The funds which are just over a half billion dollars will again increase the size of the country’s National Debt, but the government argues that it needs the money to cover current expenditure, not only of the central government, but some of its statutory bodies.
The opposition said, “The population must condemn the irresponsible and cavalier (behaviour) of the government. While it has been wasting the Public funds and it is now asking for loan financing of the following…”
- $75 million from commercial banks by means of advances in the form of Treasury Bills
- $360 million by means of advances in Treasury Bills for the purpose of meeting current requirement
- $15 million from National Bank for the purpose of meeting recurrent expenditure (not capital expenditure) of the Saint Christopher Air and Sea Port Authority.
- $5 Million from National Bank for the Saint Christopher Tourism Authority for the purpose of meeting recurrent expenditure.
- $87 Million for SCASPA to raise a loan for Cruise Port Development Ltd to do a new pier and enhancement work at Port Zante.
- A total of $542 million. Why is Douglas taking the country into debt when his term in office is invalidated? Why is he squandering the people’s money in the SIDF when he has no legitimacy?
What is being advanced by the opposition is that even though the government recently said it returned millions that it borrowed from the International Monetary Fund, IMF, it now appears as though the financial strain of the country has gotten worse.
In a release to the media, the opposition said, “For all the seemingly very false claim that it is doing well, the illegitimate Denzil Douglas regime went to Parliament last week to seek authorization to borrow monies to meet its indebtedness including repayment to holders of Treasury bills.”
The coalition of parties seeking to replace the current government argued that “it is an irony that while the government has been spending and squandering the scarce resources of the country in what most describe as an effort to essentially buy votes for the upcoming general elections, which polls indicate will see a change of government, the government still headed to parliament to approve new borrowings.”
They reminded that the Dr. Douglas Administration “ran up a Public Debt of EC$ 3 billion, the highest rate of indebtedness in the world. “Douglas’ poor management of the country forced it into an IMF program because of its inability to manage its debt.”
The economy has not yet regained its vitality, said the opposition release. The only sector doing anything is the state sector, they added. They further claim that “In efforts to buy votes for the election, Douglas has embarked on a spending binge using the proceeds of the Citizenship by Investment Programme and in particular the politically driven election Slush Fund nicknamed SIDF to do every government election gimmick. Roads left abandoned for years are suddenly being done. Children have suffered unnecessarily for years as their parents become poorer and poorer and suddenly the government wants to REACH them. A double salary is to be paid in September etc, in preparation for October elections.”
The opposition holds the view, said the release, that “The very squander mania which led us to the IMF and caused the overtaxing of our people is again happening. Rather than use public monies responsibly and carefully, Douglas has set out on a path to again bankrupt the country. He is intent on a wipe out of all monies in the SIDF and helping his yes-men with special favours from SIDF at the expense of the country.”