The Budget Dilemma

The budget for the new financial year has been announced and the news is not good.

Despite making significant cuts in debt servicing amounting to $123 billion the current budget still has a deficit of $84 billion.  The effect of the worldwide recession continues to adversely affect the economies of the Caribbean with the Guyanese prime minister stating that if it were possible for a country to declare bankruptcy then it is likely that the entire Caribbean would do so.  The point is that while bigger countries can do things to bolster their economies, there is very little that countries with smaller economies can do.

The problems remain the same, if the government cannot create jobs and grow the economy then there is no future for the country.  The challenge for this year is two fold; firstly and most importantly is what will be done to generate jobs.  There is a limit on what you can cut from the budget. In order to significantly reduce expenditure you would have to send home thousands of persons and this would create significant disruptions to the economy.  The answer is not more redundancies but more jobs; if the budget for this year does not focus on job creation then it is going to be a difficult dismal year.  We cannot delay in implementing strategies as we have already waited too long.  We need to find productive work for the people to do or the consequences will be grave.  It is not enough to educate the people only but there must also be opportunities for those people to help build the country.

The second issue is the issue of tax compliance, there are too many persons who are not contributing to the cost of running the country.  If we were to collect all the taxes that are due there would be a significant reduction in the size of the deficit.  The governments, past and present, have refused to collect the taxes because it will affect too many of the people who vote for them.  As a result the future of the country has been sacrificed for the sake of retaining power.

Until we can change the mindset of the people about paying taxes there will be no significant improvement in the living conditions.  It seems to me that those who refuse to pay taxes should not benefit from the sacrifices of those who do.  Perhaps it is time to make proof of payment of taxes necessary (or proof of being below the tax threshold) in order to access government funded institutions such as schools and hospitals.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The opinions on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of The Gleaner.
The Gleaner reserves the right not to publish comments that may be deemed libelous, derogatory or indecent.
To respond to The Gleaner please use the feedback form.

2 Responses to “The Budget Dilemma”

  1. Huntley Goulbourne says:

    I have read and decided to comment on two of your most recent topics;”Budget Dilema and My two cents”. Firstly, I applaud you on your great economic insight, for your width and length in thinking and you unbias view that jamaica can grow but only outside of the political culture that continues not to educate constituent citizens on how they can not rely on hand-downs but rather contribute to the growth of an economy. In short, It’s time for politicians to adapt a new wave in political approach to focus on rebuilding their community at its strength and colaborate with next door when or even without a weakness in ideas.(in speaking of next door I meant neighbouring constituency)
    Secondly, I’ve been visiting Jamaica every year for the last 10 yrs. and have always been disappointed with the underdeveloped state of downtown Kingston. I once wrote a letter to Senatoral friend of mine questioning and reccomending ideas for the revamping of that area, considering its potential due to its location. One idea was to first petition for the removal of the general pennitentary, coupled with the cleaning up of the Kingston water front, then to set up an exploritory commitee for real estate developement.
    Thirdly, by virtue of the latter, Jamaica’s government would have been at a stage to sell the idea of mini campuses to overseas education institution /housing to students who would love the tropical climate and its warm friendly atmosphere. All of this coupled with water-front condominiums sold to wealthy investors who would in all possibilities give Jamaica the advantage to be viewed as a haven for less expensive real estate square footage hence boosting the demand for leasing spaces if provided at the commercial level. All of this would accucumulate to a very large percentage in employment boost, while the image of jamaica is replenished. I did not overlook the crime issue that’s also a key.

  2. Robbie Guard says:

    Your real dedication to passing the solution all around became quite beneficial and has really made professionals like me to achieve their endeavors.

Leave a Reply

2 comments so far
gleanerlegal Posted by: gleanerlegal April 23, 2010 at 11:41 am