Kingston, Jamaica: The Parliamentary Opposition has described the 2011/2012 Budget as “poorly organized” and unlikely to resolve the nation’s economic troubles.
The budget, which was tabled last Thursday, shows that the government will be spending $545 billion over the next 12 months.
However, Opposition Spokesman on Finance, Dr. Omar Davies, said the budget is lacking in many areas.
“Obviously, the major statement by the administration of its plans for the fiscal year promises nothing which can give any hope to the country. The administration has recorded three consecutive years of negative growth and there is nothing in the budget that will suggest any hope or any difference for this fiscal year or for the medium term,” Dr. Davies said.
Davies pointed to critical areas which he says did not receive much attention in the formulation of the Estimates of Expenditure.
“The social sectors, particularly health, we are expecting to see something within the budget to address the many problems which have been identified, there is nothing there.”
Kingstown, St. Vincent and the Grenadines: Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves visited the northeast coast of the country on Monday to assess the damage after heavy rains last week.
The damage is described as extensive and is estimated to be in the millions.
The Prime Minister said the recent passing of Hurricane Tomas affected houses and crops but this particular system caused significantly more damage to the physical infrastructure.
Dr. Gonsalves said the integrity of certain landmarks such as the Brea and Mount Young bridges have been compromised and the bridge at Langley Park has been completely washed away; cutting off the north of Langley Park from the rest of the country.
Gonsalves said it is likely that areas affected will experience water shortage throughout this week and noted that the Central Water and Sewage Authority will be working to address this problem.
Belize City, Belize: Police are investigating the murder of Samuel Price, the younger brother of former Prime Minister George Price.
The bludgeoned 84-year-old was found slouched over a bathtub on the second floor of his Tarpon Cove, Northern Highway residence, just outside Belize City, on Saturday.
Initial reports suggest there may have been a break-in at the house.
A statement issued by the Belize Police Department said Price’s nephew discovered his body.
Price is survived by his older brother, as well as two sisters – former government minister Jane Usher and historian Meg Craig.
Hamilton, Bermuda: Thirteen years after its formation, the Bahamas Democratic Movement (BDM) has disbanded and joined the ruling Free National Movement (FNM).
The move was given the unanimous consent of the FNM Central Council.
BDM Leader Cassius Stuart, who said the past 11 years had been “a long struggle” to bring about positive change in the country, explained that his party had joined the FNM because it believed that organization is willing to embrace new leadership, new vision and new energy.
“While we know that this decision may be troubling for some of our supporters, we want to assure you that we believe this decision is in the best interest of our membership and for our country,” said Stuart.
The BDM was formed in late 1998 and was officially launched in February 2000.
Stuart said although it was not easy, after months of discussions and deliberations, the BDM concluded the move was “the right one and at the right time”.
He said that FNM leader, Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham, had assured him that the next five years would be dedicated to adding value to the lives of residents, just as the BDM had worked towards.
In welcoming Stuart and his colleagues into the FNM fold, Ingraham invited the new members to join in renewing the ruling party’s values during their 40th anniversary this year.