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Apr 1, 2016

Dr. Carla Barnett Supports Consultations During Budget Formulation

Carla Barnett

Government has come under fire for failing to consult with the Opposition and the social partners during the process of putting together the annual 2016/2017 budget.  All, with the exception of the U.D.P. senators, agreed and were vocal that the Barrow administration should have sought input from the various organizations when drafting the financial plan.  Doctor Carla Barnett had her own views on the matter of consultations attesting that such should have been the case. She recalled that during her tenure as Financial Secretary in the past administration, it was a practice to hold consultations with stakeholders.

 

Dr. Carla Barnett, U.D.P. Senator

“I want to close by encouraging the Ministry of Finance and the line ministries to increase the degree of consultation with their stakeholders as they prepare their annual work programs and expenditure plans.  It would not surprise my colleague Senator Courtenay that I strongly advocate consultation.  When I was financial secretary I had the privilege and the opportunity to institute a series of consultations in the preparation of several budgets.  It was a different time.  It was a different situation.  Those consultations first arose as a strategy at the time to build consensus in a situation in which government had lost all policy credibility and needed to bring people together around difficult policy decisions that had to be made if we were going to have any chance of success, of doing things like significant fiscal cutbacks, like restructuring the debt the first time.  We needed to bring everybody onboard.  Things have changed significantly now.  But not because we are not at that level of desperation means that we do not do the consultation that would make people be more participating and more owning of the work that is done.”

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