Grenada: Minister of Finance discusses reconstruction fund with TUC

Wednesday, June 09, 2005: St. George's: The Minister of Finance, Hon Anthony Boatswain, and other senior officials of the Ministry of Finance met with representatives of the Trade Union Council (TUC) this week to discuss the establishment of the Reconstruction Fund and the implementation of the 5% contribution which was proposed in the 2005 Budget.

Reporting on the current status of the proposal, the Minister said that Government has agreed on an exempt threshold of $1,000 and is currently reviewing for the persons earning above $5,000 monthly, including the self-employed. He also emphasised the need for the Fund given:

The significant fiscal imbalance caused by the rapid increases in expenditure and sharp reductions in revenue; and

The need for a strong signal to the donor community that Grenadians are ready to join the aid donors in contributing to the Fund.

The Minister further went on to say that Government is planning to meet with various stakeholders to discuss the matter and is currently putting together a consultation schedule.

The TUC expressed objection to the Government's proposal and stated it had difficulty supporting the implementation of the 5% contribution, at this time, since some workers are still recovering from the effects of Hurricane Ivan, with some persons having to secure second mortgages to repair their homes.

The meeting agreed that Government would continue to have consultations with the TUC and other stakeholders.

Minister Boatswain encouraged the TUC to be the 'watchdog' in ensuring transparency in the administration of the Reconstruction Fund.

Ministry of Finance, Industry and Planning, (473) 440-2731