Categorized | Editorial

Cut costs on the extravagances and do not further kill the private sector

Editorial – April 13, 2012

Since the budget presentation by the Hon. Minister of Finance and Premier Reuben T. Meade we have been accumulating comments and opinions for later presentation to our readers. So far we are still waiting to hear or get some analysis of what has been referred to as “the Budget Statement”. Generally the comments have none been good as they mostly consider the statement, “confusing, meaningless and without substance.’’

The Catholic Update of December 2011 headlined a banner “PEOPLE NOT PROFITS” and front paged an article captioned, ”Economic Justice for All.”

The opening paragraph reads: “Tough economic times” is a lament we have heard and probably used many times in recent years. First the recession that began in 2007 brought bankruptcies and bailouts, losses of homes and jobs. More recently, polarizing budget battles have captured the headlines, and rising prices for food and oil have caused stress and frustration. The very poor in the world, who must struggle just to stay alive, have suffered the most.”

The article goes on, and being a Christian document asks: “Does faith have some role to play in these difficult days?”

We do not ever hear our Premier speak to this day about Montserrat economy, economy? without referencing the world’s economic difficulties. He began his budget statement: “We cannot deny that economic uncertainty is looming around us and will linger for some time.”

Montserrat’s tough economic times began in mid-1995. Everything mentioned in the Catholic update is applicable to Montserrat, who lost EVERYTHING, some if not immediately, gradually as they sought to start new, regroup and rebuild. But there are many reasons why the Premier should desist using the “global economic uncertainty” and move to doing something positive and constructive, beginning with properly evaluating why we are here.

Dr. Wendel Abel a mental health expert visited Montserrat two weeks ago to work on a ‘mental health policy’ and in a most interesting interview, referred to Montserrat and its 16 year old disaster. As he spoke of his admiration of Montserrat’s “fortitude and the spirit of a people to survive,” he continued,  “…we are going to find that what matters tremendously it’s our faith as a community,…” as he outlined three ‘Fs’, making that Catholic Update article so relevant. You can see this as a follow-up to last week’s Editorial on the false alarm of a crime wave. Let us repeat there is nothing wrong, in fact it is desirable to pray communally and demonstrate ‘faith’…

The Premier in his supposedly ‘new styled’ budget address, refers to last year’s development strategy, which he said, “was underpinned by five pillars”among which were: Strong and effective leadership and governance within the institutions of government, the financial services and the private sector; Efficient, cost effective and targeted social policies to build, sustain and encourage social integration and development for all the people of our

society. Then he says: We remain committed to: • A private sector led economy…

Since 1998 we have been hearing and reading similar words, so far mere words. We only have to read all of the Sustainable Development Plans (SDPs) from that date to today. But with all of that we hear, not surprisingly as we have no doubt it is necessary, ‘cost cutting’. The problem is where should these cost cutting be. What we do get is a government either determined to kill the private sector, or perhaps, just certain businesses or sections of the private sector. This is permitted because of a dead Chamber of Commerce that remains very silent on the problems that some of their members face.

What we have found is that the cost cutting measures used against some of the private sector go beyond refusing to follow their mandate to outsource but actually retract on business that had already been outsourced, killing further the economy. They either send the work outside of the country in all ‘forms and fashion,’ including insider trading, or ooperate under the dishonest guise of cutting cost, when in fact it is bound to cost more.

If the Premier is to be credible let us hear what he intends to do with the public service he relies on to carry out his intended promises, who unashamedly inform the Governor, “why should we “assist” the private sector when we do not get increments?

(Follow the Ministry of Finance link at www.themontserratreporter.com or find the budget statement at: http://finance.gov.ms/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Budget-Statement-2012.pdf)

Leave a Reply

Newsletter

Archives

Editorial – April 13, 2012

Since the budget presentation by the Hon. Minister of Finance and Premier Reuben T. Meade we have been accumulating comments and opinions for later presentation to our readers. So far we are still waiting to hear or get some analysis of what has been referred to as “the Budget Statement”. Generally the comments have none been good as they mostly consider the statement, “confusing, meaningless and without substance.’’

The Catholic Update of December 2011 headlined a banner “PEOPLE NOT PROFITS” and front paged an article captioned, ”Economic Justice for All.”

Insert Ads Here

The opening paragraph reads: “Tough economic times” is a lament we have heard and probably used many times in recent years. First the recession that began in 2007 brought bankruptcies and bailouts, losses of homes and jobs. More recently, polarizing budget battles have captured the headlines, and rising prices for food and oil have caused stress and frustration. The very poor in the world, who must struggle just to stay alive, have suffered the most.”

The article goes on, and being a Christian document asks: “Does faith have some role to play in these difficult days?”

We do not ever hear our Premier speak to this day about Montserrat economy, economy? without referencing the world’s economic difficulties. He began his budget statement: “We cannot deny that economic uncertainty is looming around us and will linger for some time.”

Montserrat’s tough economic times began in mid-1995. Everything mentioned in the Catholic update is applicable to Montserrat, who lost EVERYTHING, some if not immediately, gradually as they sought to start new, regroup and rebuild. But there are many reasons why the Premier should desist using the “global economic uncertainty” and move to doing something positive and constructive, beginning with properly evaluating why we are here.

Dr. Wendel Abel a mental health expert visited Montserrat two weeks ago to work on a ‘mental health policy’ and in a most interesting interview, referred to Montserrat and its 16 year old disaster. As he spoke of his admiration of Montserrat’s “fortitude and the spirit of a people to survive,” he continued,  “…we are going to find that what matters tremendously it’s our faith as a community,…” as he outlined three ‘Fs’, making that Catholic Update article so relevant. You can see this as a follow-up to last week’s Editorial on the false alarm of a crime wave. Let us repeat there is nothing wrong, in fact it is desirable to pray communally and demonstrate ‘faith’…

The Premier in his supposedly ‘new styled’ budget address, refers to last year’s development strategy, which he said, “was underpinned by five pillars”among which were: Strong and effective leadership and governance within the institutions of government, the financial services and the private sector; Efficient, cost effective and targeted social policies to build, sustain and encourage social integration and development for all the people of our

society. Then he says: We remain committed to: • A private sector led economy…

Since 1998 we have been hearing and reading similar words, so far mere words. We only have to read all of the Sustainable Development Plans (SDPs) from that date to today. But with all of that we hear, not surprisingly as we have no doubt it is necessary, ‘cost cutting’. The problem is where should these cost cutting be. What we do get is a government either determined to kill the private sector, or perhaps, just certain businesses or sections of the private sector. This is permitted because of a dead Chamber of Commerce that remains very silent on the problems that some of their members face.

What we have found is that the cost cutting measures used against some of the private sector go beyond refusing to follow their mandate to outsource but actually retract on business that had already been outsourced, killing further the economy. They either send the work outside of the country in all ‘forms and fashion,’ including insider trading, or ooperate under the dishonest guise of cutting cost, when in fact it is bound to cost more.

If the Premier is to be credible let us hear what he intends to do with the public service he relies on to carry out his intended promises, who unashamedly inform the Governor, “why should we “assist” the private sector when we do not get increments?

(Follow the Ministry of Finance link at www.themontserratreporter.com or find the budget statement at: http://finance.gov.ms/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Budget-Statement-2012.pdf)