Wednesday, April 15, 2020


The governments in the region with exception of Dominica have already presented their economic stimulus and recovery packages.Some have indicated that the packages presented will serve as a first tranche towards the economic recovery process. 

When first asked –why has the government of Dominica not yet presented the country with an economic recovery plan the Prime Minister’s response seem to  indicated that his bloated cabinet is incapable of working on preventing an island wide outbreak of the COVID 19 and simultaneously preparing an urgent economic stimulus program for what was already a chronically underperforming Dominican economy. 

After declaring that Dominica could “sink under COVID 19” one would expect that the Prime Minister of Dominica would have been the first among the OECS to  issue an economic stimulus plan. Small businesses are in a freefall people are loosing their jobs in an already frailed economy. Why is the purveyor of the “Red Clinic” and spontaneous wild “Kool Out” sessions  late with an economic stimulus package- Is the country flat broke and busted? It appears that the chickens are coming home to roost.

So far we have seen that all the other governments in the Eastern Caribbean union have already presented economic support packages for their citizens. The government of St Kitts issued $120 Million stimulus package with an addition $16 Million for the health sector. That package will account for the removal of VAT and import duty on certain items for 6 months. The waiving of water bills for three months for individuals who have been laid off or have had pay cut. The package also includes tax incentive for businesses that retain ¾ of its workforce. The government will also throw in $10 million to support the agriculture industry. 

The government of Grenada also moved in to immediately underpin the economic sector by shoring up farmers, businesses, homeowners the government. Hotels, bars, restaurants and other qualifying businesses will receive a percentage of their existing payroll. The government has also declared that there will be assistance for the taxi drivers, vendors, bus drivers. According to the PM of Grenada all income and payroll support will be effected through a direct deposit system.

The government of St Lucia also presented what is referred to as COVID 19 Social Stabilization Program (Phase 1). As part of this program temporary income support will be provided through the National Insurance Corporation; The government will also provide a $500 monthly subsistence support to displaced workers for 3 months. The waiver of interest and penalties on all taxes and tax credit of 30% of employees’ full salary; relief stimulus for bus operators with fuel rebate of $1.1 Million, of systematic support for farmers and fishers.

The government of St Vincent and the Grenadines has presented an economic stimulus package of EC $70 Million.

In a follow up response to the COVID 19 stimulus package for Dominica, PM Roosevelt Skerrit stated that he is now in the process of negotiating a stimulus package. Based on PM Skerrit’s spending record, we expect an economic stimulus package that far surpasses that of the other islands in the OECS. After all this is a Prime Minister who less than five months ago spent over 60 Million dollars just for an election campaign. The PM has also confirmed that there is roughly 1.2 billion dollars of Dominica’s money somewhere held in an offshore account. In addition a government that has created a society dependent on Skerrit handouts/Kool Outs should have already seen A government bailout in motion. 

A few months leading up to the general election bus drivers walked around flaunting fuel vouchers and prepaid contracts to move Labor party supporters to and from party activities all over the island. We therefore expect not just $1.1 million in fuel rebate for our bus drivers as is the case with St Lucia. The Dominican bus drivers should demand no less than $5 Million in income subsidiaries.

Prior to the general election gangsters , party supporters were treated with  $10,000 checks just for the heck of it , purchase orders for Building material, expensive sneakers , bought out bars and restaurants, free ferry trips to neighboring islands. Imported voters from Europe, China, North America and the Caribbean also received free plane tickets and hotel accommodation just to come vote in our elections. The people of Dominica also witnessed millions of dollars spent on contracts for international artists just to perform at Dominica Labor Party political events. 
Dominicans in Line At Dowasco 
It is downright asinine for the people of Dominica to not expect a healthy economic stimulus package from a government who have no qualms in spending over 60 Million Dollars of the people’s own money on election campaign. The people of Dominica for example should not at this point in the crisis be standing in long ques worried about having their water lines disconnected due to non-payment of the water bill. 

We can all expect the shameless apologists to invoke the “now is not the time “heed. Truth never damages a just cause- If not now when? 

Evil comes in round shapes
In the words of Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy “It has been said that time heals all wounds. I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time the mind, protecting its sanity covers them with scars tissue and the pain lessons. But it is never gone.”  The billions of dollars that have been stolen from the people , some in personal offshore bank accounts, high rise buildings in the middle east, apartments in New York, mansions, lavish election campaigns etc.- all of this money is desperately needed right now and in the very near future. The road is about to get very rough. 
Conventional wisdom teaches that Economies stricken by compulsive corruption are incapable of functioning efficiently because corruption prevents A natural economy from functioning freely and a dysfunctional economy causes the society to suffer.
It would be na├»ve to think that the rest of the OECS countries are not corrupt but it is also well established that the higher the level of corruption the lower the level of economic prosperity and functionality. The government of St Vincent who by the way does not sell passports has offered its citizens a $70 Million package as an immediate stimulus response. That is just $10 Million more than what the PM Minister of Dominica spent on his election campaign. 
Amidst Difficulty There Should Have Been Opportunity

According to economists, economic crises have historically created opportunities for industrial renewal in the form of added consumer goods, methods of production and industrial organization. Had it not been for endemic corruption and government inefficiency Dominica should have been well positioned and prepared to take advantage of the economic opportunities that comes with the ensuing economic renewal. At this point Dominica should have been preparing to take advantage of the inevitable demand for food and water. We should be gearing up to add more value to our agricultural produce and ramping up bulk and bottled water production but alas this government has shown  no interest in developing a productive economy. They have only been interested in procuring the passport money as an avenue for self-enrichment and massive money laundering schemes. 

Five years ago Reginald Austrie and his colleagues made fun of Dr. Thomson Fountaine who promoted the idea of developing our essential oil industry with emphasis on Bay oil and citronella. In this time of renewal Dominica should be preparing to take advantage of the opportunity to add a hand sanitizer business element to our Bay rum and essential oil production. Even after the COVID 19 pandemic is over and with the seasonal flues and other possible flue epidemics hand sanitizers will become a product in steady demand.

 A liar’s most formidable enemy is someone with a good memory

Truth has no time and space and we should never worry ourselves  about offending the shameless Skerrit apologists. What we should be concerned about are those who are repeatedly misled , deceived and destroyed by the Roosevelt Skerrit deception. Let them hear the truth !!!!

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