by Linda Straker
- Clement will not support the EC$1,352,210,635 budget
- Described presentation of a document that is ‘cut and paste’ with no innovation
- 2022 Budget is the second presentation as Minister for Finance by Gregory Bowen
Opposition Leader Tobias Clement has described the 2022 Estimate of Revenue and Expenditure as “highly deceptive” and one that is unable to meet the current fiscal and social challenges facing the country.
“When you look at the presentation of the budget I see no innovation, I see no initiative,” Clement said as he began his rebuttal to the 2022 budget which was presented in a session of the Lower House on Friday, 26 November 2021.
“What I see today is the presentation of a document that is cut and paste… The number changes a little bit to fit inflation, but it is the same template from since 1995.” Clement, in 1995 was appointed as a Senator for the ruling New National Party led by Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell.
“If we have to go somewhere in this country, we have to innovate. If you look at the presentation of the budget, you will see a lot of nice things in there. Anybody could put anything in the budget, but like I always say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating… the proof of the budget is in the implementation,” said Clement who began as Leader of the Opposition in April 2020.
Previously, Clement was a backbencher for the NNP administration. He contested both the 2013 and 2018 General Elections as a candidate for the NNP and won on both occasions. He became Opposition Leader after he resigned from the party.
“I will call it a Santa Claus budget that is highly deceptive in its presentation as it is,” said Clement who is of the view that the financial affairs of government are out of order and ‘must be put in order for the sake of the country’.”
“I cannot for the life of me, after reflecting on this budget and looking at the finances of Government, I do not support the passage of this budget in this House,” Clement told the speaker before elaborating on his reasons for not throwing his support to the EC$1,352,210,635 budget that will service the State of Grenada for the period 1 January to 31 December 2022.
The 2022 Budget which is the second presentation as Minister for Minister by Gregory Bowen who took up the post in October 2021, is based on the Medium-Term Fiscal Strategy 2022–24 that is formulated to support Government’s strategic post-pandemic agenda. The focus of the strategy is on recovery, resilience, and transformation, which is elaborated on in its Medium-term Action Plan (MTAP) 2022–24.
The MTAP is the operational vehicle through which Grenada’s National Sustainable Development Plan 2020-35 is being implemented. In summary, the Medium-Term Fiscal Framework (MTFF) 2022–24 focuses on strategic expenditure management, technology-imbued enhancements in revenue administration, and prudent debt management.