Author: Jeevan A. Robinson | Date: 12 November 2019
According to PDM’s Leader, Hon Paul Lewis, he stated: “My Administration will be committed towards finally putting our private sector on a sound growth trajectory.”
Some of the PDM’s Private Sector growth plans include:
A continuation of duty free concessions, business development grants and technical assistance for small businesses.
Implementation of a minimum wage for all Private sector workers.
Reduction in income taxes so that the private sector can benefit and have more monies in their pockets. Further business development grants for the private sector both start ups and existing businesses. Working with private sector businesses for regional marketing exposure to help them earn more revenue.
Within the Construction sector, a reduction of government’s withholding tax from its current high of 15% to around 5%.
Further areas of Private Sector Development by the PDM will include:
Boosting of the construction sector via PDM’s Cork Hill, Foxes Bay and Richmond Hill Clean UP and Rehabilitation Programme.
This programme will involve the cleaning up and refurbishment of properties in these areas by former residents. This will be a huge boost to Montserrat, providing hundreds of new jobs across the board.
PDM have stated that they will continue the conversation with the Montserrat Volcano Observatory to assess the scientific advise requirements towards lowering further the hazard level for these areas. This will give banks and insurance companies the confidence and legal footing to offer their products and services to residents who once lived in these areas and who may wish to go in and do work on their properties.
The Expatriate Residential Tourism Market.
The PDM intends to work quickly to attract Expatriates back to Montserrat in their numbers, by re-establishing Montserrat’s very own Golf Course. The Expatriate Tourism Market will provide jobs not only in the service industry but also within the wider fields of construction support, marketing opportunities, management and real estate, shipping and handling, plus other opportunities.
Work has already been started on a Golf course. The PDM will look at ways to make this a partnership arrangement to bring this Golf Course up to international standards. Further jobs will be provided within the private sector here.
Another area of focus for the PDM Administration will be the active pursuit to bring back a Medical School to Montserrat. Having a medical school will help to push forward Montserrat’s economic activity via direct investment, and foreign capital coming in and turning over within our economy.
A medical school is already scouting for a property to set up here on island. Montserrat will see benefits in job creation in areas such as rental accommodation, job creation for our IT Engineers, Security persons, our respected cleaners, building and maintenance service providers, office attendants, accountants and a whole range of other services both directly and indirectly linked to any medical school that will be located here.
Financial Services and Financial Technology Development for Growth
The PDM will be pursuing this area with vigour for Private Sector growth, as it will bring great benefits to Montserrat, and also help to raise our international profile. The PDM will ensure all the proper legal mechanisms are in place to make Montserrat competitive in this area
Benefits to Montserrat will include:
1. Well paid job creation: Having local-young-tech savvy persons being trained and working in fin-tech will earn that person a much better pay than working within the government of Montserrat. That in itself is growth, where persons making above average salaries spend that money on consumption within the Montserrat economy. The private sector sees a direct benefit.
2. Revenue for Montserrat: Having a blockchain entity will allow the Government of Montserrat to collect registration fees (depending on the size of the entity-the larger the firm; more money in the treasury) so that is a revenue for the government.
PDM’s Economic and Population Growth Strategy (EPGS)
The PDM Team understands fully that Montserrat, despite our best efforts, will struggle to be sustainable without a Population Growth Strategy. Montserrat’s True Pathway to Prosperity and Sustainability is also very much dependent upon us bringing on board Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into Montserrat, with Investors who are willing to set up industries here so that jobs can be created. The PDM’s Economic and Population Growth Strategy (EPGS) will be centred around creating the environment for the realisation of good opportunities for honest, hard-working citizens of this island. The Population Growth Strategy therefore that the PDM will adapt will be built on a four-way approach.
Those are just some of the ways that the PDM intends to uplift the Private Sector here on Montserrat upon being re-elected for a second term following the November 18th elections.