In a recent interview with GIS news, Prime Minister Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit who is also the Minister for Finance revealed that the 2012/2013 budget report will contain priorities that are in the best interest of the country.
The Prime Minister stated that the decline in the island’s income and the increase in expenditure is a matter government must consider.
“We are crafting a budget in an environment that is not very conducive to a number of things. As I indicated, there’s been a drop in revenue and there’s an increase in expenditure so we have to now try to balance these two to ensure that we do not spend more than we are in fact making. Therefore the Government has to look critically at what the priorities are for the 2012/2013 financial year.”
The Prime Minister then mentioned that it is unrealistic to expect every concern to be dealt with in one year’s budget.
“Like every year, there are citizens who expect to see every single thing addressed in a one year budget and we cannot expect that because we are mindful of the environment. Everybody around us is experiencing challenges; there are countries within Caricom which have IMF programmes. There are countries that have imposed additional taxes on their citizens, like in Antigua, Barbados and Jamaica. People are basically taxed on every single thing under the sun to generate some revenue. They’re not doing it because they don’t like or love their citizens, in most cases they have no other options towards addressing the particular problem they have.”
The Prime Minister stated that citizens can expect to see continued moves by government to reduce unnecessary spending.
“For the last couple years, I’ve been containing discretionary expenditure to ensure that the things that are not necessarily needed we do not need to get and put the resources in order of more important areas to assist the citizens of this country and you will see more of that oversight taking place in the weeks and months to come where there will be curtailing of expenditure.”
Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit said that the date for the budget report will be announced within the next few days and the success of the new fiscal year will require the cooperation of all Dominicans.