Mark: Gov't asking for a "blank cheque"

Opposition Senator Wade Mark is calling on the government to let the population know exactly what projects monies will be allocated to as it seeks to raise its borrowing ceiling.

Speaking in the senate this morning on the Loans Ceiling Act, Mark questioned where the monies would be allocated as he said the government appears to be asking for a “blank cheque” without explanation as to development projects. Mark said the country is at a standstill while everything is “under review.”

The Opposition Senator went on to ask for details regarding how Finance Minister Colm Imbert arrived at the $50 billion ceiling proposed in the motion.

However, it was the debt to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio that Mark said was of particular concern. The three motions brought to parliament seek to collectively raise the borrowing ceiling of the government from $70 billion to $120 billion, effectively raising the country’s debt to GDP ratio from current levels of 46 per cent. Mark warned that the country’s children are at risk of having their future mortgaged.

In his contribution to the debate, Independent Senator Stephen Creese agreed with Mark on the effect the increased debt to GDP ratio will have on the future of the country’s children. Senator Creese, however, said that borrowing is now necessary.

He added that consideration must be given to an exit strategy where there is state involvement in Enterprise. Creese urged government to examine whether this model is both still prudent and relevant, saying for decades what has been developed was a state-capitalist model and an exit strategy has not been created.

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