Deputy PAM Leader – Shawn Richards
Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
People’s Action Movement
January 16, 2010
People’s Action Movement Deputy Political Leader Shawn Richards claims that while the people of St. Kitts and Nevis are grappling with numerous challenges in confronting the growing economic challenges, the Government continues to incur unnecessary expenses thereby increasing the national debt.
Richards said that the public needs to send a strong message on Election Day that they could no longer tolerate a government that significantly contributes to dwindling financial resources. He said that because of the Government’s unprofessional actions, several key sectors in the Federation are faced with growing problems on a daily basis.
He made reference to the ongoing issue in which several schools in St. Kitts have publicly admitted that they are short of toiletries, furniture and text books, among other things. This, Richards said, is what is hampering the effective execution of the Government’s mandate.
He stressed that the Government is not committed to honouring its mandate and suggested that the public needs to entrust such responsibility into the hands of a capable party.
“Government is cash-strapped, as they have not accounted properly for the many millions they continue to spend foolishly on a number of things. I need to note that there continues to be evidence of corruption and we intend to have a thorough investigation when we assume office,” Richards said.
The PAM’s lone Parliamentarian said that the nation continues to be at a loss as to how government is finding money to do certain unnecessary things and could not to do those that are really necessary. He reiterated his party’s views that the Government has not been spending the Federation’s taxes properly.
To compound the issue, Richards said there is an urgent need for the establishment of the Integrity in Public Life Act, which he stressed would govern the way public officials and, moreso, Government Ministers operate.
He disclosed that there are a number of officials, including representatives of the Government and Ministers, who would be held accountable for their actions should they be found guilty of corruption. Richards said that while the Government continues to deny the growing accusations and allegations, evidence continues to point in the direction of corruption. He however promised that come January 26th the relevant systems would be implemented, thus ensuring this act is never again committed against the state.
Richards opined that should the Government be allowed to continue on its wanton spending and financial irregularities, it would certainly bring the people of St. Kitts and Nevis to their knees. It is to this end that he noted the importance of questioning Dr. Douglas and the Minister of Finance, Dr Timothy Harris, about their sincerity in seriously addressing the financial woes facing the Federation.
He noted that the Labour Party, over the past 15 years, has sought to victimize and discriminate while rewarding faithful party supporters with loans and other financial benefits. This, he said, has resulted in acts of spite being committed and resulted in the Government failure to effectively execute its mandate.
Richards reminded supporters that the Federation could no longer continue on the path Dr. Douglas and the Labour Party have taken it, which, if continued, would result in the plague of increased social ills.
The national debt currently stands at EC$3 billion.