THE EDITOR: The Minister of Finance must be commended for his 2018 budget presentation. Colm Imbert has successfully changed the Government’s narrative of economic hardship to a new narrative of economic recovery, ie, “this is how we plan to manage our country’s circumstances.”
The budget was comprehensive and signalled many positive items along with the hard decisions that had to be made. There was a message of hope and a feeling that we are all working towards better days ahead.
Sharing is caring, therefore all citizens, whether rich or poor, must share in the burden of adjustment if we truly want to see our country prosper again. This sentiment was echoed in the budget presentation.
The International Monetary Fund can look on but must not return here anytime soon with its draconian structural adjustment packages.
The Government’s cash incentive grant for increased entrepreneurship activity of $50 million will ensure 500 small businesses emerge or expand. The farming community has also been given a similar grant incentive of up to $100,000. This will generate employment and contribute to the diversification initiatives of the Government.
The jewel in the budget has to be in the housing sector. Cash incentives of $100,000 a unit for private housing developers to construct low-cost homes, targeted at the lower middle-income earners, is commendable. Additionally, placing a stronger focus on the rent-to-own option of home ownership will give low-income families the ability to qualify for home ownership.
The budget demonstrates that the Government has listened to the people. The population admires the taxes on casinos, banks, oil and gas giants, big businesses and large private hospitals which have made supernormal profits for decades. The burden is being shared by all.
We have all benefitted directly or indirectly during our times of abundance, so let’s all do our part in our economic recovery. The budget gives the confidence that our situation is only temporary. Let’s demonstrate our care for our country by putting a little extra towards our future.
RONALD HUGGINS, St Joseph