I am calling on Finance Minister, Colm Imbert to “end a growing habit of silence and secrecy by his Government” and tell the nation how he intends to manage the fallout from lower the budgeted natural gas prices.
I am deeply concerned over falling natural gas prices which is now approximately US$2.37 per MMBTU, far lower than budgeted at US$2.75 per MMBTU. The Government budgeted at a natural gas price assumption of US$2.75, up from the previous administration’s price peg of US$2.25; and they did so despite better advice to temper their assumptions.
“Today, with the natural gas price being far lower than budgeted, all we are seeing is an increasing level of silence and secrecy by the Keith Rowley Government on issues that have a direct impact on the daily lives of citizens.” “My administration was committed to transparent Government and kept the nation updated at all times on issues such as oil and gas prices and their impact on national budgeting. This is why in January of this year when global energy prices fell I appreciated the need to act decisively by telling citizens of the impact of falling prices, and strategies to mitigate challenges.”
“Yet now, Dr Keith Rowley’s Government has taken the route of what he calls ‘golden silence’, by saying and doing nothing as crisis after crisis negatively impacts the quality of life of citizens. The natural gas price assumption is important to how the economy will fare in the coming months and years as the majority of our nation’s energy revenue comes from natural gas.”
Economic management requires “transparency and a population that was fully aware of challenges and intended plans” Am calling on Finance Minister Colm Imbert to make a clear statement to the public on the impact of lower than budgeted natural gas prices, and how the Government will work to protect citizens from undue hardship.
“The population must always be aware of the State of the nation’s economy, because it is ultimately the citizens whose work, productivity and dedication to a plan and vision that will drive the economy forward.”
“Wherever the Keith Rowley Government tries to hide issues and govern in secrecy, we will ensure the nation understands the challenges that face us, and the strategies that must be adopted to preserve the growth and stability we restored over the past five years.”