Articles

Fri 7th Dec 2007

2008 Budget - we need to read between the lines

In January 2007, SVG Green Party revealed to the nation that the ULP regime had lied in the 2007 Budget. The ULP regime had tried to deceive the nation. The question we have to ask is whether we can expect any different with the 2008 Budget?

It was an embarrassing blunder by the incompetent ULP regime and they still have not apologised to Vincentians for lying in the 2007 Budget. It was a lesson for nation though and we have learnt much. We have learnt that with the 2008 Budget we have to be wary. When the 2008 Budget is released we know not to read the lines, but to read between the lines. When the 2008 Budget Address is given, we know not to listen to what is said, but listen out for what is not said.

In the 2007 Budget there were blatant errors and lies. It was almost as fictional as a Walt Disney production, such as Snow White and the seven dwarfs. We are not sure which of the seven dwarfs were involved in preparing the 2007 Budget, but let's hope this year they keep Dopey off the calculator and Sleepy away from the computer!

The Budget is a serious document and should be treated with the utmost respect. It is a document that a government is meant to produce to tell the nation how it will use taxpayers' money. But when a government lies and tries to deceive with its Budget, how can they be trusted with the nation's money? The essence of democracy is open and honest government. Do we have that in SVG?

The 2007 Budget tried to hide the real amount of public debt and the real figure of the debt to GDP ratio. It tried to disguise the real poor state of the economy. The ULP regime seemed to be pulling figures out of the air to mislead parliament and fool the people of the country. The 2007 Budget was an act of dishonesty.

The nation as a whole is meant to plan based on what is in the Budget. If this 2008 Budget contains lies too, then it makes it difficult for businesses to plan and fine-tune their own investments and financial forecasts. And when businesses suffer, jobs are lost. We cannot afford more jobs losses in SVG as unemployment is already high and so is violent crime. On behalf of the nation, SVG Green Party asks the ULP regime to be honest in the 2008 Budget. Vincentians expect an honest government and Vincentians deserve an honest government.

SVG Green Party knows that the 2008 Budget will be another disappointment. Poverty is high in SVG and the poor and the unemployed seem to be continuously forgotten. The long-term financial security of most poor families has not been realised. The 2007 Budget brought the horror of VAT. Poor families can only wait with dread to see what horrors emerge in the 2008 Budget. Doesn't this government know that children of the poor want to get presents at Christmas too?

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