BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS – Leader of the Opposition in St. Kitts and Nevis the Right Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas is of the view that lack of leadership and the absence of a plan for economic growth by the Timothy Harris-led three party coalition have brought hardship to working class people, students who once hoped to pursue tertiary level education and young men in the construction industry.
Dr. Douglas invited to say a few remarks at the end of a very successful silent walk through the streets of Basseterre to commemorate the 49th anniversary of the failed coup attempt to overthrow the lawfully-elected government of Premier Robert L Bradshaw, issued a call for equal rights and justice and an opportunity to be educated and work in the land of their birth.
Dr. Douglas, whose St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party Administration chalked up a 7.1 percent growth rate in 2014 expressed concern that Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dr. Harris has already informed the country that the once thriving economy is collapsing.
“Things are getting harder and harder in St. Kitts and Nevis. In his own words, the Prime Minister has said whereas before we enjoyed a 7 percent growth in economic development, the prime minister has said to us we will only get 3.5 percent and 3 percent. That is half of what we were doing before,” he told the crowd, pointing out that as a result of the stopping of the REACH programme some 1500 CFBC , Nevis Sixth Form and AVEC students have had to abandon the dream to pursue tertiary level education.
“Our young children who Labour prepared to become computer literate by giving them their own lap top through our one to one lap top programme in a competitive world and to compete globally with any child of his age or her age, the Minister of Education, Shawn Richards has said ‘it was a waste of money to educate our children,” said Dr. Douglas, who further blasted the Timothy Harris government for the worsening situation in the construction industry as several development projects left by the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party Administration have been abandoned as of Harris’ policy of greed.
“Almost 40 percent of the projects that we left there have been shut down and more are shutting down. It means more and more of our young men are unemployed and their mothers, their women folk and their wives and their children will have less to eat and will certainly not able to look after themselves. Healthwise, things are also getting harder in St. Kitts and Nevis,” the former Prime Minister said.
He also used the opportunity to call for equal opportunity to young people to have access to financing from the US$6 million loan from Venezuela from which many, many family members and close friends have benefitted.
“And while things are getting harder for a majority of the people of St. Kitts and Nevis Timothy Harris and his family members are living high off the hog,” said Dr. Douglas, who detailed some of the businesses family members of the prime minister have started since he took office.
“If you want to rent a tent, ask Timothy Harris. If you want to rent chairs or tables, go by one of his brothers. If you want to buy ice, you know where to go and if the police need cars to help patrol St. Kitts and Nevis, it is a Harris rental car service that they have to go to rent,” said Dr. Douglas, who indicated that the previous day a person suggested that St. Kitts be renamed “St. Harris.”
He appealed for vigilance and an awareness of the struggle that has to be faced “and let them know that labour says we will not back back anymore. We will go forward until we retain ad regain the government of the people, for the people and by the people.”