Government doing good job with the economy

Finance Minister Colm Imbert. - File photo by Angelo Marcelle
Finance Minister Colm Imbert. - File photo by Angelo Marcelle

THE EDITOR: I took the opportunity to look at the debate on the Finance (Supplementary Appropriation) (Financial Year 2024) Bill.

Finance Minister Colm Imbert made many valid points and gave a detailed explanation of the Government's reasoning for putting the bill forward. He intelligently and quite simply explained the fluctuations internationally of oil and gas prices and the effects they had on the economy.

This Finance Minister must have had the most difficult tenure in the history of this country. He and the Government have had to navigate this country through a pandemic while securing the economy. Hundreds of millions had to be spent on the health sector during that time – and continues to be spent. In my view, he has done exceedingly well.

The recent report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) states that the economy continues to recover while inflation is low. Banks’ credit is expanding and the financial sector appears sound and stable. The current account is in surplus and international reserve coverage is adequate. The fiscal position in FY2023 was better than budgeted, while public debt remained below the authorities’ soft debt target.

This is evidence that the Government is handling the economic development of this country with distinction.

One must note that all of these positive developments are done without being a candidate of the IMF, as the Prime Minister has indicated. From very early Dr Rowley insisted that we the people will prescribe and take our own medicine to avoid having to go to the IMF, where great restrictions to social programmes will be mandated, to the detriment of citizens.

During that June 7 debate, the Opposition Leader, reading from a script, used her entire time to make baseless accusations of doom and gloom and spread propaganda. She claimed to be in possession of a document from the Ministry of Finance indicating, among other things, the intention by the Government to increase VAT and to implement a presumptive tax.

Those claims were immediately debunked by the Prime Minister during his contribution. He even urged people to, if a presumptive tax is implemented, pay with a presumptive cheque.

Energy Minister Stuart Young made mention of the opposition members' inability to debate. I too have observed that most of their contributions involve stacks of paper, baseless accusations and nothing of substance. We the people deserve much better. The opposition needs to recognise that it has a critical role in educating the public using facts.

I hope that logic-minded citizens do not blindly follow the words of any politician, but use the many avenues available to verify the information being disseminated. I challenge the Opposition Leader to make public the document she claim to have in her possession, as she said she would do. However, I will not hold my breath.

NIGEL SEENATHSINGH

San Fernando

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"Government doing good job with the economy"

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