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Amateur dramatics

Saturday, October 7, 2017

The past few days, since Monday’s Budget, have seen plenty of soap opera moments. The pantomime over the “who said what in relation to whom” at the Chamber of Commerce’s post budget debate being just one of them.

The opposition’s response and the pretty unimpressive protest staged yesterday against the budget added to the colourful week we witnessed.

The concern is that all this noise is hiding the more important matters related to the budget. Minister of Finance Colm Imbert is right to say everyone must make sacrifices if we are to get out of the economic hole we found ourselves in. We can’t agree more.

As we stated soon after the budget was announced, the problem is that the government seems to have ignored itself. It’s true that overall public spending is forecast to continue to fall. We praise that.

However, the government remains silent on what else it should be doing to move us away from an insanely high level of subsidies (how can we continue to justify subsidising the equivalent of budget airline prices for fully flexible tickets on the air bridge?) and the ongoing transfers to barely functional and usually bloated state-owned enterprises. This must stop.

When the government fixes its own profligacy, poor governance and low productivity, then it will be able to claim the moral high ground over sterile debates and calls for sacrifices elsewhere. And no theatrics will make these problems go away, either.

On your bus

Just over a week ago, workers at the state bus company PTSC in San Fernando downed tools following an accident at its garage which left a worker with a broken leg.

There is no question that Health and Safety in the workplace must be taken seriously and every business—private and state-owned—must aim for a zero-accident environment. And we wish the injured worker full recovery from the accident.

It’s troubling, though, that members of the public (the very same who pay the wages of PTSC’s workers through fares and state transfers) are still without the transport services they are expected to be provided with.

Scoring for the future

As we continue to lament our national team’s disappointing campaign for the World Cup finals in Russia, spare a thought to this season’s Secondary Schools Football League.

It’s great to see so much quality football and drive by our young players. If you have a chance, go and see a match. If you can’t, watch it on CNC3. At Guardian Media, we are proud to be supporting this inspiring competition with such an inspiring group of young people.


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