JIS News

Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, has said that the creation of conditions for growth will be the first priority of the Government’s Medium-Term Economic Programme for the 2010/11 Fiscal Year.
Delivering the Throne Speech during Thursday’s (March 25) State Opening of Parliament at Gordon House, Sir Patrick said the administration’s overarching objective is a return to growth that is sufficient and sustainable to create new jobs, increase foreign exchange earnings and boost revenue.
In such a climate, he said, the government can graduate from deficits to surpluses, commence paying down on the national debt, increase investment in human resource development, provide better infrastructure, and improve the delivery of services.
The Government’s Medium-Term Economic Plan is underpinned by a
US$2.4 billion standby agreement negotiated with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to provide the country with much needed financial support to assist it through the current global recession.
The facility, Sir Patrick pointed out, became necessary in light of the recession impacting the economy, which contracted, particularly over the last year, resulting in revenues declining below what was required to meet “essential government expenditure.”
The Governor-General pointed out that despite the administration exerting tight restraint on expenditure it became necessary to increase taxes. “Painful though it was, the government had no choice. It was the only way to avoid a fiscal crisis,” he contended.
Additionally, Sir Patrick said the administration also had to seek financing support from the multilateral funding agencies, led by the IMF, pointing out that “we are one of the many countries that found it necessary to do so.”
He noted however that with the IMF standby agreement comes “a requirement and obligation to put our house in order.”
“This requires substantial improvement in our fiscal and monetary dynamics, and the fiscal restraint, which will be evident in this year’s budget, reflects the Government’s firm commitment to that purpose,” Sir Patrick stated.

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