Opposition’s contributions have not convinced Gov’t to alter Budget 2017- President
While the debate on Budget 2017 is ongoing, President, David Granger on Thursday noted that the administration has not seen anything coming from the opposition that would make them want to change their position.
During the recording of his weekly program, The Public Interest, the Head of State says that while he would not say that the Budget is “unalterable”, “it is a sound budget and the government has not been persuaded that any of its measures are unlikely to achieve its objectives which we (his administration) have set”
However, he noted that government will bear in mind the comments and criticisms that come out from the debate.
“I wouldn’t say that we are impervious to criticism, we have listened to what (it is a debate after all)…the opposition is saying, we read what is in the media but as I pointed out…it has taken five months to provide the budget and a lot of thought, a lot of consultations have gone into it. And I have not seen anything coming out of the opposition commentaries that will make the government want to change its position” the President added.
During the week of debate on the Budget, Opposition members continued calling for the budget to be withdrawn and subsequently change to favor the citizens who raised concerns.
According to President Granger, Budget 2017 is sound and should not be taken as a solitary plan but part of his administration, greater five year green agenda.
This he says is reflected too with the introduction of the Valued Added Tax on water and electricity bills above certain amounts which he said encourages people to conserve.
“In the case of water and electricity, it’s not punitive, its curative in the sense that persons who waste water would now be more careful in using water…it’s not a tax on water, it is a tax on excessive use on water. I think we need to interpret the measures in terms of the policies which the government intends to achieve or implement”
Budget 2017 since its presentation has been faced with criticism from the Parliamentary opposition for its lack of vision and the Private Sector for its lack of clarity and plans to promote growth.