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Fri 17th Oct 2014

When it comes to finance, is Gonsalves full of …?

As the 2015 Budget Estimates looms towards us, we have to ask the question that when it comes to finance, is Gonsalves full of …?

The Budget Estimates under Gonsalves’ reign have been laughable, with actual revenue usually being substantially lower than predicted in the budget estimates. Are we to hear yet another budget estimates soon that bears as much resemblance to reality as the pronouncements of Pinocchio?

The table shows that over the years, Gonsalves’ budget estimates have been wildly different to the actual revenue the government has received at the end of each respective year. In 2010, for example, the actual revenue that was received was only about half of the EC$ 913 million stated in Gonsalves’ budget estimates, amounting to a difference of EC$ 415 million.

Gonsalves’ budget estimates are a joke and are misleading the Vincentian people. One can understand if it was out by about 20 or 30 million, but EC$ 415 million! In a budget estimate of EC$ 913 million, how can you make a mistake of EC$ 415 million. Not only is the education revolution failing our children, it is failing Gonsalves too.

svgbudgetestimates2004_2011

Year after year, since 2004, we have been subjected to budget estimates that are fooling the people. Businesses cannot trust the figures or use them to help plan their business development. The people of SVG can have very little confidence in what Gonsalves says when it comes to finance. Even Gonsalves’ best budget estimates in the table is over EC$ 150 million out.

This year has been no different. The economy is so bad that the figures for central government fiscal operations second quarter 2014 are being withheld from the public. SVG Green Party Leader, Mr Ivan O’Neal, has requested them and was told he cannot have them. Actual revenue figures for 2012 and 2013 are ‘not available’ too.

Let us not forget that Gonsalves failed the audit of public accounts by the Director of Audit for 2008, 2009 and 2010. Gonsalves’ financial incompetence is damaging SVG and he should resign.

The solution to SVG’s economic and financial demise is a change of government. SVG urgently needs a Green Government to bring competent management of SVG’s finances and good economic planning. A Green Government would focus on exports to create economic growth, thousands of new jobs and surplus revenue for our economy.

It is ULP regime financial incompetence and their inability to create revenue that is holding our country back. SVG needs economic variables that drive a high yield in jobs and revenue creation. Getting rid of the parasite Taiwan and creating our own billion-dollar fish canning and processing factory will significantly help SVG’s dangerously weak economy.

A Green government will lift the living standards of the poor and all Vincentians, by ensuring basic needs such as drinking water and electricity are affordable, providing high-quality, free education from pre-school to university, creating thousands of new jobs and empowering the people.

Gonsalves is not a university graduate in finance and the management of our country’s finances is an utter mess. The Budget Estimates 2015 will be with us soon. When you hear it, try not to laugh too loudly.

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