The Estimates of Income and Expenditure for 2015, to be presented in Parliament on Wednesday, is “a joke”, Leader of the Opposition Arnhim Eustace says.
“The estimates, as far as I am concerned, that are to be presented on Wednesday, are a joke. They are a typically thing that you get in an election year, and very little will be done by the time the election year is finished,” he said Monday on his weekly radio programme.
Vincentians must vote by March 26, but general elections are widely expected by December 2015.
“We will not live up to figures that are in the Estimates,” Eustace said, adding that they are “very unrealistic”.
“The deficit on the recurrent budget is 147 million [dollars], even higher than before,” he said, and accused the Ralph Gonsalves government of including “some fictitious figure about other receipts…”
Eustace said that the Prime Minister has told public sector unions that his will not pay a bonus this year.
“He told them so last week. He wants the private sector to pay it — who closing down and who they owe,” Eustace said.
Gonsalves recently announced that his government will give a tax break to any company that pays their employees a end-of-year-bonus of EC$250 or more.
Gonsalves will on Wednesday take to Parliament Estimates of Income and Expenditure of EC$969 million for 2015.
Of that amount EC$560 million will be for current expenditure and EC$112 for amortisation and sinking fund contributions.
He said the capital budget for 2015 will be EC$296 million.
“On the current account, as I had indicated … two years ago, we will run a deficit on the current account for a short period of time. The debt will begin to fall in 2016 — God’s willing we don’t have any more storm humbugging us,” Gonsalves said recently on his radio programme.