By Caribbean News Global
TORONTO, Canada (CNG Business) – The sixth session of the eleventh parliament of Saint Lucia opens on Tuesday, March 16, 2021, with the presentation of Saint Lucia’s estimates of revenue and expenditure for 2021/2022 by the minister for finance. This development occurs amidst the COVID-19 budget and general elections, asserting gangster capitalist election projects and airport development, the likes of gangbusters.
On Tuesday, a joint session will receive the Throne Speech from His Excellency, Governor-General, Sir Emmanuel Neville Cenac. Based on precedence the opposition Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) is not expected to be in attendance.
“The Standing Finance Committee will meet in closed session at 2:00 p.m. to review the estimates of revenue and expenditure, following which at 4:00 p.m. the prime minister will lay the estimates before the House of Assembly. The debate on the estimates of expenditure will begin on Wednesday, March 17, 2021, from 9:00 a.m,” said a statement from the office of the prime minister.
However, the interesting exclusion of the approximate sum of the 2021/22 estimates [a draft] is well-known by Caribbean News Global (CNG) that illustrate EC$1.638,600,900 , is largely significant to a current recurring expenditure of EC$1.359,997,100.
CNG’s #insights and analysis team of experts are examining the estimates of revenue and expenditure 2021/22. Meantime, the following is noteworthy, in contrast to value for money and the social/economic progress of Saint Lucia:
[Budget 2018/19 EC$ 1.487]
- St Lucia’s budget expectation vs. facts
- St Lucia PM’s budget address living an alternative reality, says opposition leader
[Budget 2019/20 EC$ 1.697]
- St Lucia opposition leader says 2019/20 budget reflects a fiscal illusion
- St Lucia’s PM budget address ‘a recital of unworthiness’
- St Lucia’s PM budget address: A wonderland of vacuous relics: Part 2
[Budget 2020/21 EC$1.638,600,900]
- COVID-19: Gangster capitalist budget
[“It is important to note that the historical data contained in this publication are unaudited and as such is subject to change.” Reference 2021/2022 Budget Foreward]
Estimates for 2021/2022
As stated previously a COVID-19 budget is expected to present unfulfilled/unrealized projections, a shortfall in revenue, increased debt, GDP exceeding 102 percent – hitherto, coupled with an election year budget, the frills of bouncing back, building back better on pie in the sky promises expected to fill the silence of the pandemic and an electorate “building a better Saint Lucia” on election projects.
Meanwhile, COVID-19 and donated vaccines are weaponized for electioneering and COVID-19 laws are introduced, the people are looking for “Chin Chin” – “Empowerment Card” and “Five to Stay Alive”, the expected changes to a better life that was promised in 2016. […]
Foreward – Estimates 2021-2022
The foreward of the estimates 2021-2022 says it embodies the principles of performance budgeting and seeks to provide data that is consistent with international reporting requirements.
“A new budget Module was introduced in the preparation of the 2021/22 estimates of revenue and expenditure. The CPM (Corporate Performance Management) budget module brought various benefits in the budget preparation process, and over time is expected to bring about greater efficiency, data integrity and validation and more importantly provides web-based access to users.
“The 2021-22 budget estimates have been prepared under very difficult circumstances as a result of a health and a financial crisis brought about by COVID-19 pandemic. These conditions are anticipated to improve with the rolling out of the vaccination programme coupled with investment made in the health sector.
“As a consequence, the 2021-22 budget estimates reflects these realities as government adjusts its spending plans to incorporate both mitigation and recovery plans to deal with the impact of pandemic
“In light of the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the fiscal resources of the country, departments and agencies are encouraged to embrace the challenge of identifying fiscal space within their approved budget to finance emerging demands and priorities. Agencies must continue to ensure that resources are utilized in an efficient and cost-effective manner, and ensure alignment with government policies. More importantly, agencies must also be cognizant that allocation of resources will necessarily be informed by revenue performance and success in resource mobilization efforts. Therefore every effort should be employed to collect arrears and increase efficiency in revenue collections.”
Relative to the estimates of revenue and expenditure 2021/2022 – there is the GIGO concept: Garbage In, Garbage Out. The concept in mathematics and computer science speaks to the quality of output is determined by the quality of input.
The relative non-success of the economy precedes COVID-19. This is compounded by the current government inability to formulate domestic business concerns, external policy formulation, entrepreneurial acumen and unwillingness to navigate good governance.
The premise has been to navigate it alone, powered by widespread personal interest, corruption with an averse to gangster capitalist. A perceived nexus between government, preference economics [selected business and personnel] to crony capitalism that is alive and well in Saint Lucia.
Moreover, the new oligarchs champion national rhetoric, profess Christianity, echo monopolies in their respective industries and espouse theories of economic success.
However, the current avatar is the embrace of state-sponsored gangster capitalism – a framework for privileges and crony capitalism that leads to a worst-performing stagnating economy, while the rather well-connected magnets prosper.
The game of gangsters capitalist has taken a new turn in the Hewanorra International Airport fiasco awaits Taiwan benevolence. Details are forthcoming about new demands for financing and propositions ahead of general elections.
Meanwhile, the Hewanorra International Airport (HIA) project is aggressively seeking a new source of funding and attempting to consolidate existing financing, preliminary works in keeping with ‘electioneering’ has begun.
As expected, the prime minister has exercised “double economic hubris”, his Facebook post extolled, “a major part of our national economic stimulus programme is underway.”
“As some of you may be aware, work has commenced on the Hewanorra International Airport. A few weeks ago, I got an opportunity to tour the site preparation which is currently ongoing on the largest infrastructure project in our nations history.
When most persons think of an airport, they tend to only think of the benefits to the tourism industry, when tourism is only one of numerous beneficiaries of this vast ecosystem.
Airports play a pivotal role in the economic development of any country. They facilitate the efficient movement of individuals, products and materials thereby fostering increased trade, employment and business opportunities.
Airports support employment generation. Direct employment opportunities include workers from the construction sector when the airport is being built. In our case, we estimate well over 500 persons will benefit from employment during the construction phase.
Once construction is complete, a significant number of new jobs will be created. This is required for a range of services, including airport operations and management, aircraft maintenance, storage facilities, charter services and leasing activities. We also expect this to create hundreds of new permanent jobs.
The new airport will also open new global markets for our local farmers, fishermen, agroprocessors, manufacturers, creative talent and tourism providers.
“The availability of airports provides a thrust to the GDP of the local region, having a positively impact on the national economy. Airports also serve as an enabler of other industries.”
The debate on the estimates of expenditure will begin on Wednesday, March 17, 2021, from 9:00 a.m.
In the usual manner, the budget estimates as presented will not facilitate better understanding of government revenue and expenditure. More realistic, and per historical presets, the non-debate is set to produce another theatre of grandstanding, plundering the English language while averse to Creole.
And from the majority subset of governing parliamentarians, unfit to read and understand grade-12 literature and maths, the likes of gangbusters – is par for the discourse.
There is nothing substantial to a non-debate, but to rehash the realism of a gangster government plundering the resources of the state, prostituting the land, the people and the light, for the benefit of domestic and foreign oligarchs, who should be put on notice.