Kenny’s YO-YO budget of handouts and theatrics!

first_imgNewsPoliticsRegional Kenny’s YO-YO budget of handouts and theatrics! by: – May 29, 2012 Share Share Tweet Sharing is caring!center_img Share 34 Views   no discussions St. Lucia’s Prime Minister, Kenny Anthony. Photo credit: thevoiceslu.comThe estimates of revenue and expenditure as tabled on April 26th 2012 and crystallized on May 08th 2012 via the policy statement by the Prime Minister of Saint Lucia and Minister of Finance, the Hon. Dr. Kenny Anthony, is best illustrated as insulated and deficient in the market place of political and business vanguards.This annual exercise is yet another charade of political messaging and economic competence. But it will take credible judgment, political stability and an economic action plan of precision, towards a prudent course correction.In light of this, the 2012/2013 estimates of revenue and expenditure and policy statement is worrisome – in contrast to the complex problems of insurmountable and unplayable debt, increase poverty and record unemployment.As presented, the budget statement is a wild ride of public handouts coupled with the vulnerable nature of part-time, casual, low-pay, unskilled jobs, – will in very short order lead to economic starvation and structural imbalance.Both unemployment and slow economic growth will continue to restrict disbursements.There has to be a better way. Here’s what is at stake – what is happening and the possibilities.During the general election, the Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) promised better days, Jobs, Jobs, Jobs, priority number one, and $100 million in one hundred days to jump start the economy. Five months later with a $1.457 billion budget, there is a sudden flip flop. Indeed there is an admission of the obvious that the King administration had a nice time. But equally so, this budget statement is insulated and deficient, because the point of origin begs the question. So whose economy and political well being is the yo-yo budget going to serve? The social reflection of Saint Lucia is a challenge. Its energy dependent structure, decrease investments (local and foreign), and its import/ export model requires substantive economic reformulation and orderly action, rather than antiquated rhetoric.Now, in order to grow socially and economically in an atmosphere of optimism, the wider population and, particularly, the middle class, needs to recover in tandem with a national development strategy.Therefore, the acronymic formulations (yep, big, nice, smiles, step, leap) of the estimates of revenue and expenditure and its carefully crafted macrocosmic political structure is not an alternative to diversify the economy and reach out to the wider population.This discomfort means that Saint Lucians will have insulated options as prescribed in the carefully crafted macrocosmic politically structured handouts. In light of this, more tax revenue is required and Saint Lucians will be required to work harder to pay more taxes, pay 15 percent Value Added Tax (VAT), get fewer services and make do with less.Let’s discuss this further, with dynamic possibilities.To be physically fit you have to burn fat and build muscle. To attain fiscal prudence a simple equation is to reduce debt and build credit – then you can begin to have leverage. The Achilles heel is this. Family wages within the past fifteen years have not kept-up with inflation in order to cushion the increase in food and fuel prices. Meanwhile, government expenditure has leap by seven percent annually.The economy is averaging 21 percent youth unemployment, with a widening deficit of $254.4 million dollars; a budget shortfall of at least $40 million, with a population of 170,000 contributing to less that forty percent of the legal economy, in addition to the national debt of $2.2 billion. This is the resistance that the 2012/2013 budget needs to face- up to. And don’t expect that the value added tax (VAT), revenue is going to stop the hemorrhage. Which again begs the following questions from the yo – yo budget? Where is the fresh start to a smaller and smarter government? Where is the fresh start to a transformative solution?And, where is the substantial reduction in government operational cost and elective spending that the SLP talk and talk about for five years in opposition? Once again, this is an aberration from chatter to flip flops.And, given variable matrix formulations, the 2012/2013 estimates of revenue and expenditure and policy statement has not offered a formula for success and a road map for the future of Saint Lucia.One would have expected this budget statement to deliver strong resolve, display political courage and economic change for the future of Saint Lucia, but alas, this is not the case. In the main, it is incapable to advance the molecules of progressive thinkers, investors, social leaders and entrepreneurs. In conclusion, the advancement of Saint Lucia’s resource development (human and natural resources) is where the hope, opportunity and a prosperous future lie.The development of a future that is free and safe to explore solutions and implement change is critical for the future of Saint Lucia.Including the need for principle measurements to enable Saint Lucia to meet local and international targets, maintain social and economic stability, achieve economic growth and abide by the rule of law.In the coming years, government will be struggling to face itself from the careless promises made to public employees, labour unions, voters, creditors and the irreparable damage made by the King administration. This is sure to create a Pandora’s Box of mass disappointments and annoyance. This is a problem. It will cause suppression with the persistence of big government, free -spending and unplayable public debt.The creaming of tax payers must come to an end. Other aspects include the government’s lack of awareness and failure to remove cumbersome bureaucracy and to facilitate a discourse on market economics that would enable business -led initiatives to come to market quickly, enable economic diversification through small and medium size development (SME) that would help improve economic conditions.This would play right into the hands of business and investors, to build up cash flow and seek out local entrepreneurs to form public – private ventures in (SME) manufacturing, agriculture, tourism, infrastructure development, information and communication technology and build long term investment asset that boost market confidence.This is the better way to better days – not public handouts of tax revenue and theatrics.If not, there will likely be more disappointments among the youth, to whom jobs, jobs, jobs is paramount for the hope of securing a strong career and a bright future.And if I am not mistaken by the analysis of the 2012/2013 estimates of revenue and expenditure and policy statement, there are three symptoms to overcome.First, it suffers from an authenticity deficit. Second, it has a calculation problem and truly it is a liberal flip flop from better days to the historical discomfort that “the Saint Lucian people are no strangers to hardship.”Therefore, the reliance of Saint Lucia to provide for itself is at stake.By: Melanius Alphonselast_img

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