The leader of the United Progressive Party (UPP) Harold Lovell has said the government should not totally rely on the Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP) to sustain the country.
Lovell also accused the Gaston Browne-led administration of fiscal mismanagement where the programme is concerned.
Speaking on Observer Radio this morning, the UPP head said CIP funds should be used to deal with a broad spectrum of fiscal issues.
“I believe the CIP, the funds from the CIP, time and time again we have said it, you should have a very clear idea of the things you want to do with the CIP funds. It cannot be a case where the government becomes totally dependent on CIP funds. The CIP funds we all accept should be used for capital expenditure, the debt reduction and doing things which are sustainable and have a lasting effect. It should not be a little piggy bank for the government,” Lovell said.
He added that the UPP, in 2013, “brought in” $600 million in comparison to the over $800 million the current government raised last year-some $200 million more.
Lovell said despite challenges then, “we paid salary, we paid pension, we were able to meet most of our budgetary requirements…”
He questioned, “So how is it that we now reach that stage where without CIP, literally, the country cannot move? That I don’t understand.”
According to him, the government should not use symptoms of mismanagement to show that it is necessary in order for the country to survive.
The CIP came into being in 2013 under the stewardship of then prime minister Baldwin Spencer; however, Lovell reminded that the UPP ran the country without the programme being in place.