If Dominica is doing Great then...

Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, official spokesperson for every ministry in the Labor Party Administration, claimed during the 2017 Budget Address that Dominica is doing better than the other islands in the Eastern Caribbean! Mr. Skerrit and his handlers must be confused!  What are their criteria for making such a statement? It certainly would not be due to the island's superb healthcare especially when many healthcare facilities were closed due to poor maintenance and vermin infestation.

What is going on at the Ministry of Health?
  
Where is the guidance?   Are senior management too lazy to develop maintenance schedules and vermin control protocols for healthcare facilities?  Does the Minister of Health understand that rodents and vermin running around in a health care facility places patients at risk for all kinds of communicable diseases and the possibility of death? The Minister of Health needs to put his gun back in his holster and take up a flashlight so he can see the mess that is going on in Dominica’s healthcare facilities.

Is the Prime Minister basing his statement of Dominica's excellent performance on GDP per Capita?


Dominica ‘s economy was so low that any uptick becomes a boom. Dominica is not doing better. In fact, Dominica is doing worse than many islands! Did the Prime Minister look at the GDP per Capita of either St. Kitts and Nevis or Antigua and Barbuda? These islands have double the GDP per Capita of Dominica. Moreover, many Dominicans have migrated to both Eastern Caribbean countries to find work over the past 15 years and, the migration continues.  The only country in the ECCU with a marginally lower GDP per Capita  is St. Vincent and the Grenadines.  Incidentally, St Vincent has no Citizenship-by-Investment (CBI) Program.  Just imagine, if they had all the millions of dollars brought in by a CBI program! Dominica has an Administration of waste and frivolity.  They spend millions with only monuments to show for it.

Is Mr. Skerrit basing his statement on jobs?

How many people are still working in agriculture?  Farmers cannot access their farms.  Just take a look at the deplorable condition of the feeder roads! How about an organized employment program for the young people of Dominica? The National Employment Program, better known as NEP, is a Social Assistance Program that is not sustainable. Why is it that the NEP now supports over 2000 persons? What skills are those young people acquiring? If Dominica is doing so well, what has happened to the manufacturing sector? It is not growing.
Many Dominicans have migrated to seek work in the neighboring islands.  Why are there so little jobs in the manufacturing sector? There are no Agro -processing Industries in an island with great agricultural potential!!


Mr. Skerrit is surely not referring to Freedom! 


Dominicans are constantly fighting to protect their rights to Democracy.  Dominicans struggle to get information about the affairs of Government.  Information is vague, with very little details, even in a Budget Address. The Audit of Public Account for 2013 was posted in 2016? Why did this report take 3 years to be generated? What about Financial years 2014, 2015 and 2016?

The right to protest is especially being eroded in Dominica.  Did the Skerrit-dominated Labor Party Administration note that when Barbadians held a tax protest on July 24, 2017 that there were no police personnel in sight. Compare that to Dominica.  Such a protest would have been met with police personnel dressed in riot gear and heavily armed with weapons as if they were fighting a war.  The Skerrit-dominated Labor Party Administration appears to have a problem with freedom of expression that is guaranteed under the constitution.

Dominica is not doing better than the other islands.


So, before Mr. Skerrit takes a victory lap, he should read the IMF's Article IV report, of March 2017 which came out after the IMF's visit to Dominica. The IMF found that the fiscal outlook for Dominica had deteriorated even with all that high inflow of CBI money. Mr. Skerrit should also read the IMF's regional Economic Outlook for the Western Hemisphere. The long-term projections for Dominica does not look great. Instead of driving around with armed security details at state expense, he should try accessing a farm where no feeder roads exist. If Dominica is doing so well, why are ministers and fervent Labor Party  supporters looking for health care in other countries?  Why is the island importing products that it previously produced? Why are Dominicans constantly seeking employment in other countries?

If you don’t admit there’s a problem then there’s no need to fix anything.


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1 comment:

  1. I do think there is a big problem in Dominica and some how a strong civil society needs to develop to provide a reasoned voice of the everyday citizen.

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