Finance Minister Winston Jordan has assured that the Ministry is on stream in presenting its Annual Budget for 2017 come December 5, but shied away from any specific details regarding any increases in taxes or fees to be paid by stakeholders.
Minister Jordan was at the time engaging members of the local media corps on Friday last at the Finance Ministry’s boardroom. Asked specifically about any increased payments to be made by taxpayers or those seeking to access Government services, Minister Jordan said: “I cannot speak to anything beyond what has already been done earlier in the year, as it relates to the raising of fees, and so on and so forth this year.”
He suggested that stakeholders wait for the details, saying “The upcoming budget, we’ll wait on it, in a couple more months. It’s going to be a lovely budget, don’t worry.”
Meanwhile, responding to reported criticisms on the lack of adequate consultations by Government in preparation of the Budget by sections of the Private Sector, namely the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), Minister Jordan denied being in receipt of any formal complaint of displeasure from that body.
The Minister reminded that he had met with representatives of the Private Sector Commission earlier this year “where I reiterated to them that at the last consultation I had said to them, we can meet every quarter”.
He told media operatives that representatives of the Private Sector Commission (PSC) had admitted to him their tardiness in meeting with Government on the annual budget preparations.
The Minister did seek to assure stakeholders; however, “We are on track for the Budget for December 5.”
He said the relevant personnel were currently assessing the various submissions by Budget Agencies, “to get an understanding of how they were put together and whether they are consistent with what they are looking for”.