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We need to redirect now before it’s too late, says Solomon Islands PM candidate

The Grand Coalition (GC) candidate for Prime Ministership, Matthew Wale says his group offers a government that will bring real change for the people of Solomon Islands. now and into the future.

Speaking at a press conference Sunday, Wale pointed out his GC group will take the necessary steps through policy, to ensure the political system is made stable for the future.

Wale said, “The steps we are proposing will involve policy directions that will ensure that future elections are clean and that governments can concentrate on governing our country and not worrying about maintaining numbers throughout their terms in office.

“Our view of stability therefore is deeper and not just about maintaining any particular group or numbers which to us, is part of the problems that has fueled the instability that we currently have in our political system.

“Saying that stability will result in maintaining numbers demonstrates a lack of appreciation for the underlying problems that continue to fuel instability,” said Wale.

The second key areas highlighted by the group was on the economy, where they stressed that the country’s economy is in dire need of redirection, noting that if the government does not redirect it now and continue with the status quo, the economy will collapse to the detriment of the people.

“We are where we are because of so many factors including bad leadership. Status quo style of government means continuation with tax exemption, transfer pricing, royalties not being paid at right prices tax exemptions, corrupt practice of granting of licences and the list goes on,” the group shared.

“These are the kinds of practices that will continue to deprive our country and the people of their rightful revenue and our group will make sure that these practices are dealt with accordingly,” said Wale.

Wale goes on to say that unless the government addresses the underlying problems that are stifling economic progress and shift the economic base from logging to other sectors, complemented by the creation of an environment that makes the economy sustainable, “we will not be making the change that that matters and which we believe our people callling for.”

“Our people are calling for real change and not just change in faces or numbers. With our plans, we are confident that we can respond to this call if we form the next government,” they added in their joint statement.

The Grand Coalition Group, he said has a mix of policy to attract Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) and empower indigenous business people in the economy.

The policy will provide tax incentives based on attractive proposals to invest in processing and manufacturing.

He said this can also apply to foreign investors who want to set up hotels in the country.

“So for example we are having a 200 bed hotel is been built in Western Province or Malaita Province or some places, we will obviously want to offer them tax relieve to be able to do that and create jobs in the economy.

“And they (foreign investors) shouldn’t have to apply and induce somebody to get that,” he said.

Further to that, Wale said the other aspect in the taxation policy will be indigenous economic empowerment.

“It is important that we speak about empowering our indigenous people and small and medium enterprises as part of the overall economy policy.

“And link to that is government fiscal policy, so that foreign investments and foreign investors don’t feel that they been excluded and marginalised,” he said.

Wale said there is a place for everybody in this economy and they acknowledged that there is not a level playing field, indigenous business needs more supports.

“We want to strengthen the hands of indigenous Solomon Islanders in our economy.

“That has to be a core aspect of our social policy as well creating greater stability in our society,” he said.

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