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WILL THERE BE A BUDGET DEBATE?

Parliament Office Has No Answer.

WILL there be a debate on this year’s budget? And will the Prime Minister present a budget statement in the House of Parliament as usual?

Concerns have been raised about the lack of a date so far for the anticipated debate on this year’s budget, the last before the island votes to elect a new government. Up to yesterday there was no indication from anywhere when that budget statement would be delivered.

This is somewhat unusual. In the past, St Lucians were always informed via the media of the dates for the debate before the passing of the Appropriations Bill in both houses of parliament.

This has not been the case this year. The Appropriations Bill went through its final stages in parliament on Tuesday making it possible for government to start spending the $1.4 billion budgeted amount for the 2016/2017 fiscal year.

The parliament office, when contacted, could not provide a clear answer, stating that so far it had had no information regarding a schedule for debate on the budget, or when the budget statement would be presented in the House of Parliament.

“The Prime Minister will provide more information on that matter next week,” a source in the Prime Minister’s office told The VOICE yesterday.

But there was the widespread expectation that the budget statement would have been presented Tuesday and the debate take place today and tomorrow. It is believed that it was in anticipation of this that the Opposition scheduled a public meeting for the William Peter Boulevard for tonight, to respond to the budget.

A UWP statement had promised that the William Peter Boulevard would be ”transformed into the people’s parliament” to dissect the 2016/2017 budget. It had promised that parliamentarians would make addresses in which they would highlight the budget’s deficiencies and its lack of feasibility.

Tonight’s meeting was also expected to hear UWP speakers present new and innovative policies to stimulate advancement for St. Lucia on a sustainable path to development.

That meeting will go ahead as scheduled, the VOICE understands, while the ruling St. Lucia Labour Party will travel to Choiseul to hold a public meeting in support of its incumbent candidate for the district, Tourism Minister Lorne Theophilus.

Whenever the budget is presented, it will be the latest it has ever been delivered in St Lucia.

Last year the budget went through the House of Assembly without debate after parliamentarians on both sides failed to speak after the Estimates of Revenues and Expenditure were presented by Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony.

Micah George is an established name in the journalism landscape in St. Lucia. He started his journalism tutelage under the critical eye of the Star Newspaper Publisher and well known journalist, Rick Wayne, as a freelancer. A few months later he moved to the Voice Newspaper under the guidance of the paper’s recognized editor, Guy Ellis in 1988.

Since then he has remained with the Voice Newspaper, progressing from a cub reporter covering court cases and the police to a senior journalist with a focus on parliamentary issues, government and politics. Read full bio...

2 Comments

  1. CAN some body tickle me.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    INNOVATIVE POLICIES ?????????????????????????????????????????
    TRANSFORM INTO PEOPLE’S PARLIAMENT ??????????????????????????????????????????
    ELECTION IN JULY 2066 HA ha……………………………………………………………………………..AUGUST 2016

    Aa little boy come blow-up your bell ???????????????????????????
    THE PROPHETS ARE IN CHOISEUL BEING DIRECTED BY THE LIGHT OF THE HEAVENLY STAR
    THE GOATS ARE IN THE BULLVAS’S PARLIAMENT EATING FROM ALLEN’S CRACK CRASH CRUMBLE CRUMBS. DISH DASH PISTACH…PISTACH ………………….ALL FALL NOT A DAMN SIT 4 THEM

  2. It is very disturbing that we Saint Lucians 36 years into independence, do not yet have neither the necessary intelligence, nor the knowledge and the maturity to elect to parliament persons of character who can rise above being anything other than being mere rubber stamps to the dictates of previously selected dictators called a prime minister. It is sad. It is unfortunate. It is very disconcerting. But we always get the government we deserve.

    That there is not even an awareness of nor even an inkling of our serious lack of sophistication is also very depressing.

    What is going in government today, what is going on in elective politics today, and the avalanche baby babble offered by so-called columnists supporting both the red and the yellow parties as journalism is, that those ridiculous loads of pap generated are way below the standards of an alert society. They in no way take this miserable country forward. We have absolutely nothing over the likes of countries like Zimbabwe.

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