“This year’s budget will be yet another mundane, long-winded, hopeless, uninspiring statement designed to promote the oratorical skills of the minister instead of bringing real tangible benefits to the people,” Browne said when he was asked what could be expected of government’s fiscal plan for 2012.
“Barring the proposed economic or investment citizenship programme which was proposed by myself, the budget will be replete with a lot of regurgitated fluff and recycled, unrealised programmes and policies,” the ALP chairman added.
Elaborating further, he said “the statement will speak extensively to debt sustainability and fiscal consolidation. Whereas we accept them both as critical components of any government’s fiscal plan, there can be no fiscal or debt sustainability without growth. Since 2009, the UPP Government in its budget, year after year, has promised growth but the reality has been far different resulting in rates of contraction as high as, 9 per cent in a single fiscal year.”
According to Browne Antigua & Barbuda has one of the worst performing economies in the world.
Meantime, Public Relations Officer of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Eastern Caribbean Antigua & Barbuda branch Cassandra Simon is hoping that the Finance and Economy Minister presents a balanced budget when the country’s new fiscal package is revealed today in Parliament.
The accountant said her idea of a balanced budget is one where the estimated revenues cover the expenditure.
She noted that in previous years one revenue stream, which the government said it was hoping to tap into was parking meters. This, she said, was not realised.
“If you are going to be counting on revenue from a source which is non-existent then obviously even though your budget may be balanced on paper it does not balance in reality because that revenue is not collectible,” Simon said.
(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)