“The Government has initiatives that will take them three and four years to get to Parliament and then in turn cannot be executed.”
This charge was made by leader of the Opposition Mia Mottley in today’s Budget reply as she reminisced on the greening levy which could not be executed one year ago.
The greening levy was based on income collected by the national insurance scheme on a graduating basis, without recognising the National Insurance Scheme can only collect on the basis of earnings and then it had to be a flat tax,” she told the House of Assembly.
“That is why this is now morphed in to a municipal solid waste tax of a flat rate of 0.7 per cent. This did not happen to be here by accident because if his announcement last year that commentators like today praise and said that at least it would ease some of the problems with renewable garbage collection but he could not execute it.”
Mottley pointed out that under the Stuart Administration, the tax on lotteries was never executed in the five years in which it was announced. Additionally, she noted that the mobile phone tax announced in 2008 was never executed.
“This Government has perfected the art of developing policy measures without advice from public servants that are impossible of execution and they take for granted the steps that are necessary to move something from concept to reality… The Government is going to be taking a difficult decision … because this [measure] cannot get off the ground in September without putting at risk an already tenuous industrial situation,” Mottley expressed.
Meanwhile, she said that cutbacks in expenditure reminded her of a butcher swinging a cudgel with major crassness, allowing it to fall where ever it may.
“You cannot impose $140 million in cuts on transports, transfers and subsidies. Transport Board, National Conservation Commission, QEH and Sanitation Service Authority — and the $35 million that has to be cut from the hospital will now lead to longer waiting hours,” she said.
Mottley stated that in addition to the $140 million which is to be cut from the five institutions, Barbadians also had to consider over $350 owed to UWI. She warned it was dangerous to cut $140 million from institutions had already built up arrears of $350 million to persons supplying them with vital services. (MR)