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Read once, think twice.
Here it is…
by Anonymously Famous
In May of this year, a comment was made by the Minister of Education, in regards to a peaceful political meeting held by the opposition. The Minister stated that in the event of any rebellion against the Government, that they would need to “crack some heads and shoot some people.” I believe this was done to instill fear in the hearts and minds of the public.
Today, we find ourselves faced with a Government, whose main discourse with the people are lies and threats. In 2012, the Minister of Finance along with the Governor of the Central Bank, made it abundantly clear, that Barbados’ economy is stable, amidst the “Global Recession.” In seven to eight months down the road, we find the Governor retracting his statement with a plea to the people of Barbados.
I mentioned these incidents to state that they are several fundamental issues I personally face with this Government. And I am aware that subtle threats are being made against anyone who dares speak out against the ruling party, but someone must take the mantle and risk a cracked head or a gunshot from the ruling Regime.
My main issue lies in the transparency, or lack thereof. In the 2013 – 2014 Budgetary Proposal, the Government has suggested several policies and plans they wish to implement in order to deal with the fiscal deficit, as well as generate foreign reserve for the country. Now we have a Government who has proposed to make a $35,000,000.00 dollar cut to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and a $30,000,000.00 dollar cut to the Sanitation Department among many others. These cuts are to reduce the “four hundred million dollar deficit.”
My opinion based on figures I have gotten my hands on indicate that no such deficit can exist, however these cuts are being made in order to cover a 1.2 billion dollar increase in Appropriation Grants being allocated to Ministries and other offices.
In the comparison of the 2012 – 2013 Appropriation Grant with the current Grant, we see an increase in funding to The Ministry of Health from $76,080,292.00 to $258,945,232.00. This is an increase of $182,864,940.00. This is the same for many other Ministries.
Government’s Appropriation Grants
The above table indicates a comparison increase of 1.2 billion dollars within the varying ministries. This does not indicate a decrease in “deficit”, but an increase in expenditure. Yet, Government has suggested a wage freeze, placed a halt on the hiring of Government employees, laying off of individuals and the merging of departments in order to lower the deficit. I may not be an Economist, however how can we decrease a deficit with such a major increase in expenditure?
Furthermore, how can we be making financial cuts in public, yet documents which are signed off indicate that they are placing more finances into these same said Ministries.
Not only is there an increase in expenditure between 2012 -2013 and 2013-2014, but the structure of the document has also changed. Where in the past there was a break down in how this money was to be spent, this is not the case now that we have the increase of 1.2 billion.
Several questions to the ruling party:
- Why are cuts being made, when an increase in funding has been allocated via the Appropriation Act?
- If there is indeed a deficit of $400,000,000.00 and another $300,000,000.00 in revenue missing, then how can we have an increase in grants allocated?
- If cuts need to be made, then how are these granted funds being utilized by these sectors?
As I mentioned earlier in this article, this government seeks to silence any form of protest from the people, however, they cannot silence the protest in our hearts.