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In MoBay: 'No money for Budget'

Published:Friday | May 25, 2012 | 12:00 AM

There was little enthusiasm or interest in downtown Montego Bay, St James, yesterday as Finance Minister Dr Peter Phillips disclosed how the Government plans to finance the $612-billion Estimates of Expenditure for the 2012-2013 fiscal year.

It was like finding a needle hidden in a hay stack as The Gleaner travelled the streets to find individuals who were watching the live broadcast of Phillips' presentation.

However, this newspaper struck some form of luck in Sam Sharpe Square where the customary faces at The Cage turned on a television set in the back of the historic landmark, now operating as a souvenir shop, to listen to the finance minister.

The more than two-hourlong speech was met with mixed reactions from the small gathering of six mature men.

"The tax package that him put forward, I don't believe it will work because him have a shortfall already," said Patrick 'Coates' Moody. "He wants to do whole heap of things, but the money is not there to do it."

The shortfall to which Moody referred was the fact that only some $312 billion would be raised in taxes from the raft of measures announced by Phillips.

"I have no interest in what them saying. It is all about politics for the two sides (People's National Party and the Jamaica Labour Party)," commented a man who exited the room quickly when he saw that the Budget presentation in progress.

nagra.plunkett@gleanerjm.com