Contingency Fund abused by Caretaker Government – $4.2 billion of advances left uncleared – new Finance Minister notes

Georgetown, Ministry of Finance, December 4, 2020:

Despite being a caretaker Government and ironically even after acknowledging that they were in caretaker mode, the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) coalition abused the Contingency Fund, withdrawing large sums long after losing the new confidence motion, and leaving a total of $4.2 billion of uncleared Contingency Fund advances. This was noted today by Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance who lamented the state of the economy during an interview.

Much to our astonishment and during the latter part of 2019….after the Caribbean Court of Justice’s (CCJ) ruling in June 2019….no less than G$4.2 billion dollars was drawn from the Contingency Fund to meet a variety of expenditure that had not been budgeted for, he explained.

The Senior Finance Minister reminded that considering that an election was impending and that even though then President Granger had acknowledged himself that his Government was in caretaker mode, the Government nevertheless dipped into the Contingency Fund to draw down on G$4.2 billion from July 2019 onwards until as late as December 2019.

Ironically, the Government had boasted the previous year that they had not used the Contingencies Fund in two years, 2017 and 2018, … and it appeared to have been a matter of great pride to them… yet in the second half of 2019 when they were clearly in caretaker mode, they appeared to have no reservations about turning to the Contingencies Fund and drawing down no less than G$4.2 billion, he stated.

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