Young: A generous budget
Bankers' Association president Richard Young has assessed the 2012/2013 national budget as generous, contrary to earlier signals of austerity.
"I couldn't see where the austerity measures will come in. There were no major increases in taxes, except for the reintroduction of the Land and Building Tax. The minister did talk about getting value for money regarding government expenditure, but how that will be achieved is still to be seen," Young told the Express in a telephone interview after the budget was presented in Parliament on Monday.
He added that perhaps recent political issues like the Section 34 fiasco probably caused the government to reassess its plan.
Young's former banking colleague, now Finance Minister Larry Howai, delivered the budget on Monday.
"I thought it was an excellent delivery for Mr Howai in his maiden budget speech," Young said, although he noted he did not get a clear connect between this budget and previous ones.
"I liked hearing about assessing and reviewing tax policies and administration. That was heartening to hear, but will it get done?" he queried.
He was not impressed with the increase in premium gasoline prices, noting the one adjustment to make an impact would have been reducing the diesel subsidy.
"The minister said he was going to raise revenues of $50.7 billion, with $20 billion from energy and $31 billion from non-energy, but we need some more details on how that is going to happen," Young said.