Youth say they are not impressed with the 2016 budget, following its presentation by Finance Minister Colm Imbert during his 2016 Budget presentation in Parliament this afternoon.
Final year economics student at the University of the West Indies, Shaquille Woodsley, concurs with his economics colleagues that the 2016 budget was one that continues to foster dependency, and very little was presented - if anything at all, regarding sustainable development.
"I am not impressed," he told Triniscene.com. "They didn't deal with youth priorities in a meaningful way for example. It was a politically correct budget because the Government understands that they have to play things safe politically in order to appease the population, or else risk unpopularity."
Minister Imbert says the government had its hands tied regarding expenditure given the state of the economy and financial commitments they had to fulfill due to the actions of the previous administration. One of the criticisms levelled by the current econmics student Johnathan Seecharan and Economics graduate T'Vaughn Lewis was the removal of the fuel subsidy.
Diesel is set move from $1.50 to $1.72 while Super will move up to $3.11 from $2.70. Premium remains untouched. The Finance Minister said that the wealthy will continue to pay the unchaged price for premium, while the price changes will benefit the average citizen. However, Lewis and Seecharan say the untouched Premium price makes no sense, given that the majority of the population uses Diesel and Super fuel. "The people who use Premium can afford it, so if you remove the subsidy from Premium, that section of the population will be able to afford it anyway," said Johnathan Seecharan, a final year economics student at the University of the West Indies.
They also criticised GATE saying that much could have been done regarding a more targetted approach to GATE, and want to see a scholarship model applied to the programme that will benefit the country more.