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SVG implementing IMF austerity measures — Eustace

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The government’s failure to pay, for almost three years, the 3 per cent salary increase due to civil servants is not coincidental, Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace said on Thursday.{{more}}

“… I believe that is being done deliberately, because I pointed out in the Budget that the IMF (International Monetary Fund) has said you have to have three years with no increase in wages,” he said on a New Democratic Party radio programme.

“And I think what the government is doing, is trying to implement that year-by-year, without admitting that they are doing what the IMF has recommended,” Eustace further said, in restating his view on the situation.

Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves has said that his government will pay the salary increase retroactively when the Vincentian economy improves.

“They don’t want to call it austerity, but that is what it is,” Eustace, however, said.

“That’s what it is and they are only getting to that position because you have failed in your financial management. Because there will be no need to come to you and ask you to put any austere or serious measures in place like raising taxes.

“That’s for the same reason why we are now going through this exercise with the select committee to raise property taxes,” he said of the property tax legislations that lawmakers are expected to debate on October 11. (kentonchance@searchlight.vc)

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