Below is a speech by Edward Seaga on the occasion of the PricewaterhouseCoopers post-Budget briefing on June 12.
Imagine a corporation where the CEOs and senior executives can remain in office until they are carted out in wheelchairs, wrinkled, toothless and in advanced stage of dementia as they reach three score and 30. Then picture them having to work only 10 years in order to qualify for a pension equal to the salary of the person who currently occupies the post...
The sweltering, agonisingly punishing heat in the country will soon be accompanied by an even more intense inflationary heat, as the price increases from the recent Budget begin to bite unsparingly. It will feel hotter than Brian Wynter's 10-12 per cent inflation projection.
Two Thursdays ago, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) issued a statement on Jamaica following its Article IV consultations with local authorities. Everyone should find that statement quite instructive.
Jamaica's Budget has been widely described, including by Finance Minister (MOF) Peter Phillips, as an 'austerity Budget'. Seriously? Ignoring economic mumbo-jumbo used by 'expert' analysts to regularly pollute the discussion, this is what's real. This Budget's recurrent expenditure estimates total $375 billion (7% above 2011-12). Annual inflation for 2011 was 6%. Where's the 'austerity'?
Dr Peter Phillips' first Budget as minster of finance has come and gone. As usual, the commentators had a field day scrutinising the numbers and offering alternative perspectives as to what should be included and what should be deleted.
Robbie Earle, the first man to score a goal for Jamaica at the World Cup finals, chronicled how then Minister of Sports Portia Simpson Miller contributed to the Reggae Boyz World Cup experience in France 1998. Earle reported that the night before their first game against Croatia, the entire squad watched in horror a TV documentary by Britain's Channel 4 which painted a very unfair picture of the Boyz's camp in Jamaica.
With the Budget Debate behind us, what has the State done to our current state of mind? I am guessing it will depend on your perspective.If you are the Government, you are hoping that the Budget holds; that the people will understand your explanation for higher taxes; there will be no unexpected disruptions like hurricanes, a global recession, a sliding dollar or increased interest rates...