Dere’s a hole in de Montserrat 2020 Budget

Contribution, Part 106 – 5/2020

With what, shall we fix it?

BRADES, Montserrat, November 12, 2020 – In June, Hon Premier and Finance Minister, Easton Taylor Farrell presented the annual budget after a three-month delay due to the Covid-19 emergency. However, there is a gap in the recurrent side, EC$ 22 million (about £6.3 million). He expressed confidence, that DfID would be willing to provide support for the gap, and so he was confident that the hole would be filled.

The Recurrent Budget Schedule, Supp. Appropriation Bill,
Sept 2020

A month later, after four months of delay, answers to parliamentary questions showed that the hole was still there. Then, from August to September, we were told that revenues performed better and there were cuts, the hole was now EC$ 3 million. However, the schedule to the supplementary budget did not explain, and after fiery exchanges with Opposition MLA Member, Mr. Don Romeo, the Government has evaded giving a detailed, transparent explanation of the $19 million hole reduction.

Why?

For months, the answer to that has been sealed behind tight lips; a sure sign the news is bad.

The logical guess is that factions in DfID – now FCDO – are yet again pushing for staff cuts and other devastating cuts. Which would not do any good to an already struggling economy further hit by pandemic lockdowns. Perhaps, we can agree that the better approach is to grow our way out of the post-disasters stagnation?

Now that we have all seen the ship laying the fibre optic cable, and have seen the inland trenches cut, new terrestrial cable connected, and the trenches filled in, isn’t digitalisation an obvious opening for the economy?
Yes, we are to have faith and confidence and we must always pray, but we must also be well-informed, prudent, and guard our liberty. Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom.

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Contribution, Part 106 – 5/2020

With what, shall we fix it?

BRADES, Montserrat, November 12, 2020 – In June, Hon Premier and Finance Minister, Easton Taylor Farrell presented the annual budget after a three-month delay due to the Covid-19 emergency. However, there is a gap in the recurrent side, EC$ 22 million (about £6.3 million). He expressed confidence, that DfID would be willing to provide support for the gap, and so he was confident that the hole would be filled.

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The Recurrent Budget Schedule, Supp. Appropriation Bill,
Sept 2020

A month later, after four months of delay, answers to parliamentary questions showed that the hole was still there. Then, from August to September, we were told that revenues performed better and there were cuts, the hole was now EC$ 3 million. However, the schedule to the supplementary budget did not explain, and after fiery exchanges with Opposition MLA Member, Mr. Don Romeo, the Government has evaded giving a detailed, transparent explanation of the $19 million hole reduction.

Why?

For months, the answer to that has been sealed behind tight lips; a sure sign the news is bad.

The logical guess is that factions in DfID – now FCDO – are yet again pushing for staff cuts and other devastating cuts. Which would not do any good to an already struggling economy further hit by pandemic lockdowns. Perhaps, we can agree that the better approach is to grow our way out of the post-disasters stagnation?

Now that we have all seen the ship laying the fibre optic cable, and have seen the inland trenches cut, new terrestrial cable connected, and the trenches filled in, isn’t digitalisation an obvious opening for the economy?
Yes, we are to have faith and confidence and we must always pray, but we must also be well-informed, prudent, and guard our liberty. Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom.