Categorized | Local

Chief Minister Reuben T. Meade – GOVERNMENT’S ECONOMIC & FISCAL POSITION


Statement in Parliament

Some Excerpts

In 2001 the recurrent or operating budget for government services was $51 million. This has steadily increased over the years to approximately $98 million in 2010.  Over the same period, the total revenue generated from local sources increased from about $25 million to $45 million.  This means that the public sector is growing at a rate that outstrips our ability to pay for it.

We were promised by the DFID Director that before the commencement of the financial year 2010 several projects in the pipeline would have been approved.  To date, despite the efforts of the various government departments and agencies, DFID continues to find reasons for the delays.  Many of the reasons given by DFID are very trivial and indeed questionable.

…the Public Sector Investment Program (PSIP) is a critical element for increasing revenues and generating economic growth.

Some of the DFID projects that are awaiting approval are:

Road Upgrading (That’s from the Salem to St. John’s and this project has been on the books for the past seven years.);

    Government Accommodation (which includes the Ministry of Communications and Works headquarters, which is to be built at Brades; the Ministry of Agriculture, Land, Housing and the Environment … some buildings at Government Headquarters at Brades); and also

    Lookout School Refurbishment.
Another agency which has created tightness in our cash flow is the European Commission.  This agency has some €6.5 (Euros) million or the equivalent of US$6.5 million equivalents, thereabouts to be reimbursed to the government – this is money which we have already spent.  As donors, they are allowed to change their rules mid-game.

Notwithstanding this, we are still expected to meet our financial and economic targets.

In the past, development projects became available without much justification.  Today, the justification must be evidenced-based and when approved, these development funds come with conditionalities and benchmarks that must be achieved within certain time lines.

It is extremely difficult to manage a small economy this way.  We are not endowed with an abundance of resources and we already raise a disproportionate amount of revenue from a small population.

In the long term, we cannot rely on public-sector projects to carry the economy.  In order for us to be sustainable, we must facilitate development opportunities for the private sector while keeping the size of government services in line.

We are committed to reducing the tax burden but everyone must pay their fair share of the tax burden to fund the public services.

We cannot continue to seek to grow our economy by the largesse of the British government.  We must plan and do things differently.  In the past, development projects became available without much justification.  Today, the justification must be evidenced-based and when approved, these development funds come with conditionalities and benchmarks that must be achieved within certain time lines.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands


Statement in Parliament

Some Excerpts

In 2001 the recurrent or operating budget for government services was $51 million. This has steadily increased over the years to approximately $98 million in 2010.  Over the same period, the total revenue generated from local sources increased from about $25 million to $45 million.  This means that the public sector is growing at a rate that outstrips our ability to pay for it.

We were promised by the DFID Director that before the commencement of the financial year 2010 several projects in the pipeline would have been approved.  To date, despite the efforts of the various government departments and agencies, DFID continues to find reasons for the delays.  Many of the reasons given by DFID are very trivial and indeed questionable.

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…the Public Sector Investment Program (PSIP) is a critical element for increasing revenues and generating economic growth.

Some of the DFID projects that are awaiting approval are:

Road Upgrading (That’s from the Salem to St. John’s and this project has been on the books for the past seven years.);

    Government Accommodation (which includes the Ministry of Communications and Works headquarters, which is to be built at Brades; the Ministry of Agriculture, Land, Housing and the Environment … some buildings at Government Headquarters at Brades); and also

    Lookout School Refurbishment.
Another agency which has created tightness in our cash flow is the European Commission.  This agency has some €6.5 (Euros) million or the equivalent of US$6.5 million equivalents, thereabouts to be reimbursed to the government – this is money which we have already spent.  As donors, they are allowed to change their rules mid-game.

Notwithstanding this, we are still expected to meet our financial and economic targets.

In the past, development projects became available without much justification.  Today, the justification must be evidenced-based and when approved, these development funds come with conditionalities and benchmarks that must be achieved within certain time lines.

It is extremely difficult to manage a small economy this way.  We are not endowed with an abundance of resources and we already raise a disproportionate amount of revenue from a small population.

In the long term, we cannot rely on public-sector projects to carry the economy.  In order for us to be sustainable, we must facilitate development opportunities for the private sector while keeping the size of government services in line.

We are committed to reducing the tax burden but everyone must pay their fair share of the tax burden to fund the public services.

We cannot continue to seek to grow our economy by the largesse of the British government.  We must plan and do things differently.  In the past, development projects became available without much justification.  Today, the justification must be evidenced-based and when approved, these development funds come with conditionalities and benchmarks that must be achieved within certain time lines.