Monday, October 21, 2002

Damien Smith takes on Patrick Manning's 2003 budget from 4,000 miles away.

"The real problem with what Manning's announced is that he sounds as if he really expects his measures to amount to something.... There is no major reorganisation, no terminating of programmes, no holding people to account. There is mainly the announcement of spending plans—so many, it turns out, that the failure of a few would not be seen to detract from the whole programme. This is not leadership, it's appeasement—a desire not to rock the boat too much. Many institutions require root-and-branch reform (the health and education sectors); others need to to stopped and restarted from scratch (the police) and still others are merely hopeless, and need to be put to sleep (the Unemployment Relief Programme and PTSC). There is no sign of any of this in this policy-statement-disguised-as-budget. The same people remain in place, carrying out a never-ending series of incremental measures and reforms. Trinidad and Tobago goes on, continuing on the same course, the autopilot firmly switched on.

No comments: