SVG Budget 2012

PM says 2012 budget will reflect estimates

Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dr. Ralph Gonsalves (File photo).

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – The broad issues for the budget to be presented on Monday were laid out in the estimates that parliament approved in December, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said on Wednesday.

But citizens are undoubtedly anxiously looking forward to the hear what Gonsalves, who is also Minister of Finance, has to say about the introduction of a new property tax regime here, amid falling government revenue and a declining economy.

Parliament on Dec. 13 approved estimates of EC$793,911,053 for this year’s budget, an increase of 0.7 per cent or EC$7.42 million over the approved budget for 2011.

Gonsalves, who is also Minister of Finance, told lawmakers that the estimates “are fashioned to respond to the current economic circumstances and the strategic path which this government has chosen.

“It balances restraint on the recurrent side with well-targeted capital projects, aimed at increasing economic activity in the key sectors of the economy,” he said.

He told journalists on Wednesday that while “there are some particular issues that will come up in the budget, naturally” the numbers are actually framed from the Estimates.

“… and what we see in these Estimates is that 39.8 per cent of the capital budget is directed to economic affairs and therefore will provide some job creation,” he said.

Gonsalves further said that the budget “consolidates and streamlines the Estimates and puts on a surer footing the Education Revolution.

“What we see is a rebalancing in the numbers, the additional monies which are put both on the recurrent side and the capital side for health, wellness and the environment.”

He said that his Unity Labour Party administration would over the next three years focus on the health of citizens to take advantages of increased access to higher education.

“… it is not going to make any sense if you are trained but you are not fit to work with this training or if you die younger because you are not fit. So we have to emphasise health.”

He said that his government has been focusing on public health and primary, secondary health care.

The government provides some tertiary healthcare services but make arrangements with other countries, such as Cuba and the Untied States in that regard, Gonsalves said.

“But in the period going forward, over the next three years, we are seeking to modernise the health sector and we have a specific programme for that with funding from the European Union, in addition to funding from ourselves — 30-something million dollars,” Gonsalves said.

He said that even with increased spending on healthcare, there would be no reduction in the nation’s education budget.

“It is a fascinating thing the way in which matters are unfolding. And all these are things which came out of the Estimates.”

Gonsalves said that when the Estimates were debated, many citizens had already begun to focus on Christmas celebrations.

“I hope that they begin to refocus as we start the debate on the budget,” he added.

Gonsalves told Parliament during the Estimates debate that four ministries — Transport and Works; National Security, Seaport and Airport; Education; and Finance and Planning — will receive 70.3 per cent of the EC$184,915,470 capital estimates for the 2012 budget.

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Discussion

5 thoughts on “PM says 2012 budget will reflect estimates

  1. VOTE ULP Marxist Party, Vote for huge increase in everything possible.

    Venezuela our ALBA boss’ has the second highest inflation rate in the World after Ethiopia. Next year according to banking experts they will be the highest in the world at about 36%.

    The ALBA countries as a group have seen one of the highest crime increases in the world. Venezuela at about 4,500 in 1999 when Chavez was elected, to about 20,000 in 2011, four times that of Mexico.
    Under Gonsalves the crime in SVG is out of control.

    As Gonsalves says he is here to finish the work of Maurice Bishop [he said this not me]. In Grenada Bishop put a 10% rate of house tax and wrecked the property market. Bishop was a Marxist revolutionary who came to power through armed rebellion, fortunately he is dead, except he lives on in Gonsalves who has exclaimed he is here to finish his work.

    Posted by Peter | January 5, 2012, 15:28
  2. by the way those are murder 4,500 in 1999 and 20,000 in 2011

    Posted by Peter | January 5, 2012, 20:47
  3. Peter, what does any of what you have stated has to do with the article?

    Posted by vincypowa | January 6, 2012, 01:02
  4. VincyPower, your enquiry has not been selected for reply.

    Posted by Peter | January 7, 2012, 23:41
  5. Is there anything about this mentioned in the estimates or budget?

    The ULP Government have been selling Treasury Bills for the last 9 years. The Treasury Bills are sold at a discounted rate i.e. January 4th 2012 was discounted at 5.82% repayable in 91 days. That is equivalent to paying an interest rate in excess of 23% a year.

    I write to bring this to your attention because the IMF are under the misconception that we are not borrowing at commercial rates. Gonsalves told us the we are getting cheap money at %2 from ALBA. Why did he not tell the people that we are using the Bond Market and selling Treasury Bills, paying through the nose for that money, in excess of 23% per annum.

    Dr. Slater said yesterday [Wed 10 2012] in parliament that we have not taken any commercial money and are borrowing at 2%.
    That is not true we borrowed money to bail out the NCB bank at much greater rates than that. We also sell our treasury bills at 10 times that amount.

    Below are the proposed Treasury Bill sales

    January 4th 2012 Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines 91-day EC$25M, 5.82% Treasury Bill

    February 1st 2012: Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines 91-day EC$25M, 5.82% Treasury Bill.

    March 1st 2012: Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines 91-day EC$25M, 5.82% Treasury Bill.

    April 10th 2012: Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines 91-day EC$25M, 5.82% Treasury Bill.

    June 4th 2012: Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines 91-day EC$25M, 5.82% Treasury Bill

    May 4th 2012: Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines 91-day EC$25M, 5.82% Treasury Bill

    June 4th 2012: Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines 91-day EC$25M, 5.82% Treasury Bill

    Smell the sulphur

    Posted by Peter | January 11, 2012, 13:49

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