Categorized | Editorial, Local

Confidence will have to be backed by performance for commitments to materialize

The recent visit by the British Department of International Development (DFID) Minister of State Alan Duncan may turn out to be the one that will be mostly remembered by Montserrat for at least the next ten years. In fact, before this time next year we expect that the two per cent growth that Premier Meade speaks about might well show some improvement. The proviso for this is if the confidence shown by both governments in each other is materialised.

It is not the first time that encouraging words of sympathy, understanding and expressions of resiliency and the likes have been used about Montserrat and its people, but the saying, “sympathy without aid”, may be quite apt in most or all of the times. Other DFID officials have said the same thing, but the ‘without aid’ part may not apply to that British ministry.

Premier Meade says he not concerned, he is only looking to go forward than looking back. That was in response to questions regarding 277 pounds sterling that Jeevan Robinson said a DFID official told him has been handed out to Montserrat. We will maintain however, that the same way Montserrat viewed with envy as the Minister Duncan puts it, because of its geothermal potential, there are those in the region who figure that Montserrat should be well off with the huge amount of monies it has received especially from (Her Majesty’s Government)  HMG during the crisis. Which regional colleague will say this to Premier Meade? Such statement does not deny that it is important, and it may well be part of the questions being asked of our government by the current UK government that had to be overcome.

The tone now is quite different from February when Secretary of State Mitchell visited. It really wasn’t the question of Montserrat uniqueness that brought out what many termed as insulting his references to ‘the bird nest’ analogy that was the issue. It was merely a continuation of a disgusting attitude of ‘not leveling’ about reality, with the people.

Today, even without being forthcoming, the air is obviously cleared and along with their new attitude and their effort to show that according to Minister Duncan, “the last government didn’t focus as much as it should have done,” such as showing responsibility and seeking accountability, this HMG is about making sure, that “things are right”, justification, value for money and results, responsibility and accountability, all the words they use, are the order of the day.

Apart from the capital expenditures, budgetary aid alone, between EC$30 million and $60 million per year from 2001 would amount to between $EC300 million and 600 million equivalent to 133,500 million pounds, for that period. They would have supported the public service whose expenditure in salaries and allowances would have amounted to almost 90 per cent of that aid.

The Premier advised that now, after his repeated expressions of frustration at the performance of public servants, some of the senior ones are actively coming around, evidenced in the budget preparations, to understanding their very important role in being the ‘catalysts’ for the economic performances in the island. It requires more than understanding, if they are to get on board with his exchanges of confidence with HMG on the way forward. And, it must certainly involve those they have now to be serving to affect the long sought-after lift from the precipice someone declared Montserrat has been swirling down.

Minister Duncan was understanding and equally upbeat as he stressed, ‘if things are right’ and the rest. The Premier had to make some promises to get that injection (for public servants) of EC$17.6 million. Three years ago there were some conditions placed on the table. They didn’t disappear when either of these two government took office. It is in there somewhere the Premier had to deal with the frustrations of studies and consultations. Note that they will go away, only if deemed unnecessary.

 

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

The recent visit by the British Department of International Development (DFID) Minister of State Alan Duncan may turn out to be the one that will be mostly remembered by Montserrat for at least the next ten years. In fact, before this time next year we expect that the two per cent growth that Premier Meade speaks about might well show some improvement. The proviso for this is if the confidence shown by both governments in each other is materialised.

It is not the first time that encouraging words of sympathy, understanding and expressions of resiliency and the likes have been used about Montserrat and its people, but the saying, “sympathy without aid”, may be quite apt in most or all of the times. Other DFID officials have said the same thing, but the ‘without aid’ part may not apply to that British ministry.

Premier Meade says he not concerned, he is only looking to go forward than looking back. That was in response to questions regarding 277 pounds sterling that Jeevan Robinson said a DFID official told him has been handed out to Montserrat. We will maintain however, that the same way Montserrat viewed with envy as the Minister Duncan puts it, because of its geothermal potential, there are those in the region who figure that Montserrat should be well off with the huge amount of monies it has received especially from (Her Majesty’s Government)  HMG during the crisis. Which regional colleague will say this to Premier Meade? Such statement does not deny that it is important, and it may well be part of the questions being asked of our government by the current UK government that had to be overcome.

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The tone now is quite different from February when Secretary of State Mitchell visited. It really wasn’t the question of Montserrat uniqueness that brought out what many termed as insulting his references to ‘the bird nest’ analogy that was the issue. It was merely a continuation of a disgusting attitude of ‘not leveling’ about reality, with the people.

Today, even without being forthcoming, the air is obviously cleared and along with their new attitude and their effort to show that according to Minister Duncan, “the last government didn’t focus as much as it should have done,” such as showing responsibility and seeking accountability, this HMG is about making sure, that “things are right”, justification, value for money and results, responsibility and accountability, all the words they use, are the order of the day.

Apart from the capital expenditures, budgetary aid alone, between EC$30 million and $60 million per year from 2001 would amount to between $EC300 million and 600 million equivalent to 133,500 million pounds, for that period. They would have supported the public service whose expenditure in salaries and allowances would have amounted to almost 90 per cent of that aid.

The Premier advised that now, after his repeated expressions of frustration at the performance of public servants, some of the senior ones are actively coming around, evidenced in the budget preparations, to understanding their very important role in being the ‘catalysts’ for the economic performances in the island. It requires more than understanding, if they are to get on board with his exchanges of confidence with HMG on the way forward. And, it must certainly involve those they have now to be serving to affect the long sought-after lift from the precipice someone declared Montserrat has been swirling down.

Minister Duncan was understanding and equally upbeat as he stressed, ‘if things are right’ and the rest. The Premier had to make some promises to get that injection (for public servants) of EC$17.6 million. Three years ago there were some conditions placed on the table. They didn’t disappear when either of these two government took office. It is in there somewhere the Premier had to deal with the frustrations of studies and consultations. Note that they will go away, only if deemed unnecessary.