The opposition United Workers Party (UWP) says it would like to see a budget that pays attention to the productive sectors in the country.
Opposition leader Hector John is expected to articulate the party’s budgetary position in parliament following the budget presentation by Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, the country’s finance minister.
Ahead of that coming event former prime minister Edison James, the UWP leader, has been telling DNO that much greater focus should be placed on the productive sectors – agriculture, tourism and manufacturing ”so that we can earn as much of our own money as possible”.
“That would involve a structured approach to facilitating the farmers to produce their crops under a programme which would involve assistance, financial assistance, technical assistance, marketing arrangements in place,” James said.
The UWP leader says proactive action is necessary as opposed to knee jerk reactions to complaints or protests.
He also wants the question of an international airport put on the front burner.
James says this would benefit tourism, agriculture and other sectors.
“We took our eyes off the ball and talk about night landing, an international airport will include night landing,” the UWP leader said, arguing that to date the country has not seen the benefits of night landing.
There is some concern being expressed on the streets about an alleged move by the government to increase the current value added tax (VAT), which is currently at 15 per cent.
UWP Leader James doesn’t think the VAT should be increased because “as everybody says things are tight”.
However he isn’t prepared to say categorically that the 15 per cent VAT should be reduced.
“I am not in a position now to say that the VAT should be reduced – we must recognize that a country will have to impose taxes. But it is how you impose taxes and you cannot impose taxes in isolation,” James told DNO.
He thinks there can be some relief if the economy picks up and people have more spending money that helps them deal with “higher prices”.
“We should be taking action to increase income to the people and revenue to the country,” the UWP leader said.
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