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Beyond ELECTION 2014 – A declaration by TMR

Although the Montserrat Reporter celebrates no election victory, it will not hesitate to say… Congratulations are in order for the victorious. But in the meantime, to set the records straight, the Montserrat Reporter declares its intention for 2014 and beyond.

The Montserrat Reporter will use no platform from which to appeal to the voters. It will use no manifesto to list or explain the plans for Montserrat. And it shall cower neither to DFID nor to the local elected representatives.

The Montserrat Reporter merely seeks to level its concern on issues that are relevant to the good governance and development of Montserrat. And, lest the newly elected legislators get carried away with the victory of the moment, the Montserrat Reporter will quickly steer the political ship to get on course and issue the following warning.The-Montserrat-Reporter

Be aware! It is DFID; it will be DFID that control the purse which agrees the course for Montserrat. And hence, below is a direct extract from the Aide Memoir between DFID and the past, present or future Government of Montserrat. Be guided! Here is what DFID wrote.

  1. Limited progress in collecting tax arrears and little sign of an improvement in tax efficiency and compliance. Overall domestic revenues in 2013/14 are around $EC1½ million lower than assumed in the budget set at the beginning of the fiscal year.
  1. Legal action by GoM to pursue tax arrears is anticipated in the next six months. GoM has confirmed that there are now no legislative constraints to taking forward prosecutions, and that holding places can be made available for confiscated property.   This would help send a strong message about GoM’s intention to pursue defaulters and improve tax compliance more generally. The DFID team would welcome further detail on the analysis underpinning GoM’s tax arrears write-off and collection strategy.
  1. We agreed that further analysis would be undertaken by the time of the mid-year budget review to assess the impact of pipeline capital investment projects on economic growth and tax revenues in the medium-term. GoM has no plan to significantly change the tax framework next year. More marked progress in pursuing tax arrears is expected which should improve tax compliance.
  1. The mid-year budget review will also include an assessment of progress in this area.

Montserratians, please be aware, the journey with DFID must obviously and unavoidably continue no matter which road we take; or who is steering the bus. And remember their promise to get us out from under their wings by 2020. That was confirmed since 2011, three years later we are not one step closer because of our failure to understand that every penny (cent) they donate must be to grow the economy and not make a select few wealthy.

So, the agenda begins with taxation and tax compliance, all spheres. As soon as the newly elected GoM restarts the journey, Montserrat will have to provide to DFID the list of those persons who benefited from the so called tax forgiveness. Recall, if you can, the Montserrat Reporter requested that list a couple years ago.

Another matter already on the agenda, is to discuss and agree whether Montserrat should pay monthly $1,000.00 social welfare cheques unless we want to send home 250 civil servants.

In consideration for the next agenda item, is the matter of outsourcing. And The Montserrat Reporter will share its views on this subject matter in future publications. (We invite you as a beginning to the article and in particular the section dealing with that previous paragraph: September 7, 2014, “Proposals to Reduce Public Expenditure, Improve Effectiveness & Efficiency and Increase Public Revenue”.

Nevertheless, having said all of the foregoing, the Montserrat Reporter and the Man from Baker Hill congratulate the nine victorious candidates in the 2014 elections. We continue to extend the hands of cooperation just as before, now to the People Democratic Movement (PDM) government.

We ask that you please understand and respect the Montserrat Reporter as a vital partner for the good governance and development of Montserrat. And in good faith ‘The Montserrat Reporter’ assures all its partners in the democratic process for good governance and development of Montserrat that it will continue to make valuable political contributions beyond election 2014.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

Although the Montserrat Reporter celebrates no election victory, it will not hesitate to say… Congratulations are in order for the victorious. But in the meantime, to set the records straight, the Montserrat Reporter declares its intention for 2014 and beyond.

The Montserrat Reporter will use no platform from which to appeal to the voters. It will use no manifesto to list or explain the plans for Montserrat. And it shall cower neither to DFID nor to the local elected representatives.

The Montserrat Reporter merely seeks to level its concern on issues that are relevant to the good governance and development of Montserrat. And, lest the newly elected legislators get carried away with the victory of the moment, the Montserrat Reporter will quickly steer the political ship to get on course and issue the following warning.The-Montserrat-Reporter

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Be aware! It is DFID; it will be DFID that control the purse which agrees the course for Montserrat. And hence, below is a direct extract from the Aide Memoir between DFID and the past, present or future Government of Montserrat. Be guided! Here is what DFID wrote.

  1. Limited progress in collecting tax arrears and little sign of an improvement in tax efficiency and compliance. Overall domestic revenues in 2013/14 are around $EC1½ million lower than assumed in the budget set at the beginning of the fiscal year.
  1. Legal action by GoM to pursue tax arrears is anticipated in the next six months. GoM has confirmed that there are now no legislative constraints to taking forward prosecutions, and that holding places can be made available for confiscated property.   This would help send a strong message about GoM’s intention to pursue defaulters and improve tax compliance more generally. The DFID team would welcome further detail on the analysis underpinning GoM’s tax arrears write-off and collection strategy.
  1. We agreed that further analysis would be undertaken by the time of the mid-year budget review to assess the impact of pipeline capital investment projects on economic growth and tax revenues in the medium-term. GoM has no plan to significantly change the tax framework next year. More marked progress in pursuing tax arrears is expected which should improve tax compliance.
  1. The mid-year budget review will also include an assessment of progress in this area.

Montserratians, please be aware, the journey with DFID must obviously and unavoidably continue no matter which road we take; or who is steering the bus. And remember their promise to get us out from under their wings by 2020. That was confirmed since 2011, three years later we are not one step closer because of our failure to understand that every penny (cent) they donate must be to grow the economy and not make a select few wealthy.

So, the agenda begins with taxation and tax compliance, all spheres. As soon as the newly elected GoM restarts the journey, Montserrat will have to provide to DFID the list of those persons who benefited from the so called tax forgiveness. Recall, if you can, the Montserrat Reporter requested that list a couple years ago.

Another matter already on the agenda, is to discuss and agree whether Montserrat should pay monthly $1,000.00 social welfare cheques unless we want to send home 250 civil servants.

In consideration for the next agenda item, is the matter of outsourcing. And The Montserrat Reporter will share its views on this subject matter in future publications. (We invite you as a beginning to the article and in particular the section dealing with that previous paragraph: September 7, 2014, “Proposals to Reduce Public Expenditure, Improve Effectiveness & Efficiency and Increase Public Revenue”.

Nevertheless, having said all of the foregoing, the Montserrat Reporter and the Man from Baker Hill congratulate the nine victorious candidates in the 2014 elections. We continue to extend the hands of cooperation just as before, now to the People Democratic Movement (PDM) government.

We ask that you please understand and respect the Montserrat Reporter as a vital partner for the good governance and development of Montserrat. And in good faith ‘The Montserrat Reporter’ assures all its partners in the democratic process for good governance and development of Montserrat that it will continue to make valuable political contributions beyond election 2014.