– says govt is obsessed with producing low quality work
By Ramona Luthi
Among the last four high-profile speakers wrapping up the intense week-long debate of the highly controversial 2017 budget, Former President and Leader of the Opposition, Dr Bharat Jagdeo has reiterated the widespread calls by his colleague MPs and others for the budget to be withdrawn while questioning the motive behind its early presentation.
According to Jagdeo, the Opposition PPP/C intends to be fierce in its fight against this budget but noted that its members “will also support the government when it does things for advancement and growth in this country.”
Alluded to the fact that, so far, the Opposition has been supporting the Government in many instances, Dr jagdeo pointed out that all the APNU/AFC administration has been doing is picking up the projects that the PPP/C left off. He is of the view that the Government has “no imagination” in terms of original ways that they can expand the economy.
Dr Jagdeo questioned how the Budget adds up when judged against the criteria of expanding wealth for the country- income for the people, revenue for the state -and how it stacks up when regard to betterment for the people.
“This budget has failed…no jobs…no growth…yet they are blaming the PPP/C for this budget,” he declared.
He asserted that the administration seems to be taking a preference for providing low quality outcomes (caconomics).
“This has become a pattern. They have elevated caconomics to a science but I think some of the leading theoreticians are sitting on the other side of the house,” Dr Jagdeo posited.
As he continued his swipe at the administration, Jagdeo stated that the golden rule for capanomics is “how low can you go or how to be mediocre and be happy with yourself.” He added that this is the rule that the APNU/AFC administration seems to be abiding by.
“We see the draconian budget and people (Government) are happy. You see the joy in the defence, the bluster…,” he charged.
In a selective jab at the Minister of Business, Jagdeo noted that anyone in the country looking at the proceedings in the Chambers would acknowledge that the Business Minister, Dominic Gaskin “is obsessed with indices and planning for the future.”
Jagdeo noted that just planning does not change countries.
Additionally, the former President asserted that the Minister of a Finance “feels every study done abroad by external consultants must be implemented in this country” without any regard to its impact.
He used this to highlight that if this wasn’t the case the “horrendous VAT proposal” would have never been proposed.
Jagdeo questioned the reason for the early budget, noting that if the budget was done in April of next year, then the implementations of taxes would not have been retroactive.
“If (they) had passed the budget in April next year, the taxes couldn’t have been retroactive but they want a full year so they get a full year of benefits.”
Jagdeo noted that the administration’s motive “is taxing more and collecting more.”