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Budget 2016: It’s give and take

GERALYN EDWARD, [email protected]

Budget 2016: It’s give and take

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THERE IS NO PANIC in the Freundel Stuart administration over the island’s foreign reserves position and Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler says his 2016 Budget reflects this.

Saying he expected more than $200 million in foreign dollars to flow into the country within weeks to top up reserves that slipped to around $900 million, Sinckler also announced a number of measures that many viewed as a precursor to the next general election.

To loud thumps of approval from the Government benches, Sinckler revealed that thousands of temporary public officers will be appointed to their posts, while from as early as December Bridgetown should become the first of five duty-free zones to be established where Barbadians can spend foreign currency to purchase goods at duty-free prices. This has been a request from the Barbados Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

Non-contributory pensions will increase by $40 per month, while those with tax arrears will be given a five-month amnesty from penalties and interest. (GE)

Please read the full story in today’s Midweek Nation, or in the eNATION edition.