PM to consult public for budget presentation


With the 2011/2012 budget presentation coming up, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has pledged a series of consultations with Dominicans before the financial statement is presented.

“Government ministries have already begun putting financial estimates together but there’s a need for other sectors and groups in Dominica to put forward their ideas and recommendations with respect to economic development,” Skerrit said.

Government has been accused of not engaging Dominicans enough in the decision making process, but Skerrit said his team has been making use of suggestions from the Dominican public in its budget presentations in the past and wants this fiscal year to be no different.

He pointed out, “The engagement of the wider Dominican public is very critical because there are people out there who have ideas and who have suggestions as to how best we can improve the economic and social fortunes of Dominica and persons who are genuinely concerned and interested in the development of Dominica would put forward their suggestions and ideas to the government for consideration.”

He said previous budgets have been done after consulting the public. “If you looked at the last several budgets that we’ve past in the parliament there have been many ideas that have been generated from our engagement with various groups,” Skerrit said.

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  1. worried dominican
    February 24, 2011

    the state house is for gadhafi the 27 million could be used to refurbish the schools around the island,we can also feed the poor and needy,and clean up the rats that are running around roseau,since the ratio is one person equalls three rats.wait until jouvert morning when they will be behind the bands.

  2. Big Moe
    February 23, 2011

    Its amusing that Skeritt is asking for citizen’s input when throughout his term he has never discussed anything relating to the affairs/issues affecting the lives of Dominicans i.e the M.O.U with China or the ALBA agreement with Venezuela to name a few etc.I am sure these things have an inpact on the well being of Dominicans,their sovereignity and so regardless of whether there is a positive inpact or not,the fact that the Ordinary Dominican knows nothing is a serious breach of the rights of Dominicans…… to come asking or pretending to ask as if he cares what people think is disgusting.

  3. From London The patriot
    February 23, 2011

    My contribution to this budget includes the following:

    – Adhere to prudent management of the public finances.
    – Put some emphasison the needs of students from low income families for the long term benefits of DA.
    -Give more support to sports development.
    – Focus on the long term development of the DA economy with positive measures to strengthen the agricultural sector and support the development of other sectors where DA enjoys some comparative advantages. e.g eco-tourism, cultural tourism etc.
    -Make more land available in the medium to long term to help people acquire their own homes.
    – Assist more people to meet rising living costs.
    -Put more investments in education,medical services,sports, sustainable developments, research and development and cultural developments.

  4. Anonymous
    February 23, 2011

    Oh please Skerrit all of a sudden you’ll always have a press release. ALl of a sudden you want consultation with public ?

    • happy face
      March 1, 2011

      give the dame man a break Dominica u all talk to dame much.

  5. Change we can believe in LBP
    February 23, 2011

    Thanks Mr. PM for the opportunity providing you take a look at comments made by Dominicans in the Diaspora. First, what about a post mortem on the past 5-7yrs on development plans to assess whether they are bearing fruits, and if not why throw money down the hole? Second, based on Dominica location most companies find it dificult to invest due to high raw material cost incurred by port/shipping; this is coupled with the utilities cost (Electricity) in particular which needs to be fixed because it drives cost all sectors of our society. We need to look at how best to negotiate contracts to favor Dominica and the investment community as it pertains to Petro Caribe arrangement. Thirdly, we need to develop a plan to have a system of farming set up like a coorporative in each district, because farmers trying to work alone particularly in a mechanized world of farming will not do, so the ministry of Agriculture needs mobilize and develop such a plan then government should follow up with allocation of more funds from the budget towards this sector. The cooporative will farm bananas, coffee, livestock, fish, and generally any agricultural produce. This cooporative allows for more creative ideas to flow, and decision will be implemented by an executive arm of the cooporative. There will be resistance towards these ideas which is always the case when anything is new, but the coorporative should comprise of people like Mr. Clayton Shillingford for Technical assistance, Financial personnel in Dominica for financial forecasting, planning and identifying better revenue streams. In short we need to bring in people of different sectors of our country who have a vision, and can look past the divide of politics and see this as a push for Dominica to compete at the 21st century level. My take is anyone who cannot look past politics need to be worked outside this cooperative but, can still tap into the cooperative expertise at an individual cost to that person which will hopefully encourage the person/persons to see it is more cost effective to work within the cooperative. Note that the cooperative will work with Dexia to organize new markets and shipping of produce. Finally, if this is done well Dominica can become a major exporter again and based on information from my OECS friends the poultry farm business is not self sustaining and results to high importation of chicken. We need to learn to eat local and support our farmers because the money circulates in our country.

  6. Fairplay
    February 23, 2011

    We need to do like The Bahamas and employ Dominicans first and support local industry.

  7. DA man
    February 23, 2011

    you can start by stop that palace you want to build,and putting a 27 million dollers debit on dominican tax payers,and use that money to create jobs

    • happy face
      March 1, 2011

      we a not paying for the loans the chines will write it off.

  8. lowly
    February 23, 2011

    Mr PM I am not sure how the State House fits into the budget but while you are pretending to be humble I suggest that you trash this plan to for the presidential palace and invest the money in sustainable job development and production. Dominicans are against the presidential palace so listen to the voice of the people.

    Cut government waste; No need for 7 advisers and all those worthless ambassadors; Cut the opaque dealings on government contracts and allow fair and open bid so that we get the best pricing and the best job for the money. Stop wasting money on this Melville Hall air port and focus on a new site and new international standard airport. Cut the useless consultant contracts for people who are not even qualified for the positions or bogus positions.

    Invest in keeping the young people in Dominica thus preventing mass migration.

    • happy face
      March 1, 2011

      cant understand Dominican, we need development!!!!!!!!!

  9. commentator
    February 23, 2011

    You cannot restrict imports in a free market economy. You should know that this will come back and bite you where it hurts most.
    If you place sanctions on imports your competitors will retaliate and place on yours.
    You may increase tarriffs on imports ofcourse. That will raise more taxes and imports will fall but your population will suffer.

      February 23, 2011

      Dominica should not be importing water…The Saudis do not import oil…China does not import Rice nor does Jamaica import Trees (if you know what I mean)

    • Gee
      February 23, 2011

      ******************LET ME ADD*************


      do you really think the “ree market style” cares about little countries like us?

      Let’s suppose the free market style is putting our local jobs at risk do you think the free market style will solve our jobless problem? Do you think develop countries allow anything to be imported into their countries? No they don’t!! because they put certain restrictions in place that would benefit their country’s interest. Why should we not do the same?

      I’m not saying to restrict all items but, their should be limits on the importation of certain goods. Especially when we might be producing a comparable item. There’s a possibility that we might pay a little more for what is made locally, but it allow us to create and maintain jobs in DA.
      So which is more important for us…. the jobs or the free market?

      What do you think? {by the way thanks for your feedback}

  10. Gee
    February 23, 2011

    ********************WHY DON’T WE PROTECT OUR OWN*******************

    Don’t get me wrong the offer could very well be sincere………. but

    this also could signal that the government is running out of ideas!!! I mean after 10 years in power this happens. What best way to continue the hold on power by asking the public! Honestly… I have not heard a real vision plan from either the DLP,UWP or DFP for DA’s future! All we seem to be doing is to be reactive instead of being proactive! We do things in an uncordinated style. There no linking of policy.

    By the way Mr. PM here’s an idea for us; why don’t we use what we produce…. the things we can produce ourselves why do we continue to import these items? We want jobs but instead we import goods that we can make ourselves. We prefer to give the money to foreign companies than to our local producers……. then we continue to complain about unemployment! How shall we ever make progress when we refuse to help ourselves. We have the ability & the smarts. Yet, we refuse to produce.

    We must protect our producers. By this I mean we must limit imports of certain goods to ensure than our producers have a market [the dominican market]. If we as a country is not willing to stick our neck out for our producers who else should do it? WHO? Big develop countries protect there own but nahhh not DA!! We want to import everything even at the expense of the limited jobs we have in DA! I can never understand that….. Can you??

    Man, I better stop now, we have had talk like this many times but no one seem to be listening or even care or understand the positive effect this could have for us here in DA. As I said before, I see no one from any of the political parties with a real vision plan for DA.

    So why don’t we protect our own… Does anyone know?? I welcome any “sensible” contribution.

    -Thanks for reading

    • DA to the bone
      February 23, 2011

      I for one surports that very much ..the times ahead is going to be very hard so we have to be able feed our own

    • Patriot
      February 23, 2011

      Government undertakes too many projects, they are spending more than they are taking in, and of course, they eventually have to raise taxes. Higher taxes cripple the economy. Private sector remains stagnant or shrinks and unemployment rises. The people are out of work thus government tax revenue is too low to sustain government spending. The Government turns to taxation on everything that Dominicans need to survive.

      In more than 80% of Dominican homes there is a member leaving in a foreign country who is capable of providing food and clothing for that household. But custom taxes are so high that some cannot afford to clear these goods from the ports. My advice to the government is to remove all taxes non commercial goods entering the country. These families will now be able to use the little income that they have support local produce thus leading to jobs creation and taxable incomes.

      Dominicans are out there building someone else’s country anyway, no fault of there own, then Dominica should benefit from their work. As I see it, allowing these relatives to send stuff home is like boosting our economy with foreign currency. Thats how the Mexicans roll in the US, Billions of dollars transfer from the USA into the Mexican economy each year.

    • Roz
      February 23, 2011

      Firstly, it is the trend around the world and in the Caribbean to sign treaties and agreements that will lessen the barriers to trade. Protectionism policies such as imposing duties on imports, and subsidizing local producers and manufacturers are frowned upon as they are regarded as barriers to trade.

      Secondly, in many cases, our imports are as a result of market forces. Most of our producers and manufacturers operate on a small scale, many times with inefficient technologies. In contrast, foreign manufacturers operate on a much larger scale and benefit from economies of scale. They produce more at cheaper rates and are able to offer cheaper priced goods. It is the choice of the local Dominican to buy local where the products are available. How many of us make it a point to purchase FALLS SOFT or EMERALD TOUCH toilet paper which is manufactured here for instance? I do, along with other local products. I search them out, understanding that we don’t produce much, but we should support what we produce.

      There are many reasons why our balance of trade looks the way it is. We have to think of creative ways to bring about change. I’ve got ideas on how to do this. Let’s discuss.

  11. dominican
    February 23, 2011

    how or where can we post our suggestions that the government can look at before they come out with this years budget?

    • annnonnnymous
      February 23, 2011

      time to tell government to get a website or a facebook page where we can make our meaningful contributions

      • Dread!
        February 23, 2011

        I totally agree! I want to make my contribution too!!!

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