Mia: We are all still in the dark
Leader of the Opposition Mia Mottley has scoffed at claims by Government that economic recovery is around the corner.
Addressing the media on the heels of a ministerial statement by Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler, the Barbados Labour Party leader questioned the basis for the report.
And she said she would “wait and see” if the administration institutes yet another plan to deal with the fiscal situation in the country”.
“To hear this Government tell us that recovery is around the corner only reminds me of Prime Minister [David] Thompson’s statement in 2009, five years ago, that light was at the end of the tunnel. Now, I’m not sure which corner in the same way as I wasn’t sure then which tunnel. The proof of the pudding has been in all that has happened,” Mottley said.
She chided Sinckler for giving residents false hope, just eight days ahead of Christmas.
Describing his statement as “the longest apology in Parliament in recent time”, the Opposition Leader said he failed to provide critical information to the country during his 30-minute presentation.
“The Government indicated in the budget of August 2013 that at the end of the financial year that it would have expenditure of $3.4 billion. Its expenditure last year was over $3.8 billion. The Government indicted that it would have revenue of $2.26 billion and in the very IMF report, which is being used as the basis for preparation for the statement next year, the figure quoted for the revenue is $2.1 billion.
“So he has missed both the revenue and the expenditure targets set out for 2013/2014,” the Opposition Leader noted.
“It is of import that in the entire ministerial statement, the minister did not give us an update on the actual revenue, the actual expenditure, nor indeed did he give us a figure on the actual reserves or the actual debt [for this financial year].
“This was an editorial exercise to play for time and he would have done better to recognize that silence would have been golden at this time, especially eight days before Christmas.”
In response to the minister’s announcement that the Municipal Solid Waste Tax would be reviewed, she warned that this does not go far enough.
“It is a bad tax, it is ill conceived and it would not achieve what he wants it to achieve,” said Mottley, who led thousands of residents in an anti-Municipal Solid Waste Tax march through Bridgetown in July.