Categorized | Editorial

DFID is obviously dissatisfied with much on budgetary affairs

The Government of Montserrat (GoM) needs to show that it is a team committed to the future progress, development and rejuvenation of Montserrat, and not just any single person, group or entity. In the meantime Her Majesty’s Government (HMG) through their Ministries, whether it be the Department For International Development (DFID) or the Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO) must stop referring to HMG through their public servants as our ‘government’, while their Ministers give a complete different picture, showing some responsibility for Montserrat.

It may appear that there is no correlation in the two scenarios presented above. It arises when it is repeatedly referenced in discussions or statements “Our government as against GoM. Minister Duncan got close and even seemed careful not to speak in the terms referred to.  Somehow it seems not clear as to how Montserrat should be treated in the ‘unique’ circumstances that exist.

At the same time just when it seemed that this was the case, DFID’s response at the end of the budget discussions must come as a surprise to GoM following the recent IMF report and the reported hard work (or was it just an improvement on before) that Ministers and public servants devoted, in preparing for the budget talks.

We have been talking plenty here at TMR about revenue, taxes, ‘tax arrears’ and pension issues, so too GoM. How come it seems that GoM still does not have its house in order on these matters? It seems somehow, either there are misunderstandings or the wrong messages are being sent and/or received. Is it the new approach by HMG who says, “Support is guaranteed, but only if everything is right?” And why are we still hearing about the Pension issue? That is three years old.

The DFID team directed our question to GoM for answer about what efforts are being to add new jobs to enhance the dead economic situation, since more construction is more of the same while the Port Authority warehouse is practically empty. The question to DFID was, “what is GoM telling you about their plans to bring life to the economy?”

There was the recommendation on another issue we have heard much about and it is time we start talking about it. This is the matter of ‘outsourcing’. It seems as if this is completely misunderstood as GoM and public servants seem to completely confuse cutting down on their expenditure when at the same being told they must outsource and facilitate the private sector in order to achieve fiscal prudence. After a year of planning and reviews, we cannot understand GoM being told, “the projected fiscal position (as presented) is unsustainable and will require some difficult decisions, now more than ever, to balance the budget.”

We are calling on our Premier and the Ministry of Finance to explain the things that DFID is saying. They talk about cost savings and it appears that instead of seeking to see how the private sector can save them money by encouraging and supporting efficiency, they are taking away the business already with the private sector under the obviously mistaken guise that they will save money.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

The Government of Montserrat (GoM) needs to show that it is a team committed to the future progress, development and rejuvenation of Montserrat, and not just any single person, group or entity. In the meantime Her Majesty’s Government (HMG) through their Ministries, whether it be the Department For International Development (DFID) or the Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO) must stop referring to HMG through their public servants as our ‘government’, while their Ministers give a complete different picture, showing some responsibility for Montserrat.

It may appear that there is no correlation in the two scenarios presented above. It arises when it is repeatedly referenced in discussions or statements “Our government as against GoM. Minister Duncan got close and even seemed careful not to speak in the terms referred to.  Somehow it seems not clear as to how Montserrat should be treated in the ‘unique’ circumstances that exist.

At the same time just when it seemed that this was the case, DFID’s response at the end of the budget discussions must come as a surprise to GoM following the recent IMF report and the reported hard work (or was it just an improvement on before) that Ministers and public servants devoted, in preparing for the budget talks.

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We have been talking plenty here at TMR about revenue, taxes, ‘tax arrears’ and pension issues, so too GoM. How come it seems that GoM still does not have its house in order on these matters? It seems somehow, either there are misunderstandings or the wrong messages are being sent and/or received. Is it the new approach by HMG who says, “Support is guaranteed, but only if everything is right?” And why are we still hearing about the Pension issue? That is three years old.

The DFID team directed our question to GoM for answer about what efforts are being to add new jobs to enhance the dead economic situation, since more construction is more of the same while the Port Authority warehouse is practically empty. The question to DFID was, “what is GoM telling you about their plans to bring life to the economy?”

There was the recommendation on another issue we have heard much about and it is time we start talking about it. This is the matter of ‘outsourcing’. It seems as if this is completely misunderstood as GoM and public servants seem to completely confuse cutting down on their expenditure when at the same being told they must outsource and facilitate the private sector in order to achieve fiscal prudence. After a year of planning and reviews, we cannot understand GoM being told, “the projected fiscal position (as presented) is unsustainable and will require some difficult decisions, now more than ever, to balance the budget.”

We are calling on our Premier and the Ministry of Finance to explain the things that DFID is saying. They talk about cost savings and it appears that instead of seeking to see how the private sector can save them money by encouraging and supporting efficiency, they are taking away the business already with the private sector under the obviously mistaken guise that they will save money.