first_img Share Tweet 15 Views   no discussions Share Sharing is caring!center_img Share LocalNews Government continues pre budget consultations by: – June 27, 2013 Mr Skerrit announced that the budget presentation will take place in JulyPrime Minister and Finance Minister Roosevelt Skerrit will today, Thursday 27th June, hold pre budget consultations with trade unions and other private sector stakeholders ahead of the national budget presentation.“I’ll be holding discussion with all the unions on Thursday morning and also all the private sector entities…DAIC, DHTA, individual investors, Employer’s Federation and also individuals, we will be discussing with them on Thursday afternoon,” Mr Skerrit told a press conference on Tuesday.He noted that his government has held discussions with all stakeholders regarding the budget, and they have also received written suggestions from members of the public as to what the government should consider in the 2013/2014 budget. “The consultation is continuing and my hope and prayer is that we can have constructive discussions, people have to understand that the budget is a twelve months budget and not a ten year budget,” Mr Skerrit noted.He also indicated the importance for members of the public to advise the government on the source of financing when they make suggestions as to what should be included in the budget.He emphasized that a state raises funds through three means; taxation, loans and grants, “so if you say you’re going to do a project costing $3 million, you have to be able to tell the people of Dominica how do you intend to finance the project”.According to Mr Skerrit, putting a budget together for small economies like Dominica’s is always a challenge and therefore the preparation of the budget is a very challenging and stressful one for him.It is stressful he explained, because “you’re trying, with the little that you have, to respond to the concerns and the aspirations of a country and how do you balance that”.Notwithstanding the challenge of preparing the budget with limited resources, Mr Skerrit made it abundantly clear that the government’s social programs; the house of safety for children in Jimmit – Chances, the Yes We Care program for elderly citizens and the housing assistance program will continue.“As long as I am the Prime Minister of this country, these programs will not be touched. If it means that I have to remove a road project from the budget to finance these programs, I shall do it, they’re too important to our people,” he said. Mr Skerrit said these social programs are an essential part of development as development does not only include physical infrastructure. “There has to be a certain level of compassion and passion when it comes to people and suffering people”.He also indicated that his government will continue investing in education and health care, and stated that they will ensure that it a second CT scan can be purchased so that if one is mal-functioning, the other can be used. They also plan to purchase an MRI machine to avoid citizens from travelling overseas for these essential services.“Our people should not be going to other countries to do a CT scan and we are looking at purchasing an MRI and other important equipment required at the hospital, so that the cost of going overseas to look at these things can be done here instead” Mr Skerrit is expected to announce the date of the budget presentation sometime this week; however he indicated that the presentation will take place in July. Dominica Vibes Newslast_img