Opposition Leader Godwin Friday speaking at Monday’s press conference. (iWN photo)

The opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) says it is expecting “more of the same” in the Budget for 2019 which the Unity Labour Party administration is slated to present to Parliament on Feb. 4.

Minister of Finance, Camillo Gonsalves is slated to bring to parliament on Jan. 29, the estimates of Income and Expenditure for 2019.

This will pave the way for the presentation of the fiscal package — his second since becoming finance minister — one week later.

Speaking at an NDP press conference in Kingstown on Monday, Opposition Leader Godwin Friday said he does not know specifically what will be in the Budget or what the government will be offering the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

“Generally, though, I expect it will be more of the same! Old wine in new bottles,” he said.

Friday added:  “What I can promise you is that the opposition will hold the government accountable for what it puts in the Estimates and Budget and what is missing from it. 

“Over the years, there has been a lot missing: jobs have been missing; effective crime-fighting has been missing; reputable foreign direct invest has been missing; negotiated public service salary increases have been missing; effective plan for tourism has been missing; and basic supplies for our health care system has been missing.

“Most of all, what has been missing is a credible plan and program to bring about economic growth and development in SVG,” the opposition leader said.

He made it clear that the government should not consider any additional taxes.

“The people cannot bear any more taxes! The last three budgets increased VAT.  The people are crying under the yoke of taxation and unemployment. So, no more.  The government must be more creative in generating revenue. It simply cannot put its hand in people’s pocket every time it wants more money,” Friday said.

In 2018, government lawmakers approved an EC$993,535,449 Budget, which, like the Estimates one week earlier, was presented in the absence of opposition lawmakers, who walked out of Parliament, in protest over the decision by the speaker to allow the government to amend the opposition’s motion of no confidence in the government.

The EC$993.5 million budget represented a 1.7 per cent increase over the approved Budget for 2017 and included the first surplus in years.

The budget reduced the tax burden on Vincentian workers and businesses but imposed a climate resilience levy on visitors, which the opposition opposed.

4 replies on “NDP anticipates ‘more of the same’ in 2019 Budget”

  1. Duke DeArment says:

    It is very sad how the present government has the top leadership indoctrinated into Keynesian Socialism. Make no mistake! John Maynard Keynes was an intelligent guy but his theory of economics is terrible to say the least. It is impossible to spend, borrow and then tax any country into prosperity. The Demographics, Topography and many other conditions dictate that Saint Vincent should have more of a “Supply Side” economy. Even before John Maynard Keynes was born, whenever elements of his economics were employed, those nations failed, to include the Tang Dynasty and Philipean Spain. The USA started as the first Supply-Side economy and became very wealthy, now it is only partly Supply-Side, but primarily Fascist. Singapore is Supply-Side and they are the wealthiest nation on earth. Even though they have practically no resources.Nearly 70% of the population are millionaires. SVG has 70% below the poverty level. Consider that in the 1960s SVG was ahead of Singapore, now we are way behind.
    The reason why Ralph Gonsalves attacks Godwin Friday’s economics is because Friday is a “supply sider” unlike some of the fake supply side economists in the USA like Lafler. Instead, see Professor, Dr. Paul Craig Roberts.
    I remember Gonsalves saying he has to raise taxes to create jobs. In truth, taxation destroys jobs. We are never going to go anywhere with this PM until or unless he throws off his indoctrinated Economic philosophy and starts to get it right.

    To believe that spending money we don’t have and to tax the people to pay the interest on this borrowed money is going to make us rich is total insanity! We will only continue to get poorer.

  2. Budgetary economics in St Vincent and the Grenadines for the past eighteen years, has been very sadly profoundly based, on an outdated and failed ideology ostensibly supported by Ralph Gonsalves. This, coupled with what has been good, only for the Ralph Gonsalves extended family, cronies and not for the majority of the people who live in these small islands.

    Vincentians therefore, have suffered the inevitable consequence of such selfishness and folly of very poor economic planning, that has resulted in the country’s lack of investment, severe joblessness, high taxation and much international begging to keep the SVG economy afloat.

    We see the same kind of selfish approach to government with the Maduro regime in Venezuela. It results in an economic policy that is good only for a few there, the Maduro family and friends but not for the bulk of the people in general in Venezuela.

    See how this parallel reality finds our Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves in the thickest of Venezuela’s Maduro’s polarisation. Watch Ralph as he receives the approving hug of support approval from the man Maduro, as Maduro celebrates his sham re-election, to the office of President of Venezuela.
    https://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/listeningpost/2019/01/empty-shelves-shuttered-newsrooms-media-maduro-venezuela-190121072104792.html

    And as the U.S and the western world refuses to recognise Maduro’s rule, some of his army officers are already in rebellion.

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/01/video-shows-venezuela-sergeant-demanding-maduro-removal-190121121006477.html

    As to this our anticipated budget, what therefore we can thus expect is but even more of the same that went before, higher taxes and again more policies that entrenches and promote the Gonsalves family and cronies hidden secret interest all to the detriment of us Vincentians.

  3. Another ULP public relations piece, very disrespectful of the honorable Dr. Godwin Friday. Who is always referred to in a demeaning manner here. Some of you, blind and cripple donkeys are behaving as if DREGS is the second coming of Jesus Christ. We don’t want no dictatorship, not even a light version, we want democracy. We want the rule of law and respect for all. Check yourself.

  4. The military would certainly prevent another Grenadian style coup . However, it won’t prevent a block Rd Revolution for which the ulp is famous.

Comments are closed.