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Monday, 06 June 2016 13:53

PM defends dipping into HSF, but Opposition criticises move

Written by C News
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Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley says it shouldn't be a surprise that the Government dipped into the Heritage and Stabilisation Fund.

The Prime Minister made the statement on his return to the country after attending the ACS Summit in Cuba.

"Notwithstanding what is happening to us now, we are putting aside something for our children and grandchildren. Stabilisation meaning if our economy collapses as a result of a drop in the oil price beyond a certain level that we will dip into the fund to stabilise the economy now."

However, the Opposition has roundly condemned the move.

Former Trade Minister Vasant Bharath said accessing the Fund should be a matter of last resort, a point which the country hasn't yet reached.

"We have not exhausted as a country all of the alternatives, certainly as far as financing is concerned. I don't believe that we've exhausted all of the options with regard to expenditure reduction but we should have put in place, in fact I think we are still running a budget of close to about $59 billion, which is the third largest budget the country would have had."

Mr. Bharath also pointed to another economic area the Government needs to address.

"These one-offs expenditures are likely to continue till 2017 at least, which would be the CLICO money, the money from the IPO, taxation and of course now, the Heritage and Stabilisation Fund. These are fine but they must go hand in hand with some kind of a policy prescription to actually generate significant economic growth."

Read 372 times Last modified on Tuesday, 21 June 2016 09:17
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