Our Readers' Opinions
February 21, 2017
2017 Budget ‘frightening’; NDP response ‘lacking’

Editor: Listening to Parliament is very interesting, especially when it’s Budget time; that’s where most Vincentians comprehend their strength about buying, selling and the way in which they should plan their future.

Did Vincentians see or hear any ways in which the 2017 Budget will assist Vincentians? Not directly, but it’s definitely going to cost us more, with an increase in VAT, departure tax and where professionals would have to pay a licence to operate, which I fully support, but it will be passed on to the poor people who always pay for everything.

I’m going to use one word to describe Prime Minister Dr Gonsalves’ 2017 Budget in the House of Assembly – “fright­ening”, and “lack­ing” is how to describe what came from the New Democratic Party (NDP). The most memorable thing about the 2017 Budget presentation held at the House of Assembly was the way that the Hon Speaker of the House Jomo Thomas dealt with the function of the House of Assembly. He was truly outstanding and the reason why Jomo Thomas is so excellent is because he is a professional who understands if he has to be a good speaker of the House of Assembly, he must be impartial and apply the rules, and not allow the Prime Minister and Senator Francis to dictate how they think the House of Assembly should be run.

Jomo Thomas is doing an impeccable job at keeping the House of Assembly in order; let me remind Senator Francis that what we saw in the former speaker of the House of Assembly Hendrick Alexander is not what Vincentians expected from Jomo Thomas. Whenever the time comes for Jomo to leave the job of the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Vincentians would see him as a professional.

Vincentians still remember Monty Maule and Douglas Williams as quality persons who served as Speakers of the House of Assembly. Today, Alexander is a distant memory; what a shame!

Jomo keeps doing what is right; he puts St Vincent and the Grenadines first. History will certainly show that you served excellently as Speaker of the House of Assembly in St Vincent and the Grenadines. Don’t allow yourself to become complacent; remember after you leave this job, your profound integrity will carry you through life. Vincentians definitely can’t say that about Alexander.

As a young Vincentian, I’m genuinely proud of Jomo Thomas’ achievement as Speaker of the House of Assembly and I would like to encourage him to continue the excellent job he is doing. Jomo, let me remind you that in order to reach where you are going, you must never forget where you came from. Continue to make Vincentians


Alfred Bernard