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Tuesday, April 25, 2006 

Browne sits in as opposition leader at IMF meeting

Tuesday April 25 2006

by Marabel Jacobs

City West MP Gaston Browne, stand-in for the Leader of the Opposition Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin, who had a previous engagement, met with officials from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to discuss the country’s economy.

During the meeting, the MP reportedly characterised the UPP government as a most exclusive, incompetent and value destructive government.

He made his comments in the context of the added EC$75 million in revenue raised from taxation and organic growth which he said the UPP destroyed in sustaining a gigantic Cabinet, extensive travel costs including overseas travel and the purchase of a plethora of sport utility vehicles for public officials. He also blasted the government for its unnecessary nepotistic employment policies.

Browne stated he expressed to the IMF officials that the former ALP government delivered superior service to the populace with less resources and expressed serious concerns about the UPP’s ceremonial rhetoric and its inability to deliver good value for money to the people.

Concerns were also expressed about the reduction in the rate of economic growth and development, including the deterioration in the country’s physical infrastructure, excessively high utility prices, the lack of new investments, the country’s worsening fiscal position and the reported victimising policies of the UPP government.

Browne recommended several value creating initiatives in the offshore financial services sector, informatics, fisheries and the use of intellectual capital to facilitate national development.

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