Foreign Affairs and Other Ministries Suffer Cuts
Despite the prime minister being mum about specific tax increases, it is known that ministries will experience cutbacks in their budgets. Minister of Foreign Affairs Elrington confirms his ministry is being affected.
“The Prime Minister has mentioned that there will be fiscal constraints by way of belt-tightening and what-have-you. In terms of the budget for the upcoming financial year, will there be certain cutbacks in terms of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, for instance?”
Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs
“I think we will be getting some cutbacks. I’m sure that is going to be the case. As a matter of fact, I should be having a meeting in the next half an hour with my CEO for us to go over the implications. We had a meeting and what was presented to us is going to have some reduction in our budget, but the depth of it I will be discussing with my CEO this afternoon.”
“Not to preempt what will come out of that meeting, but do you fear that there may be some offices closed down outside of the country?”
“No. I’m sure that won’t happen. I’m positive that won’t happen. As a matter of fact, I’d like to think that first of all the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is exceedingly important. It is very important for our national security, my only regret is that we don’t have embassies in every country, like Cuba did because that was what held them in good stance when they had all this embargo from the United States. They had embassies all over the world and they were able to develop friends and great support to withstand the embargo. But I am sure, positive that we are not going to experience any reduction in our embassies or any reduction in our personnel in our embassies. We will be able to make do with what we get.”
As we said, the 2017 budget will be presented in the House of Representatives on Monday, ahead of a two-day debate in the weeks to follow.