Leader of the Opposition in the House of Assembly Michael Pintard responds to the Prime Minister’s opening speech on the 2023 Budget yesterday, saying that it failed to live up to the hype.
Photo: Moise Amisial
By EARYEL BOWLEG
Tribune Staff Reporter
FREE National Movement (FNM) leader Michael Pintard said the budget Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis discussed yesterday failed to live up to the hype.
He said the budget for the next fiscal year will not prepare businesses to compete effectively in local and international markets.
“This is a government that promised that it would improve the ease of doing business,” Mr Pintard said. “What has happened is, in fact, quite the opposite, and we have any number of examples of businesses that have made this case.”
Mr Pintard said Mr Davis failed to address several significant issues.
Although Mr Davis said subventions to state-owned enterprises would be reduced, Mr Pintard said the Prime Minister said nothing about how the government will reform those organisations.
He noted Mr Davis said nothing about the National Insurance Board fund, which is projected to be depleted by 2028.
“The Prime Minister also promised that he would address the issue of NIB –– NIB did not come up,” he said. “He and the minister in his own office are at odds in terms of what must happen and so we're very much concerned that that the Prime Minister continues to break his promise to address head on these very important issues.”
“He must not shy away from making decisions that would be in our best interest, but, at a minimum, he should have a discussion with the public to signal what his intentions are.”
He said the budget communication did not feature a comprehensive plan regarding the future of energy.
“There are concerns that the government is increasingly inking financial arrangements, or certainly contemplating inking financial arrangements, with usual oligarchs in the country,” he said, “further wedding us to fossil fuel as opposed to moving as a transition to LNG but in a more intentional way towards solarisation, especially in the Family Islands.”