SVG Budget  Debate Finance, my input
Our Readers' Opinions
February 9, 2024
SVG Budget Debate Finance, my input

EDITOR: The focus appears to be on spending without accountability. The finance department should be the most up to date among all the ministries because they have access to the resources to facilitate this. Therefore, all efforts should be made to provide audited accounts for the previous year. It appears that control measures to safeguard funds are not enforced, and lacking in some cases.

Income tax clearance used to be required for travel. The average taxes paid by each category of workers needs to be published to dispel the rumours that lawyers, doctors and businessmen do not pay taxes. When the law season opens, we need the assurance that the court officers are paying their fair share for the operations of the court. We know that the plaintiff and the defendants pay, and we must have confidence that the lawyer pays. Stolen money should be treated as a no interest loan to be repaid by the thief after serving time in prison. Why should we suffer double losses in imprisonment cost and stolen money?

The National Insurance Services need to be independent of the Government so that they can be free to collect all outstanding contributions owed to them. Too many employers, including the Government, are delinquent. Emphasis needs to be placed on the collection process and at least one day per week should be dedicated to fieldwork. Estate succession and transfer should get NIS clearance.

Several workers have health insurance and when they use the health services the user fees should be charged to the insurance companies. Too many bills owed to the public utility companies go unpaid. These companies need to be independent so that they can collect from everyone, including the government. Paid bills should be required to access certain benefits if the cutting off of services does not work. Many people need financial advice services to enable them to balance their budget.

Public Assistance should focus on becoming an Employment Agency where they actively look for jobs and match them with suitable employees for a fee from both employer and employee. Handouts have created such a poor work ethic that many do not seek to find work.

Agriculture should be the unlimited employer but praedial larceny has stagnated production. Security is needed for prosperity.
Every year a fantasy budget is presented, but what we should be told is that if the monies are available, this is the priority in which it will be spent.

Schools should be geared to produce the workforce that we need. Perhaps we should be contracted to provide educational services for overseas clients beginning with nursing. Failure is costly and our schools should plan for the success of all students. The neglect of the skills is wreaking havoc on our society as we turn out so many handicapped students.

A ministry of Self Help and Donor Funding should be set up, perhaps headed by Dr Andrew Simmons. We are not accessing and utilizing all the funds available to us, and our society is suffering as a result.

Anthony G. Stewart, PhD