Since it took office on March 23, 2004, the UPP has steadily taxed the people’s money out of their pockets, frustrated major investments and held back an economy that could have grown much more in the last 5 years. Significantly, the UPP has also been absolutely incompetent in dealing with the critical issues of crime and the rising cost of living.
So not only are people suffering from the pain and hardship of struggling to make ends meet, they are also afraid and unsafe. They feel they have been betrayed.
As a result, the Antigua Labour Party has been able to secure tremendous public support from the majority of Antiguans and Barbudans who believe that they were much better off under the people-centered, pro-investment, low-tax governance model of the Antigua Labour Party.
The evidence of this resurgence in popularity for the Antigua Labour Party is well documented in the massive turn out for its 2008 Labour Day activities. More than eight thousand people marched through the streets of the capital and over fifteen thousand persons turned up for the celebration at Fort James beach.
By comparison, according to police estimates only one thousand two hundred people showed up for UPP’s Labour Day March organized in collaboration with the Trade Union Congress.
The fact that the ALP was not able to attract these huge numbers in its glory days indicates quite clearly that this country is anxious for a change in political leadership.
The yearning for an end to the pain inflicted by the UPP is also evident in a recent poll from a Barbados based pollster which shows the ALP winning 11 seats and which gives the ALP a more favourable rating than the UPP in handling crime and the cost of living – the two top concerns for more than 60 percent of the citizens of Antigua and Barbuda.
The pain is evident in the following facts of life:
Having thrown away all the goodwill it gained from winning the 2004 election, the UPP now finds itself fighting against the people’s will for another chance to ruin the people’s government
Crime has spiralled way out of control and the UPP government continues to respond in a most incompetent and insensitive manner. Five Commissionners of Police in less than five years and a total failure of the desperation move to bring Canadian Mountees to the rescue. The problem is not the police or who heads the force. The problem is the hopeless UPP.
People of all ages and from all walks of life are lamenting the growing hardships they face with the cost of living in particular and are crying out for change.
The UPP is has become more and more a government committed to looking after its favoured rich few friends and is not loved by the masses.
The impact of its social programmes (school uniforms, school meals) has been negligible in light of the heavy increases in the cost of living.
The impact of its campaign to over-tax people and mis- spend their money has been severe.
The UPP government has already helped itself to over 50 million dollars per year from the people in personal income tax that government was able to do without for 28 years under the ALP.
This year, the UPP will collect 400 million more tax dollars than the ALP collected in 2003 – its best ever revenue year.
The Tax payers of this country are satisfied that the UPP has its hands too deep in their pockets and they want a change.
The tax payers of this country are satisfied that their hard-earned money is being wasted on decorating sidewalks when they have no roads, and they want a change.
Record high electricity rates continue to burden consumers all over the country.
Most if not all of the good governance promises of its 2004 manifesto have been ignored.
More than four years later, there is nothing to show for the millions of dollars spent on a witch hunt of the ALP that the UPP dishonestly and deceptively calls justice.
The UPP’s anticipated Cricket World Cup economic boom turned out to be a major bust involving a massive scandal in which over 120 million dollars was allegedly spent to get a 55 million dollar stadium donated by the Chinese ready for the event.
Allen Stanford – the country’s largest investor – has been insulted, used, abused, kicked to the curb, and left for dead.
Cabinet is spending the people’s money to enrich its friends left, right and centre behind the back of the Tender’s Board.
The people’s assets (e.g. Mobile Phone Company PCS) have been devalued.
Corruption is rampant in the corridors of governance
In a few short years, the incompetent and uncaring Baldwin Spencer bunch of misfits has created the perfect set of circumstances for a change of government so that the ALP can return to end the pain inflicted by the UPP.