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Eustace: 2008 budget more bogus than before

Eustace: 2008 budget more bogus than before

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A revision of the just implemented public service Reclassification Exercise means that the 2008 Budget will have to be revisited, and will, therefore, push expenditure way past revenue, making the December budget speech more bogus than previously thought.{{more}}

This is the view of Leader of the Opposition Arnhim Eustace, which he expressed at a press conference at Democrat House on Tuesday.

Eustace claims that Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves tricked public servants in his speech delivered on Independence Day last year.

“People really believed that they were going to get sixteen and a half percent over two years. He did not say that some 2,400 persons’ jobs are frozen.”

“He left them to believe that they were going to, in fact, get the reclassification money, and people were doing their budget on that basis.”

Eustace claimed that the Prime Minister knew that some 250 jobs were not yet graded, so, therefore, they could not be reclassified, rendering the exercise incomplete.

The former Prime Minister and President of the New Democratic Party said that these problems are cause for concern with regard to the budget which was passed in the House of Parliament last year.

“Because of the demands being made by the unions, it is clear to me that the budget will have to be revisited and changes made; and those changes will mean more expenditure.”

According to Eustace, expenditure had already been moving beyond revenue over the last few years, and this may cause an intervention by the International Monetary Fund and lead to hardships on the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. (JJ)

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