The Daily Herald writes that the Saba Labour Party (SLP) held a meet and greet event on Tuesday evening at the Zion’s Hill Community Centre from 7:30pm until 10:30pm. Around 50 attendants gathered to witness the candidates of the SLP not only give a personal introduction but also answering questions from the public.
Questions ranged from problems with mooring lines to education and tax problems. One attendant asked why there are so many problems with people on Saba getting a loan to buy or build a house. Number two candidate Stanley Peterson answered: ”We don’t have European Union salaries but we do have the same banking rules as Europe does. If you look at, for instance, St. Maarten, they are their own country and they can make their own rules. Saba doesn’t have that option. What we need to do is negotiate with the Dutch politicians directly to modify banking regulations for Saba.”
The Daily Herald asked the candidates if and how taxes can lowered for Saba. Peterson replied that it is necessary to prove to the Dutch government that it is impossible to have an increase in taxes planned for 2016. “You really can’t blame Holland for all the tax problems. Our current government on Saba accepted every tax law that Holland presented. Of course we need a mother country to survive and we need more friends in Holland as well. The real problem is that we are treated as second class citizens and this is unacceptable” the number two candidate said in a fiery rhetoric.
One of the younger attendants asked a question about his ambitions to become a pilot someday, but he questioned the possibilities of getting a scholarship for such an education. Monique Wilson, SLP’s number six candidate immediately took the microphone and replied that she understands that some students don’t want a mainstream career. “We need to set up an education policy for students to set a career path of their choice abroad. Communication with the youths is key, only then a realistic financial plan can be made” Wilson emphasised.
Another question asked was about the Saba Conservation Foundation (SCF). As nature is such an important source of income for the island, why is it not regulated by the government? Peterson was impressed by the question. “Putting both pros and cons of this notion side by side will be interesting. If we are elected, protocol will be put in place and we will look into this possibility further” Peterson said.
SLP’s meet and greet night had a positive atmosphere and gave the chance for several people to speak their mind or simply show their appreciation for the way SLP is presenting themselves during this election.
Today, Thursday, the Windward Island People’s Movement party will host a similar evening at the same location starting at 7:00pm. On Saturday, several SLP candidates, such as Enrico Klaber, Steve Hassell and Stanley Peterson will be a guest on Dave Levenstone’s radio show from 12:00pm until 1:00pm.