Apr 04, 2013 News
A Partner for National Unity, Ronald Bulkan, in his budget debate presentation deemed the budget as one which can see more cronyism and corruption and where political loyalty trumps merit.
The APNU Member of Parliament noted that the Minister of Finance should not boast of the budget’s size.
“It seems to me and I am informed by experience and lessons of history that one should not boast of size but if at all, of effectiveness or in this instance what the proposed expenditure of over US$1.0 Billion will do to develop our country, create jobs, raise living standards, address the structural imbalance of our economy, improve access to and the level of education and health services, public safety and public security, reverse the deteriorating state of basic physical and economic infrastructure.”
Bulkan further told the House that it was indeed sad, that the priority and preferences which the Minister has presented to this House fail to meaningfully address the above concerns in any structured manner all of which are of grave concern to APNU.
“We have been told that a few flagship projects (the Marriott the CJIA and the Amaila Falls Hydo Project) are going to solve the structural imbalance to our economy, projects that have not been the subject of independent technical approvals.
“I would have thought that the fiasco of the Skeldon Sugar factory would have been of salutary value but evidently not so,” Bulkan lamented. The APNU Parliamentarian added that the financial plan for the management of the economy ought to be informed by a vision and it should also be one that places people at its centre.
Bulkan said in APNU’s opinion factors such as jobs for people, improved living standard, good quality of education and accessibility by all should be a priority as opposed to growth benefits for just a few.
Bulkan noted that in the National Budget the two largest allocations are for Regions Two and Six $367 Million and $383 Million respectively. The two regions, Bulkan told the House, are controlled by the PPP/C. The regions receiving the lowest allocations are Regions Eight and Seven at $151 Million and $134 Million respectively.
“Both of these regions are opposition-dominated regions. In the case of Region Four which has the largest population by far its allocation is smaller than every region with the exception of Regions Seven and Eight and the signal is unmistakable.”
Bulkan then argued that the 2013 budget suffers from the same terminal defect as its predecessor; it arose out of an illegitimate process given that the majority of the legislature was shut out of the process.
Hence he said the 2013 budget deserves to be declared DON – Dead On Arrival.
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