Prime minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, has said his administration is committed to fiscal prudence and responsibility, which he described as a key characteristic of any government who wants to run the affairs of Dominica.
Speaking at the launch of the Belles Water Project on Monday, the prime minister noted that fiscal prudence has allowed the government to undertake many projects.
“To get these resources to do these kind of projects, to be able to repay, you must manage the affairs of the country in a prudent and responsible manner,” he stated. “And this is why we’ve always told the people of Dominica that that is one of the main and important elements of small island states like ours. You are very open, anything can happen to you by external shocks but you must take hold and charge of the things that you can have control over and fiscal prudence and fiscal responsibility are key characteristics for any government that is willing to run the affairs of Dominica.”
The prime minister described as “foolishness” those who promise to remove certain taxes.
“So when you hear people are saying that they will remove this tax and that tax and those taxes and these taxes, it is foolishness they are talking because you must now tell us if you have $200-million to spend and to pay salaries, you must show in a very clear manner where you will get those $200-million to pay for salaries and services,” he noted.
Skerrit questioned what happens after certain taxes are removed.
“You cannot go and say you will remove this tax just because you want to gain votes,” he stated. “But what happens to the country after that? What happens to our well being? What about our schools? What about our students? How are we going to pay our debts? And people who are giving us money, they have taxes in their country, so how they going to give you money when you have no taxes?”
The prime minister also said when his administration first came to office, six years were spent “to fix an economic and fiscal mess which we inherited.”
“It took us a long time to fix the fiscal challenges, the fiscal gap we had, the high debt we had or the government’s inability to pay salaries on time and to pay the private sector in Dominica for goods and services which were procured.” he said.