Tight expenditure controls, hinged on a firm Tax Reform Programme, will be the hallmark of the government’s fiscal policy as it commences the 2012-2013 financial year.
Governor-General, His Excellency, the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, in delivering the Throne Speech on May 10th at the State Opening of Parliament.
In his speech entitled, ‘Nation on a Mission’, which outlined the government’s plans and programmes for the period, the Governor-General noted that fiscal prudence is essential in the current international climate, which, while showing some signs of recovery, remains unsettled.
The tax programme, he said, will seek to, among other things, widen the tax net, introduce more equity in the system, and stimulate investment, growth and employment.
“Substantial effort will be exercised in ensuring better compliance and enforcement of the tax laws,” he stated.
He informed that in an effort to overcome the financial obstacles, which stand in the way of the nation’s progress, the government has re-engaged the International Monetary Fund (IMF) with a view to concluding a new programme.
“We anticipate that the IMF, together with other multi-lateral financial institutions, our bilateral partners, the financial markets here and abroad, and the stakeholders in our country, will be supportive in enabling us to achieve the nation’s principal objectives within a medium-term economic framework,” he said.
These objectives, he informed, include an appreciable and sustained economic growth; restoration of the fiscal accounts to sustainable levels; and protection of the vulnerable, poor and working poor to the maximum extent possible.
Sir Patrick further informed that the pension and leave systems in the public sector will also be reformed in an effort to achieve better management of the fiscal budget, over the medium to long-term.
By Athaliah Reynolds, JIS Reporter