Selby: Constitutional reform needed
Former finance minister Selby Wilson has called on Government to streamline the national budget process and embark on constitutional reform as promised in its manifesto.
Wilson made the statement during a question-and-answer segment as the Greater Tunapuna Chamber of Commerce hosted its post-budget forum at the Ken Galt Hall, Centre of Excellence, Macoya, on Thursday night.
Wilson complimented Minister of Finance Larry Howai for producing a budget in three months and for giving recognition to public servants whom he said have been treated like second class citizens despite their work and knowledge.
But he said the Government needed to look at the entire process of how the budget is developed.
Wilson said the Government in its own manifesto indicated that it intended to establish an economic development board and strengthen institutions that look at the development.
"Efforts at consultation that take place two, three or four months before the budget are totally inadequate in my view...and it will always seem as the Government is appeasing those with influence," he said.
Wilson said that situation had to change and the Government must develop a more robust, analytical and continuing process which engaged all stakeholders (NGOs, business, unions, etc) that will go toward informing policy direction.
"We have to get away from individual and ad hoc consultation," he said.