|More borrowing a dangerous move, says Grenada opposition|
|Published on September 22, 2012||
Email To Friend Print Version|
By Caribbean News Now contributor
ST GEORGE’S, Grenada -- Former minister for finance, opposition senator Anthony Boatswain said he has been reliably informed that the Grenada government intends to borrow an additional $70 million from the National Insurance Scheme (NIS); a move he said that can cripple the NIS and put beneficiaries at great risk.
According to Boatswain, since the last general elections in 2008, the opposition New National Party (NNP) has been warning the Tillman Thomas administration about its reckless spending and the implications. However, Boatswain said the government paid no heed, continuing to increase the monthly payroll with huge payments to non productive sympathizers of the party and first class travelling all over the world.
He added, “While they spent recklessly, no effort was made to grow the economy, and today we reap the result.”
He said the government is now looking to borrow from every possible source to pay salaries and meet basic recurrent expenditures.
He said the latest move by the government to borrow another huge sum from the NIS to keep a minority government in power is putting the NIS at great risk, literally killing the institution.
According to Boatswain, excessive borrowing from the NIS can pose a major risk for pensioners and beneficiaries in the future. It can negatively affect the ability of the NIS to sustain itself and meet its commitments in the near future if its reserve is depleted.
He said the long term solution to this crisis must be government’s ability to grow the economy to ensure fiscal sustainability. However in the short term the government should urgently convene a special sitting of the Parliament to discuss this financial crisis and to jointly agree on a solution.
As a result, the former minister has called on the NIS and all lending institutions to ensure that any request from the government has the necessary Parliamentary approval as required by law. He said failure to do so will put the lending institution at risk, since no future government will be obligated to repay any loan taken without the necessary legal backing.
Meanwhile, opposition leader Dr Keith Mitchell has again drawn the attention of the relevant authorities as well as the general population to shortcomings in the voters’ registration process, which he said need to be urgently addressed.
Specifically, he has drawn attention to what he described as a flawed process and that because of these flaws, there is still a large number of people throughout Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique who have not been able to complete the registration process.
Mitchell also drew attention to the fact that a preliminary voters list has not yet been issued in spite of calls by the opposition, other interest groups and individuals.
He said, “In the face of the two registration machines that are missing and in the midst of fear that the missing machines can be used to undermine the democratic process; and despite unanswered calls from the opposition and other concerned citizens for action we cannot trust the system. The only way right now to verify that these machines are not being used is to publish a copy of the new voters list.”
The opposition wants all measures to be taken to guarantee the integrity of the voter registration process and the preparation of a final voters list in which the voting population, the population at large as well as the international community will have confidence.
here to receive daily news headlines from Caribbean News Now!
Hi! from Saint Vincent
Just think yourselves lucky as Grenadians that your not lumbered with Ralph E. Gonsalves. Our NIS has almost been cleaned out for our new international airport project.
He told us that he is here to finish the work of Maurice Bishop, he convinced the Grenadian government to rename Grenada's airport 'The Maurice Bishop International Airport'.
In return he paid Vincentian taxpayers money to the Grenadian government, $5 million to pay their employees pay rise. Can that be right when Vincentian public service workers are being underpaid, even paid late, sometimes weeks and months after due date.
He promised to pay a 3% pay rise to the VINCENTIAN Public Sector in January 2010. Told them on four occasions he did not have the money. Yet he had $5 million dollars to subscribe towards finishing the work of Maurice Bishop.
Is this the way MARXIST's work? Is this what the working people of SVG expect, is it what they deserve. After supporting him in three general elections, do they deserve such treatment?
In 2010, a bag full of cash, US dollars turned up at the NCB bank, a million US to be exact, or there about. The bank was asked to change the money into EC$s, after due consideration the called his relative and told him to take the US$s away, refusing to change it. Days and weeks afterwards ULP relatives and friends began turning up at banks with smaller sums of US money and banking it. ULP government official walked about with a huge roll of US$ bills in his pocket, removing it occasionally to pay bills in bars and shops.
Would you in Grenada like a nasty spiteful little fat man who thinks he is Maurice Bishop to come and live with you. We want to get rid of him, so you can have him as a special present, we will even gift wrap him in MARXIST red.