The announcement was made on Monday that in just under a month from now, we would have to endure the dreaded annual, drawn out, tedious presentation from the exciting Finance Minister, known as the budget presentation. October 7th is the day that all ears and eyes would be forced open for a few hours to take in Minister Imbert’s knocking of the Opposition for the current state of the country, followed by the tooting of his own horn, for the fruits his strict measures have borne. Year after year, government after government we are subjected to the same painful torment and no one seems to realise that there must be a more palatable way of presenting a national budget. But that’s a topic to tackle in more detail on another day.
The Opposition UNC has already heralded that next month’s presentation would be a sweetheart budget, meaning that it would be a basket packed with goodies given the fact that elections are around the corner. The prediction is that all of the tough measures laid out recently would not be perpetuated, at least not for now, but instead, the inducement for votes for the incumbent would commence via the ‘gimme gimme’ machinery. More CEPEP contracts for gangsters. It’s a hoax as old as ‘Trini Politricks’ yet no one sees through the B.S. Or, maybe they don’t want to. There is no one government that stands innocent of applying this useless tactic nor are we as an electorate any less culpable of allowing it to flourish.
In the coming few weeks, we’ll hear from all of the experts, economic, political and otherwise, offering their two cents on what is expected and what would be the consequences to come. The various interest groups, trade unions and chambers of commerce will reveal their wish lists, hoping, that for once, the Finance Minister would not ignore them and throw them a bone. Anxieties would rise from all sectors over the threat of a further reduction in fuel subsidies, higher water and electricity rates and as always, the dreaded hike in taxation that Minister Imbert has become infamous for.
So, before the mad rush by the crowd to present the Finance Minister with their wish lists, we would like to take the opportunity to be first out of the gate with ours. Firstly, we hope that with a general election looming, the Finance Minister finds the money to do what’s necessary to open all of the schools that have been built and left to rot. We hope that much needed finances could be siphoned from one or 2 useless projects to buy toilet paper for schools and government offices. We hope that political bad mind could end and the Children’s Hospital could finally be put to its intended use. We hope that loophole that was created to allow a shortage of U.S. Dollars is plugged and those who have monopolised the black market could be finally cut off. We hope that the average working man no longer has to go to the bank and beg like a dog for a 200 U.S. to take an entire family on vacation. And finally, because we’re running out of paper, we hope that the concession that affords politicans the luxury to “coast” their million dollar sports cars, tax free, would be stopped, otherwise give me the same opportunity. Forget about crime and drug trafficking. We know there’s no political will to arrest it so we’re not asking again. In Gary we trust, yes!