the comment by the Honourable Senator Leacock is insulting and wrong and churlish and indeed demeaning. A professional stood up, had notes and spoke towards her notes that was evident to me, but he could not resist if he wanted to raise a problem get up and challenge it, she has finished, in his head he sees a star is born and he then decides to be churlish and then he speaks about..., he must give people a chance. I mean it is...HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Well the only thing I will say to that, it seems to be the perception of the Honourable Senator that she might have been so doing, but you see that is an issue honestly I would not really..., I do not bother about, because if I were to call people reading a lot of person would not make their presentations. Senator be careful, careful Senator. All Honourable Prime Minister let me not delve into those issues right now. We want to invite the Honourable Member for Central Kingstown to make his presentation. Honourable Member I remind you that you have 45 minutes.HONOURABLE CONRAD SAYERS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Honourable Members, please, please, please, please, please, please Honourable Senator Leacock [interjection] but has he done it. You see you are talking of a matter that you are saying it is a factual matter [interjection] yes I heard that, I heard that, I heard that but please we are coming to the end of the day of this debate, let us act civilly. Honourable Member for the Central Kingstown, I was saying that you have 45 minutes to make your presentation.HONOURABLE CONRAD SAYERS: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.HONOURABLE ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: I am obliged to stand, Mr. Speaker, because you asked and I have obeyed your rulings.84HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Yes.HONOURABLE ST. CLAIRE LEACOCK: The Honourable Prime Minister is issuing threats over there to me indicating that if I think I am a bad john he will deal with me. The Prime Minister has to stop these comments.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Yes Honourable Prime Minister..., DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: Mr. Speaker, I did not say that. I said to him that hethinks that he is a bad john, but I am the wrong man for him to deal with, which is an entirely different matter. HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: All right, let us stop this. DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: He hears what he wants to hear.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Incidentally my attention was on Central Kingstown, I was speaking to the Member of Central Kingstown at about the same time the talk was going on and so I cannot verify what was said or what was not said. Yes Honourable Member for Central Kingstown I am saying that you have 45 minutes to make your presentation.HONOURABLE CONRAD SAYERS: Mr. Speaker, thank you very much. I would like if you would just give me my reminder to about 15 minutes because I would like to address in particular issues in my constituency of Central Kingstown and the people of Central Kingstown.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: What you mean when you would have had 15 minutes..., HONOURABLE CONRAD SAYERS: Yes, yes, let me know I have that remaining. HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Okay, oh, that remaining, all right sorry, okay. HONOURABLE CONRAD SAYERS: When I finish 30 minutes, give me my time check. HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: All right, okay.HONOURABLE CONRAD SAYERS: Now as to my Honourable friend Senator Leacock, I think that frankly speaking it must be in a state of denial with the performance of our friends, but I am not going to be too hard on him and with the question of dealing with him I think too many people are threatening to deal with him and I guess he must feel upset [laughter] about that, so never mind my brother, you stand, do not worry [laughter].Mr. Speaker, I stand here today in this Honourable House to give solid support to this Budget of $913 million presented by Honourable Prime Minister and I recall the words of the Honourable Leader of the Opposition. At85first I was looking for him to give the usual intro, but then he veered a little bit and he made some different remarks. But you know what is interesting, Mr. Speaker, my Honourable friend said, when he began to read the Budget proposal, he could not believe we were in a state of economic down turn. There was no global financial downturn that the world economy did not seem from looking at the Budget that it was in that sort of meltdown that it was recognised. Apparently the Budget seems so optimistic, so forward-looking, Mr. Speaker, so looking towards prosperity instead of austerity and because of this it brought a sense of disbelief to my Honourable friend.Mr. Speaker, it is well known by the entire world is in a state of financial and economic downturn. When I was in Dubai some years ago they were building the largest tower and they could not complete it since this economic downturn started, because they too felt it and no matter what part of the world you are Mr. Speaker, people are crying out for the pains of the economic squeeze. First it was 911 which signalled it, it did not cause it, but signalled it, because it was in the making and which propelled it and give it some sense of acceleration and then, Mr. Speaker, it was the war in Afghanistan and then Iraq which had an impact on the price of oil. Such impact causing the price of goods and services to sky rocket and business people therefore being unable to sustain their businesses as they did and as a result letting off workers, workers being unemployed were not able then to consume the goods and services which eventually led to a reduction in the growth in the economy.Mr. Speaker, the airlines went into a tail spin, many, many, many businesses. In the United States we heard about 4000 banks closed and many persons were put on the bread line when you had people losing their homes because they were not able to pay their mortgages. So those were terrible times and although people pointed to the Republican administration, Mr. Speaker, generally the American society gives a sort of high level of tolerance than we do in these parts. Although in many cases the blame could be brought at their doorstep, they seem to be a bit more tolerant of what is happening.Mr. Speaker, we have an attitude in these parts of blaming it on the Government and it seems to be the role of Opposition parties over the years creating this impression that they could turn straw into gold. I remember when Jamaica had this problem, Bruce Golding, the Prime Minister then had his share of criticism giving promises of controlling crime and bolstering economy and causing a boost in economic development and when it was his turn no serious reflection of his inability or inefficiency, but just the entire world economic situation got hold of his economy and he start to lay off people and start to downsize and raise taxes and all these kinds of things.Mr. Speaker, what is important here today is that there is no instance of taxes being raised to finance the expenditure that are proposed in this Budget and that is important, because Mr. Speaker, whenever you are living in stringent times people normally do a number of things. You raise taxes, you cut back on spending and you try to reduce production or the cost of operations by laying off your workers. In this case we have not seen such things done. There is an instance in the proposal where you have $11 million in reduction for goods and services and I interpreted that that the Government is cutting down on waste. The Leader of the Opposition was clamouring for it to be restored or was disappointed that you have $11 million reduction in goods and services and that did not refer to medical services, Mr. Speaker. It did not refer to goods like medication, but here it was interpreted in that way. Mr. Speaker, these are some of the realities that we find and I want to say again that86this Government once again has proved that they have the capability to marshal together the forces of all the Ministries under the leadership of the Ministry of Finance and the Honourable Prime Minister to bring a creative Budget, to bring a Budget, Mr. Speaker, that speaks to the times in which we are and I am proud of it to stand by this Budget and to give it my fullest support, Mr. Speaker [applause].Mr. Speaker, when we came into office as a Government in 2001 company taxes was 40%. In 2009 it was reduced to 32.5%, when we came to office personal income tax threshold was $12,000 in 2009 we carried it to $18,000, Mr. Speaker, this is indeed a Government that is for the people, understands the needs of the people and therefore engage in certain strategic intervention to ease the pressure and to alleviate poverty. Mr. Speaker, the Opposition has always had this way of blaming VAT for the price increases and the inflation in the cost of food. Mr. Speaker, if you look at it very carefully it is a serious coincidence that at the time when VAT was introduced that the oil price was at its highest and the food price was also at its highest and the price of services like electricity and so forth went up and I think that one with a careful analytical mind could have looked at the situation and say you know what, this Government is in office they are doing a certain thing that maybe we would have done it differently and Mr. Speaker, incidentally they do not say how differently they would have done it.They do not say, okay, here is the proposal that we would bring as a counter or as an alternative to the one that is before the House [interjection] yes, and Mr. Speaker, this is the problem we have with the Opposition, a failure to bring to the House and to the nation creditable, creative pragmatic alternative that would make a difference to the lives of the people. I do not know what kind of respect we are going to have for the nation if we are telling them that this is wrong. As we say only descriptive approach to the problem and no solution. What we want to hear is solutions. I know Honourable friend Senator Leacock made a few suggestions a while ago, these were not fleshed out, cannot forward them because he did not get the time to flesh them out but they were passing statements of what can be done, but I am sure Mr. Speaker that if you examine these closely you will see carefully where the weaknesses are in these suggestions.Mr. Speaker, reference is made to the whole question of user fee at the port and I want to mention it because I have noted the Honourable Member for the Northern Grenadines looking at this fee as something against the Grenadines people simply because the people in the Grenadines any particular individual will pay more than a particular individual from the mainland. But if the boat travels to the Grenadines with 200 people, obviously less than half of that on a daily basis would be less than people from the Grenadines except on certain peak times. Nevertheless, they paid more in that respect, but we must not look at it in the area of spite, Mr. Speaker, because I remember many days before that was done, before the facility that was there was placed there, people traveling to the Grenadines had to go and stand up half an hour sometimes in the sun and wait until they pack they boat or they have to go and sit on the boat and take in all that scent that carbon monoxide that is causing the stomach to churn, they want to use the bathroom there is no bathroom around, they have to stand under tree like goats for export, Mr. Speaker [interjection] they prefer to be like goats? [Interjection] oh, they prefer to wait on the boat. So they do not like the television and the washroom and the air condition, I do not think you are speaking for the people of the Grenadines. I am saying that any normal human being, and I believe the people of the Grenadines are normal human being would prefer a facility in which you can go and relax look at87CNN, look at the news, look at something, read a book, look at the internet, use the washroom [interjection] we are talking about the Grenadines people as the subject, they lock the gate?Mr. Speaker, I will not be side tracked by the Honourable Member, except to say that he is one of those who instigated..., if they had come out like Honourable Opposition and said, well you may not like it but in all fairness like someone said, this thing worth $5, but we cannot afford it, so let us settle for the $1 if they had come out in all fairness and say, you know, this is a service and nothing is really is free in the world, it cannot even pay to maintain the operations, so let us pay, because I am sure if they had put $1 more or $2 more on the fare of the boat they will just pay it without even quarrelling and every time they go they have to pay it. So then why are we making it look like such a mountain?Mr. Speaker, the comparisons made to say Tokyo when you are travelling to Tokyo or the bus stop at Sion Hill or some place you do not have to pay a $1 you cannot compare it like that, there is no facility at these, so we cannot make a comparison. So I want to move from that, Mr. Speaker and say there are many people who say to me, they would not have removed it, but thanks to the old lady who spoke to the Prime Minister, something that many others could not do and there is a man who listen to the elderly, so he listened to her and there is a $1 more in the pockets of those who travel, whoever they are. Let us do not ever think that this thing is just a Grenadines thing. We have this idea of being unsure in our thinking and figure oh, the lands in the Grenadines..., the lands in the Grenadines belong to the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the people of the Grenadines have a right to come to St. Vincent on the mainland here and buy land and live here as we have a right to go down there and live. Let us do not just make this thing some sort of insular approach to the national development of this country. Everything we talk about, no let us erase that distinction, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, let us treat each other equally. Look at what is happening now you get school, modern school, I do not even have a school like what is in Port Elizabeth in my constituency and this Central Kingstown here as we would realise is the financial and economic heartbeat of this nation. We got to face it like that and what, there is a number of things we do not have and which I want to talk about because I have made some proposals for some of these things.Mr. Speaker, in spite of the fact that there is an economic meltdown the Government has taken it upon himself not to freeze wages, but to give a moderate increase of 3% [applause] yes, we need a clap for that because others would..., you know that sometimes when Barbados reduce wages and I think Antigua somebody was talking about reducing wages, because sometimes in a nation things could get so difficult that everybody have to come to the understanding with mature trade unionist to say, listen me, I am not a lackey for the Government or the boss, but the best thing to do for the survival for all of us, let us agree to either a wage freeze or wage reduction. Mr. Speaker that has not happened, what has happened is that Government, realizing that there are so many things to do with so little resources have proposed to the unions that one we have in mind to give you a 5% increase this year we could not do it, we like therefore to propose that you settle for a 3% increase and by the middle of this year if the economy turns around and we could afford the 5% increase, we would give you it in a retroactive pay package, if not you would get it next year. So in any case and in two years you would get 8% but you would not be at a disadvantage. This is reasonable, Mr. Speaker and I want to applaud the workers of the public service for understanding and for going along with this proposal because they are not going to lose.88Mr. Speaker, instead of reducing jobs the Government has proposed in this year to increase the job available by 170 additional persons [applause] this is remarkable, Mr. Speaker, 170 more jobs. Mr. Speaker, these jobs cover persons in the various areas in the constabulary and one of the areas that I want to talk about is the rural constable. Mr. Speaker, this Government and when I was working with the Ministry of Agriculture, we have been speaking about this thing for about 20 years you know that the farmers are losing too many of their crops and livestock and something must be done about it and year after year proposals were brought forth, discussions were held, consultations were held and nobody sought to do something about it, not something is being done about that problem of Praedial Larceny. Mr. Speaker, because of this problem you know you go to the market and you get a lot of inferior stuff, the fruits are young, immature because why, the farmers are racing against the thieves, and I am going to call them thieves, for their own produce. The oranges are green when they could stay and get a little more sugar content, the pears and all these are green and young and the farmers get a hard time for that or some of the poor farmers, not that they do not know when the fruit is full, but they just realise that if they leave this until next week it may not be there and so I wish that the farmers will now be able to leave their fruits on the trees and leave their produce in the earth until the right time of maturity and therefore anyone who attempts to steal the farmers produce should face prosecution. We have got to come to the farmers’ aid and I think we have done so, Mr. Speaker. There are worthless people who went stole farmer’s goats and sheep, cut off choice limbs go with it and leave the head and the skin and all these kinds of things behind and the bowels. Mr. Speaker, we have to move from that time. Our farmers work too hard to leave them to be in sort of situation.Mr. Speaker, we are living in an era, I want to come on to the education just now, Mr. Speaker, but let me just add something to this when we are talking about agriculture. Years ago the Ministry of Agriculture got excited with a proposal that there was going to be merger with the Eastern Caribbean Group of Companies to provide baby chicks for livestock farmers and to provide feed for these farmers and the farmers would raise these chickens and the ECGC would have a slaughtering facility, they would carry these chickens there, slaughter them, weigh them, get the difference between what the chicks cost, what the feed cost and other things and pay the farmers accordingly. This idea was banded about for a long time, Mr. Speaker, but it never came to fruition until now that we are hearing again that through the instrumentality of the Ministry of Agriculture collaborating with the ECGC that you are going to have this thing and hope, Mr. Speaker, that this would not be something that we speak about this year and next year we are still looking and saying, oh it should have happened, but I am hoping, Mr. Speaker, that we are going to see some real action, because people who have responsibility to do certain things must not pass the buck, Mr. Speaker. Map out exactly what is your plan of action, do what you have to do and get it done. I work with the Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Speaker, for many years and I understand what it means to produce. I work in several departments and my record is there and I am proud of it.Mr. Speaker, one of the things I want to see us do to alleviate poverty and which I try to do when I was Chairman of the World Food Day Committee was to make fruit trees available to the public from 1991/1992 as Chairman. This is one of the things that the public loved and was cautioned how to care these trees. Mr. Speaker, I also took trees to the Grenadines at $1 fruit trees, you that, there are 3000 plants available now and you can get them a $1 they were $2 at Dumbarton Agricultural Station. Mr. Speaker, when I travelled to Union Island, Bequia and Canouan for World Food Day celebration I saw the need for additional fruit trees and I arranged with the Ministry of Agriculture Extension Officer to for several years send fruit trees for the people,89but they are talking about this let go season that affected the fruit trees coming up and also the lack rains and thank God, Mr. Speaker, that there is plan now for Bequia to have a desalination plant that would provide additional water for the people and I am sure they will be able to spare some to wet certain plants in times of critical need.Mr. Speaker, Education Revolution, the Member for the Southern Grenadines mentioned that education is that critical element that is needed to alleviate poverty Mr. Speaker, he is so true, the only problem I have with his presentation, Mr. Speaker, is that he spoke as though this is some new idea that we ought to have listened to and adopted realising that we also have this advance in action and therefore we as a Government, Mr. Speaker, have been always sensitive to the needs. The only constraint we have, Mr. Speaker, is not political will you know, the resources, and the finances. I heard the Honourable Member mention oh, how they need this, they need that, they need all kinds of facilities, yes we know and that is why in Canouan you have that new clinic, the new police station, you have that new school in Union Island, you have that new school in Bequia, these are things we are doing that is no discrimination, not trying to win votes, trying to look at the needs of the people and trying to meet those needs, because sometimes when the people of the Grenadines get certain things, there are certain constituencies on the mainland that do not get it and we have no problem with it.Central Kingstown does not have one single of those new schools that are built in the Grenadines and we do not have any problems with it. We have schools that are adequate and that is what we need. Yes we can do well with some sprucing up. Mr. Speaker, we realise that in 2001 we did a repairs on all the schools in ST. Vincent and the Grenadines because they were badly in need of repair. When one considers that in 2000 and 2001 that the then Government could not even as a political election gesture repair those schools, one understands the stringent situation they were facing because if you do not say so, we will say that they did not care at all that they had the resources. Mr. Speaker, we are living in challenging times and challenging times like these need a challenging approach, strategy and a leader with the experience, the ability, the boldness to carry us forward into the future. Dr. Ralph E. Gonsalves is that leader and as you notice he is getting a team of people who have what it takes to create and transform the economy to a place that will become modern, will become many-sided, will become a nation that people throughout the world can admire.Mr. Speaker, for years the young people of this nation were neglected. Talking about ideas, as simple as that YES programme is you know, Mr. Speaker, that YES programme has made a lot of difference to a lot of people. Persons get up to $4000 per annum as a young person while they learn a trade, compare this to having nothing to do, no money and no productive area in which to be engaged. Mr. Speaker, this idea came from the Unity Labour Party and the people of the Opposition, instead of taking note of it and says well, these people have an idea, criticise if you will, but bring something that can add to the quality of what is done. All we hear is that it is youth’s enslavement service or something like that and all kinds of disparaging remarks, Mr. Speaker, our young people need hope. The Education Revolution provide that hope, the YES programme provide that hope and the Skills Training that is provided, provide that hope and Mr. Speaker, we are looking at the young people from as small as toddlers. Those nine pre-schools that are to be open would make sure that the parents of these children can go to work and have a place to put their children without being at a costs, from 7:30 in the morning you can take your child to a pre-school and return 4:30, 5:30. This is not to say that you must burden the pre- school teachers and leave your child there until 5:00 while you are somewhere hanging out. It means if you are90in a jam the pre-school will be open until that time because the Government understands reality of people’s everyday lives, the transport service and so forth and you must make the fullest use of that. Perhaps you can get in a class during that 4:00 to 5:30 time, maybe you can get into some exercise regime, but you can do something productive with the time [inaudible] or your children will be able to help.Mr. Speaker, let us look at housing. What has the past Government done about housing? The old Labour Party Government as we like to call it, did it share of providing houses, a lot of different places, Paul’s Avenue, Sharpesdale, Campden Park, houses of different sizes and shapes. What happened under the NDP regime was the provision of what they call a mortgage finance window and this was hailed as a great idea. Mr. Speaker, this Government came into office and we provide greater facility for public servants 100% mortgage facility [applause] this is a great victory, Mr. Speaker. A great victory with 100%, no longer you have to find $20,000 or $15,000 to pay down 100% and this is for teachers, public servants, nurses, policemen, what do we except if these people see the Government in a good light? Because they see hope, they see a future, they see a Government as forward looking that is on their side and they will be on the Government, Mr. Speaker [applause].Mr. Speaker, when we came into office you know what happened? There was a shortage of nurse in this country, a dire shortage and is a good thing we had a good relationship with Cuba because that was the only place we could have turned to Mr. Speaker, the only place we could have turned to. One man say, oh they do not [speak] English, they do not this, he really did not understand. Mr. Speaker, we must be thankful to Cuba and to God for these nurses because they have pulled us through, the situation we are facing ourselves, they have done an excellent job for people and thank God we now have embarked on a rapid training of nurses, so much so that we have a surplus and we are now supplying nurses to Trinidad, to Barbados and I think Bahamas, wherever want nurses can get the nurses, because they are well trained, qualified and they have the right attitude towards work.Mr. Speaker, once in a time we used to supply to Barbados farm workers, cane cutters. So when you are a Vincentian and they think about you as a male they see idea potential or past cane worker, farmer, non- professional worker, labourer. Incidentally, Mr. Speaker, you notice mostly anytime there is a person gets into trouble here, once they are over the age of 25 and they gone to 35, 40 you would hear a labourer. Listen to them anytime, a 35 year old labourer, a 22 year old labourer once they past the era of the ULP intervention, once we met them before they came in having less school, they are labourers and that is the only labourer they had, labourer, labourer, labourer, I have to look at the electoral list and see how many of them put their profession or their calling as labourers.Mr. Speaker, now we have certification from technical workers, a total evolution and revolution of the work force [applause] this is something we must be proud of Mr. Speaker. Our technical people can be trained and certified and therefore be eligible to work in other countries. This is indeed an important move towards alleviating poverty and bringing economic development to the man on the street.Mr. Speaker, the Community College has seen a great advancement. Now it is known as the Integrated Community College with the Division of Nurse education, the Division of Teacher Education and the Division91of Technical Education, the A ‘Level College, this is an integrated process and they have reached to the stage now where this institution is opening its doors for workers in the afternoon to give them advanced tertiary education. This is a breakthrough, Mr. Speaker, giving young people hope, giving them a chance to move on in life. What are we looking for Mr. Speaker? I mean, this Government is not perfect, but show us an alternative Government that is more capable, more ready with the ideas and the track record, because we are not talking about a Government that was never there, we are talking about people who were there when times were better, when oil prices were in 28 or thirty something dollars a barrel, when the banana price was good and we were making a lot of money when times should have been better. What mark did they leave during those times? Did they do something to show well these times were good and here is what we did? That is when they should have thought of building the airport, Mr. Speaker, because times were better, but they could not do it because they did not have the creative idea of the coalition of the willing. This Government is who thought of that and when the Honourable Member for the Northern Grenadines talk about the airport and say oh, that airport we cannot afford it knowing fully well that since August 2005, the Honourable Prime Minister went to the Methodist Hall and say, listen me, we are going to build an airport and here is how we are going to do it. We have what you call the coalition of the willing, Cuba, Venezuela, Malaysia, Taiwan, Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago, these people are going to come together and work with us to build an airport and we are going to use grant funds more than anything else, but in the meantime when there is a shortage of funds we will put in our own money and have that replenished later, what is wrong with that, Mr. Speaker? It is an idea that many people thought as a brilliant idea.Mr. Speaker, it is amazing that people overseas are very much appreciative and admire the performance of this Government and our Prime Minister when our people slight it. I do not know if it is a case where the prophet has no honour in his own country.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: You have 15 minutes.HONOURABLE CONRAD SAYERS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. But Mr. Speaker, you can really, really tell that this Government is for these times and like other countries where we see people are keeping the Government they have, because they are going through turbulent waters and they want to ensure that that Government take them through. The people in St. Vincent and the Grenadines I expect, Mr. Speaker, will take this Government through to the next election to assure that we go through safely with prosperity and development, I am expecting that.Mr. Speaker, the tourism sites in this country, talking about tourism development; we have had the development of 14 new tourism sites in this country taking it from North Windward from the Owia Salt Pond in Owia that has started years ago but it has been refurbished and a good work is done there you have water and facilities for bathing, changing and so forth, you have the Black Point Tunnel, Mr. Speaker, where that so called candidate to be made such a, something of himself, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, we have the Rawacou facility, we have the Belmont Lookout, we have the Botanic Gardens, we have the Layou Petroglyph and on and on Mr. Speaker, we go to Dark View Falls, the Falls of Baleine these tourism products are improved for the people. We have something to offer our people now. When people come to St. Vincent and they take pictures of where they are and carry these back, people are going to say, is this St. Vincent and the Grenadines? People are going to feel as92we as visitors would feel happy to carry..., as nationals would feel happy to carry visitors to these sites. I went to some of these sites and I felt so proud being a Vincentian, Mr. Speaker, but we are not hearing the Opposition saying anything about it. You would be respected by the populists if you could watch something that is positive and say that is a good move, because you know what, they figure if you can say so, you know what is good and it is likely that you are going to do something better, but no, you are going to watch something that is good and say it is not good and you try to find fault, you do not care how glaring your description is, you cannot do that. If you are serious about the nation and the nation’s development you got to come better than that, Mr. Speaker.Mr. Speaker, I want to take some time now because although I am confident that this may not be the last Budget debate, I want to still say some things that I have to say before I finish my tenure in this capacity. Mr. Speaker, I want to first of all thank the people of Central Kingstown for electing me as their representative. During the last election I won by only 16 votes, I will always remember that, Mr. Speaker, because it is very symbolic. The night of the election the number was 14 my Honourable friend could not believe that he could lose by 14 votes so the time of the count my Honourable friend, despite the fact, Mr. Speaker, that he has agents to check everything and report back to him and say in polling division A you beat Minister Sayers by this one, polling division B and so forth, he decided that he is going to count and to examine every ballot one by one by one Mr. Speaker, nothing wrong with that, he looked at the stubs, he looked at everything.Mr. Speaker, my Honourable friend went at the place of recount and to his amazement he discover two new votes that they did not get the night before carrying it to 16 and I sat down and I say, what is the meaning of this, you know what I remember? When two sevens clash 14 and the two tell you that are two sevens that clash and that is how you get 16 votes. I say you reinforce the pain; a win is a win even if it is by one vote, Mr. Speaker. I would have appreciated if my Honourable friend had taken his loss with more equanimity, but losing is a painful thing and I could assure him that in as much as I wish him well in his future endeavours, my well wishes will be that you would recover after his beating in his next election [applause].Mr. Speaker, I had to say to my Honourable friend not to be afraid because the Honourable Senator here, Senator Fife is not going to run in Central Kingstown, so do not get too anxious about that. Mr. Speaker, as I wrap up I want to still remind the people of Central Kingstown that under my watch or with my intervention or my involvement we have had several things being done in Central Kingstown. We can look at the mega projects that benefit this community, benefitted the people of Central Kingstown. We know before that the Post Office was a sweat house with asbestos in the roof; it is a very modern place now, thanks to the ULP Government. The Fisheries Centre in Kingstown had no special sanitary foot bath and air-conditioning and conference room for fishermen, now there is a tremendous improvement down there. There is now Leeward Bus Terminal, Mr. Speaker, that is there, Mr. Speaker, the Intermediate School was in East Kingstown when I came into office it is now in Central Kingstown at top Mc Kies Hill. Mr. Speaker, the School of Nursing was not at that advance improved state, now that school has been enlarged and modernised. Mr. Speaker, in Paul’s Avenue as we travel, first of all the Squash Complex and Squash Court there, I remember having a talk with Doctor Cyrus and at his home he said to me he is about to sell the Squash Court. I came to Prime Minister Doctor Gonsalves and I explained to him and he agreed to buy the facility. What has happened since that the National Lotteries had bought it, there is an advanced and improved squash court or Squash Facility parking lot, hard court for the people of Paul’s Avenue with a pavilion, Mr. Speaker and there is the removal of all these93small shops on the roadside causing much trepidation to the young people as they travel from and to school and so the road is clean and empty and there is a new facility built called the George Mc Intosh Community Market, Mr. Speaker. This is something I was to discuss with the Prime Minister, but I would like us to think of changing that name to George Mc Intosh Mini Mall, because sometimes people conjure up in their mind of a market a place where you get potatoes, dasheen and yams and so forth and young people do not go there often because of that. If they hear a mall they are going to come along and the things that the people have for sale they will like it and they are likely to do better business.Also there is certain improvements we can make but I am happy to say, Mr. Speaker, that the Avenue Dancers I personally made an intervention to get them a hall for performing and dancing in the back of the building [applause] so they have their own place. Before they used to go at the Peace Memorial Hall and they used to go to Girls Guides Headquarters, Mr. Speaker, that is no more. They are happy there and I am happy for them, Mr. Speaker. In Paul’s Avenue itself there was an old..., what you call a latrine for about 24 residents in the area that was dilapidated for years that has been removed and destroyed and there is a hard court in the area, a smaller hard court by the way. Mr. Speaker, the Girls Guides Headquarters had a larger wall and the road that goes through to Level Gardens was narrow, people have to go and reverse and have a lot of obstruction, I spoke to the Leaders of the Guides Movement and they agreed to allow me to get the wall removed push it in some more about 6 to 8 feet and widen the road. That has been a good thing for the people in that area, the motorists in the area, Mr. Speaker.Mr. Speaker, the Lodge Village School has been improved by far, basically a new facility aside the one that was there before that is a good thing, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I have done work on the Sharpes Playing Field two times. When we came into office it was in a state of disrepair so as other playing fields in the country, we are now doing some work on it this year, there is to be some completion of that work so that we can build a proper pavilion and re-grass it. It is two times it has been re-grassed before with subsurface drainage that is to be completed, Mr. Speaker.Mr. Speaker, through the support of SWIFT or SESCO there is a refurbishing of the Community Centre in Redemption Sharpes. There is also a new road up in Trigger Ridge going right up in the hills, Mr. Speaker and a road down at Holly Wood all through the assistance of the financial SWIFT not forgetting that SWIFT is a stepchild of this Government.Mr. Speaker, in the future in this year I am hoping that we are going to get some things done such as building a bridge up in Green Hill going over the river so that we can have access to the lands on the other side close to those lands which the Senator spoke about for the farmers, but that is for housing because the farmers land is on the other side. I also went and did some expansion on the roads there, farmers were divided as to the bottom and the top road and I did the top road and that is so far as it took us. Mr. Speaker, there is so much more to be done. Let us always remember that no matter which Government comes into office for the next 20 years, no matter how much they do, there will always be something else to be done and people who want back walls, retaining walls, steps and drains and so forth we are going to try to see how we can help you. We have done a lot of those. I could name them, but one thing I have to say, Mr. Speaker, those that are not done between now and the next 20 years would be waiting every year. Some of them might stop voting and the children might say94oh, my mother or my father wanted these 20 years ago but that is the nature of the game. There will be some things that will not be done for a long time because there are so many things to be done.Mr. Speaker, I have tried to put concrete roads strips all the way from Lodge Village come up, first you meet Miguel Gap, just as you look on the road along the sides you will see the concrete strip going inside there. Mr. Speaker, up at Galba Range an expensive piece of work done there, drainage and new roadway inside there with retaining wall. Mr. Speaker, on the opposite side where the Brazil are new steps to help them to have access to go down to their places, going up to Lodge Village School right around the school there is access road, right around the school, Mr. Speaker. We were trying to build a bridge but that has been stalled, we are hoping to have it restarted or recommenced this year between Lodge Village Gap and Dascent Cottage Gap, Mr. Speaker. Going up to the area where the Post Office is all there, Mr. Speaker, the first road where the Brute family live, I took road right to the end to the riverside. Go right in further in front of Mother Clarke there is a road that link that road to the Weekes residence and go right to the back the entire roadway to the end of that road has been put in by me, Mr. Speaker and then back where the New Testament Church is, roads have been there before but I have advanced it and carried it further right around to officer Browne and by Ezekiel Trimmingham’s residence.Mr. Speaker, a lot of work has been done, but there is more to be done. All up in Green Hill, in Sharpes as you come over the bridge there, there is some work done just by Cumberbatch residence just past the bridge in Sharpes after Browne’s hardware going up the next gap on your left hand there is new concrete roads put there, Mr. Speaker and as you go up, you meet retaining walls by Ms. Joslyn and a round-a-bout road right around facing on the opposite to the bakery. Going up to the playing field, Mr. Speaker, where Curtis Browne is there is access road right there and to the back of the playing field I have made proposals for new roads and drains to be built there. Mr. Speaker, there was a lot that was done there is a lot to be done, I am proud to have represented the people of Central Kingstown and since this may not be my last Budget address, I have some other things I will like to talk about in the next address, but Mr. Speaker, I want to say that the Learning Resource Centre should be coming next to the Lodge Village Government School and I have had a proposal for a lighted hard court for basketball to be built next to Kevin Lyttle’s premises on two acres of land that is there. I have spoken to the Chief Surveyor already and he is working on that, Mr. Speaker and we should have some things going there because the Kingstown Park would have access to that and Bloc 2000 and Old Montrose would have access to that, Mr. Speaker, and there is one up at the hard court up at the Learning Resource Centre, which I hope also will have a hard court there which can be used for parking as well. But hard court for playing in the day and so forth, the people of Dascent Cottage can come over, people from Green Hill and other places or Sharpes really can use that one.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Could you wrap up for me now please.HONOURABLE CONRAD SAYERS: Will do, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank again the people of Central Kingstown for reposing their confidence in me to elect me as their representative. As I leave I wish my successor good times, I am not sure who the successor is at this time, Mr. Speaker, but I wish the successor a successful tenure and may Central Kingstown continue to prosper and may the people come together as a95unified body of people and take it up upon themselves to play a more important role in the development of that constituency and in the entire country.Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleagues who have worked along with me well over the years, different Ministers and different Senators. All my friends on the Opposition, I have quite a few friends there, Mr. Speaker, and yourself, Mr. Speaker, I want to give appreciation for your cooperation and the Clerk of the House the staff in the House of Assembly and I want to congratulate Senator Fife in a very special way and to wish her especially well as she embarks on this road. I want urge the people to whom she offers herself as a candidate to behold a lady of special virtue and quality. One who would serve you well, one in whom you will be very much pleased and would be happy to stand and listen to her. Please work along with her and let her do what she has been called to do to bring development to your constituency and to St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Mr. Speaker, thank you very much and all the best [applause].HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Thank you. Any further debate? All right Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs, I recognise you, but I will take you tomorrow.DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: Mr. Speaker, in light of our earlier decision to go home a little earlier this evening, we are going home perhaps even earlier than we have even intended, but it means that Honourable Members can get home and shower and listen to Sir Dwight’s presentation and listen to the interactive discussion this evening.Mr. Speaker, I want to commend the inaugural address of Senator Fife [applause]. It is not easy for anyone, more so a young person to come to this Honourable House and take it by storm on their first outing and I am very pleased that her mom and dad were in the strangers gallery and her friends to hear it, I am most pleased, Mr. Speaker, [applause].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 6:15 p.m. Until Friday 29th January 2010 at 9:00 a.m.96