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Eustace: Lots of talk no action

Eustace: Lots of talk no action

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Opposition leader Arnhim Eustace has painted a different picture from the one presented by Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves called the 2005 Budget address “a vain attempt to fool the people”.

Eustace, was in fiery mood in the opening burst of the four hours allocated for his reply. He accused the government of “appearing to be going fast, like an athlete taking performance enhancing drugs,” and chided the ruling regime for being like the typical athlete, in a state of denial. {{more}}

Eustace, said it was a “lot of talk” with “no sustainable action to take the country forward.”

To emphasise the inactivity of the government, Eustace alluded to plans aired for projects at Boisden, Tobago Cays, Big Gut, and Call Centres. Eustace saod the government “has lost its energy,” and with the 2005 budget “has lost ground.”

He chided the Unity Labour Party regime for taking the nation back into territory unknown since Independence. He said government’s management “in terms of macro-economic management was the worst.”

Eustace chided the media for announcing that the $587,095,299 figure was a record. He said it was the first time “that parliament was being asked to approve a deficit on the Current account”.

The Opposition Leader said: “I was warning of the excesses and perils,” but “I underestimated the speed of the recklessness.” He was alarmed and disturbed because of the damage of the economy. For the East Kingstown parliamentarian Dr. Gonsalves “economic management was beyond the capacity of the Finance Minister”.

The budget was not by choice, because the “chickens were coming home to roost”.

With his two elected parliamentarians: Dr. Godwin Friday, Northern Grenadines and Terrance Ollivierre, Southern Grenadines alongside, and Senators Gerard Shallow and St. Claire Leacock, Eustace maintained his onslaught on the ruling ULP and the budget address.

He said the government was between a “rock and a hard place”, and drifting like “Alice in Wonderland”.

He mentioned that the ULP was blaming everything else “except the mismanagement of the ULP”.

Eustace dismissed the occurrences of what the Prime Minister referred to as external shocks.

“It is part of our being. Don’t blame 9/11. Blame our own inadequacies to manage,” Eustace chimed.

“There is no excuse for spending more than we have,” Eustace went on, and alluded to the Prime Minister as “hanging yo hat where yo han’ can’t reach”.

He compared the nation’s economic situation to what happened in Dominica, Antigua, Barbados and Belize where those countries were forced to implement measures imposed by the International Monetary Fund.

The Opposition leader questioned whether the presentation was an election budget and recalled that he was in a similar position once with an election looming, but suggested: “We must deal with reality.”

Eustace noted the theme of the Budget as “Sustainable economic growth, fiscal prudence and social justice in a period of external shocks,” but for him, there was nothing prudent. In fact, it was “fiscal recklessness… digging a hole to fill a hole”.

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