Archive for June 24th, 2012

10 questions for the premier

10 questions for the premier

| 24/06/2012 | 48 Comments

1. In March you took a plan to Parliament that increased the present year’s expenditures to $550 million. What was your plan to magically reduce it next year to the $498 million you claim you directed in January?

2. When you sent the circular you claimed, can you tell the country what policy directives you gave to reduce cost – or did you just expect the cost would have reduced by itself to a number you pulled from a hat?

3. The budget you took to Parliament showed that this financial year was going to end with the bank account in overdraft. Were you hanging the entire fiscal viability of the country on the gamble that the UK would say yes to borrowing? If not, how were you going to finance the period between July and December when government typically spends more than it earns?

4. If your expenses were $550 million for this financial year, a year when you hired almost 5 dozen new police officers halfway through, when you gave the civil servants a raise half way through, how were you going to absorb the full year effect of just those two decisions while simultaneously reducing costs?

5. When the Civil Servants came back with the spending plan, was it to hire private chefs to cook for  them, hire personal chauffeurs, build new walls around their houses or was it a reflection of the cost to implement the policies of your government? You can’t have your cake and eat it too sir, if you want to bring in reception year in public schools, it is going to cost money, if you want to give away solar panels, it is going to cost, if you want to give out more for nation building it is going to cost. Civil servants didn’t give you a plan to buy luxuries for themselves; they just gave you a reality check on the cost of implementing your government’s policy wish list.

6. Who in government makes the decision to build roads, build remand facilities, build schools, build Hurricane Hiltons, etc? Is it the lowly civil servants or is it your own ministers? Therefore, when you claimthey overshot the target for capital, who overshot it, civil servants or your colleagues?

7. When did you first know the cost of your policy wish list was more than you could afford?

8. What actions have you taken since that time to address the fiscal gap?

9. If, as you claim, you and your ministers have spent several weeks and long nights cutting the $130 million overshot but still haven’t been able to cut all of it, is that an admission that the $498 million was never a realistic number? Are you admitting that, as minister of finance you had no clue as to what the true cost of operating government was and so gave a totally unrealistic target with no policy directive on how to achieve it? If not, you should have been able to reach the $498 million target you set now that you and your ministers are personally cutting the budget, shouldn’t you?

10. How do you feel, Sir, how do you feel to have had this situation completely blow up in your face? How does it feel to go down in history as not only the first Minister of Finance but possible the worst Minister of Finance? How does it feel to know that if you had given your country the priority it deserves instead of your jaunts to foreign countries at various social events on our dime, you may have had a chance to avoid this embarrassing situation to our birth country? Finally, Sir,how can you even stand to show your face in public after this?

Continue Reading