Daily Archive for August 5th, 2008

Difference between needs and wants

Newsday Editorial
Monday, August 4 2008

TT CurrencyDoes the Government understand the difference between luxuries and necessities? It does not seem so, if comments made earlier this week by Finance Minister Karen Nunez-Tesheira are any indication.

Admitting that Government spending has contributed to double-digit inflation, Ms Nunez-Tesheira nonetheless insisted that the expenditure was a “necessary investment”. But Government’s main contribution to the spiralling inflation rate has been through its construction programme, and most of these projects cannot be considered investments in any real sense. The $148 million spent on the still incomplete Prime Minister’s residence and Diplomatic Centre certainly pays no returns, and was entirely unnecessary. The building of a Government campus and Social Affairs tower and an Education Ministry edifice cannot be defined as investments, either. Even if we accept Prime Minister Patrick Manning’s argument that the public servants who will work in these buildings will be more productive because of the comfort of their workspace, we very much doubt they will be productive to the tune of billions of dollars.
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