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Estimates described as cosmetics

Ricky Jordan

Estimates described as cosmetics

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Opposition MP Mia Mottley today described Government’s 2012-2013 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure as nothing more than financial and political cosmetics.
In her reply to the introduction of the Appropriations Bill by Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler in the Lower House of Parliament, Mottley said the Estimates contained no new programmes to benefit the people of Barbados, and she compared it someone preparing for two “dates”.In this case, she added, Government was using the Estimates to make it look good for its dates with the international financial agencies and with the electorate of Barbados.
“It is nothing more nor nothing less than financial and political cosmetics,” she told the House, adding that  Government had determined there would be no expenditure cuts in this “election and financial year“ 2012-2013 but in the ensuing two years, 2013 to 2015, there would be painful cuts of three-quarters of one per cent of GDP, specifically $75 million each year.
“That is carrying us back to a form of politics that if the economy was doing well you would say we’re past it but you could tolerate it, but it is being done in the context where the Government is now in its fifth straight year of a current account deficit,” she stated.
She said this was compounded by the fact that Barbadians were already bearing the brunt of several Government liabilities, including the University of the West Indies which needs $140 million, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital which needs about $200 million to function properly, and the Transport Board which has an operating deficit of about $30 million a year.
Government, she added, wanted to defer its difficult decisions until the date of election was over, by not being frank with the public and by “fooling the public in an election year with a little here and a little there”.