December 22, 2006
PM says “jobs” is theme for 2007

Job creation is the theme of the 2007 budget and Minister of Finance Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves believes that all six budgets that he has presented were linked.

During his wrap up in the just concluded budget debate Dr Gonsalves dismissed the suggestions made by Opposition leader Arnhim Eustace that the budgets were not linked, and bore no sense of continuation.{{more}}

Dr Gonsalves took time to revisit the themes of each of the budget speeches that he delivered, showing what he believed to be a clear interconnection.

In 2002 there was “Economic stability, consolidation, recovering and renewal in a new period”, which the Prime Minister explained was the position of the economy after the challenges presented by 911.

Then in 2003 the speech was titled “Fiscal consolidation, economic reconstruction, deepening good governance and regional unity,” which was followed by the theme “An economic approach and a fiscal stance for development,” in 2004.

The 2005’s theme was “Sustainable economic growth, fiscal prudence, and social justice in a period of external shock.”

“The external shocks then were those relating to the rising oil prices, the worse economic economy in thirty years, Hurricane Ivan, tropical storms…all external shocks,” he explained.

Then in 2006 his speech was entitled “Enhanced competitiveness, regional integration, economic growth, job creation, and poverty reduction.”

“Mr. Speaker, all of these themes are interwoven in a whole and we have outlined the philosophy from which we have come,” he declared.

He said that his government’s vision, policies and programmes are all connected and accused Eustace of being in “Wonderland”; guilty of confusing appearance with reality.