Our Readers' Opinions
March 8, 2016
The 2016 Budget

Editor: Dr Gonsalves has presented this country’s 2016 Budget, which was extremely frightening in terms of his taxation. There is no doubt that Vincentians will be paying more for merchandise provided by the Government and the private sector. There have been various complaints about Vincentians who can’t provide the necessary needs for their families. I can only imagine the complaints would be more now.{{more}}

The majority of Vincentians did not listen to Dr Gonsalves’ Budget presentation; why? I think it’s because they thought it would be hard to digest. Numerous Vincentians did not understand the purpose of the rise in tax. What makes it even more difficult is that the NDP decided not to debate the 2016 Budget in the House of Assembly. Many Vincentians have distorted the recent Budget; many don’t understand it. We, as Vincentians, have to take what was presented to us with open arms.

The question many persons are asking is would the NDP debating the 2016 Budget have made a difference? My opinion is no. My main reason for saying no is because the NDP is in the minority. Did the NDP create any serious impact by not showing up to debate the 2016 Budget? Yes!! That’s my opinion. It’s very obvious that Dr Gonsalves was not at his best.

Did Dr Gonsalves provide reasons for his increase in taxes? He said there are demands from Vincentians and he must find money to deliver on these demands. Is this a valid reason for increasing taxes? Madam Editor, Vincentians are complaining about this year’s Budget. Should Vincentians comment or ask questions about the Budget?

Isn’t it our right as Vincentians to ask questions? We live in a democratic country, so that is why we, as Vincentians, have the right to question the Budget. While Dr Gonsalves made suggestions about job creation, he mentioned that there are still difficulties providing jobs that are sustainable for Vincentians. Is there any significant evidence to show that the Government is trying to reduce the devastating unemployment level in this country? How can the private sector help? The private sector should be the engine of growth in this country’s development, but the private sector is struggling.

We have a buy and sell society in St Vincent and the Grenadines; we lack creativity in our country. The Government needs to obtain options of providing jobs for Vincentians, and from listening to the Budget presentation, I did not get any indications that he is planning to improve on this country’s employment level. This Budget is not people friendly; it’s one about finding more money; it lacks the key essence of creativity.

Vincentians are finding difficulties to obtain jobs to feed their families, to access proper health care. Many Vincentians complain about crime and criminal activities as well.

Some Vincentians may ask what are my thoughts on the 2016 Budget; should I answer, or keep quiet? Keeping quiet might concede contempt for the Budget, but that’s not the case. I’m hoping when we hear the 2017 Budget he would deal with the serious issues previously mentioned. We, as Vincentians, need to remember that St Vincent is more important than any political party.

Kingsley De Freitas

PS In conclusion, I want to thank Madam Editor for giving me the opportunity to write my opinions. I continue to express thanks to the people who motivate me, like Bassy Alexander, Parnell Campbell QC, Pastor Errol Daniel and Mike Findlay. These are unlike persons who discourage me and say I write rubbish and lack education, persons like Elson Crick and Frank Da Silva. They continue to hate, but I congratulate.