By: Gavincia Clarke
(CHARLESTOWN, NEVIS)- Area representative of St. Paul’s, Nevis, Honorable E. Robelto Hector told the Nevis Island Assembly on Monday, April 29, 2013 that the budget entitled ‘The Nevis Appropriation Ordinance, 2013’ presented in the House of Assembly by the Premier of Nevis, Hon. Vance Amory is an ‘empty budget and highly politicized’.
Hector stated that the budget is the most important piece of legislation that passes through the house annually and it should be an annual expression of how the government intends to build hope and create growth. According to Hector, the budget must tell a story.
From the budget presented on April 26, 2013, it is his view that the CCM Administration has no clear thought-out plan as to how it is going to shape the country for the next five years.
Hector indicated that the budget has come late in the year and he believed that this is because the focus was on the no confidence motion and unity government issues in St. Kitts, therefore the finance and spending in Nevis took a second place while the activities of St. Kitts took priority.
He further stated that it is so sad that the budget was so politicized. He opined that the mover’s presentation was seeking to do the impossible and that is trying desperately to erase the legacy of the Nevis Reformation Party (NRP). This is instead of trying to be innovative and present a road map for reinvigorating the growth of the economy and rather than crafting policies and programs to improve the life of all Nevisians.
‘Neither the CCM government past, present, future, before now or later will be able to erase the legacy of the NRP. There contribution to development in this country can’t be erased easily’, commented Hector.
During the rebuttal to the 2013 Budget, Hon. Hector told the new administration that ‘as a government you will be judged on performance and this present government is faced with the task of bringing their ideas forward’. He stated that it is sad that what he saw last week Friday, April 26, 2013, was a failed attempt to copy and reproduce the policies of the same government (NRP) that they criticized and trying to steal their programs and parade as if they were new things.
According to Hon. Hector the budget presented by the mover, offered nothing new for the island of Nevis. He was of the view that it would have been a better exercise if the mover had simply said, ‘I will copy the policy of the NRP party, I endorse the programs of the NRP party’ and having done that just sit and end the budget.
Area representative for Nevis 1 stated that the DNA of Joseph Parry is all over the document that is, the Budget 2013. In his opinion he said it seemed like the idea behind the budget was ‘just to take the key components of Joseph Parry’s budget of last year and color them blue’.
Hector read sections from the 2012 budget by the NRP and with the help of Hon. Carlisle Powell both men demonstrated to the public by reading paragraphs from the 2012 budget that the 2013 budget was word for word.
He continued, ‘and if they were to take away the obvious statements that are only attempts at false posturing and grandstanding, the justification to dismiss poor cleaners, to terrorize Permanent Secretaries and to subtract what was copied from the NRP, then the budget presented by the Premier would be empty’.
He said as he examined the proposal it became clear to him that the present Premier does not understand his functions so he chose to recycle some of the policies that NRP used during the tough times. However, he commented that if ‘they (CCM) are forced to adopt something they don’t understand they will very well make a mockery of such things’.
He further stated that during the campaign for the recently concluded local election he warned Nevisians that the CCM Government would take Nevis back in time. He stated that as he sat and soaked in what was being presented in Friday’s budget he realized that Nevisians were truly ‘fooled’.
Hon. Hector stated that Nevisians had elected a government with no vision, no plans and no programs of their own. He referred to the CCM Government as a ‘copycat government’. He said he searched the address over and over looking for just one major project and there was none. He said it seems like all they (the CCM Administration) ever planned was to fire poor people as soon as they got into office.
Hector noted that the budget offered nothing new for the poor and he challenged anyone on the Government side to demonstrate to him any new policy in the budget.
He referred to former Premier Joseph Parry as the most productive Premier that this island would ever have.