Leader of the Opposition Dr Godwin Friday says he is expecting to hear about more jobs being created and not an
announcement of more taxes to be imposed when the 2019 Budget is presented to parliament by finance minister Camillo Gonsalves on January 29th, 2019.
Dr Friday spoke of his expectation during an interview on Thursday afternoon.
“I’m looking forward to the process because we’re going to hold the government accountable. And one of the thing that I am going to look for and going to demand is that the government not increase taxes on the people anymore.
In the last three years, three budgets they have presented they’ve increased tax, VAT, twice and, you know, we’ve reached the point where the next straw will break the camel’s back. That is one condition,” Dr Friday stated.
Dr Friday, who is the leader of the New Democratic Party (NDP) and Northern Grenadines MP, said that the
economy of St Vincent and the Grenadines “is in the doldrums” and that “some say it’s dead.” He said that the thrust of the government’s budget has to be to improve the economic climate in the country so that people – both local and foreign investors – will start to invest again and to create opportunities for people.
“That’s what I’m looking for in the budget. And secondly, we’re looking to see what initiatives they have to create jobs – not just the increase the government’s own fiscal position or financial position of the government. We’re looking forward to seeing how the government is going to help the people to help themselves – that is; create jobs and opportunities for them. You know, that’s what a budget really should be doing.” Dr Friday stated.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister earlier this week announced that the new Kingstown Port project is now an estimated
US$140 million and that funding sources have already been identified. He also reminded Vincentians of the soon-
to-be reopened Buccament Resort under new management and possibly new ownership, the construction of a 200-
room hotel at Mt Wynne/Peters Hope which was mentioned in last year’s budget, the construction of a holida express hotel at Diamond, the planned construction of a hospital at the decommissioned E T Joshua Airport in Arnos Vale, road rehabilitation programme among other projects.