Illegal immigration, gambling impeding national development, says speaker
Illegal immigration, gambling and the national debt are the three biggest impediments to national development, Speaker of the House of Assembly Halson Moultrie said.
“I am of the view that there [are] basically three significant impediments to national development that the Parliament can and must address,” he said as he spoke to a group of teachers at the House last week.
Moultrie said that the illegal migration places a disproportionate burden on the country’s institutions.
“Illegal immigration causes a number of things to happen,” he said.
“Number one, a person who enters the country without a lawful right to do so had already placed themselves in the position of a lawbreaker.
“Secondly, it causes an underground illegal system to develop, because those persons cannot function within the legal framework. It causes an unnatural growth in your society, and it puts an unnatural disproportionate burden on all your institutions.”
He added, “Even worse, illegal immigration causes a river of outflow from the economy. So it causes a circumstance where the economy has to continually find new money, because the circulation of the money is not happening as it should because a lot of it is outflow to other territories.
“That is a major impediment to national development.”
As he also called for gaming houses that have not paid their taxes to have their licenses revoked, Moultrie said that gambling encourages a harmful mindset.
“The gaming industry causes a certain mindset to develop,” he said.
“It is a mindset of success without process, plenty for a little bit, something for nothing.”
Moultrie also said that the cost of servicing the country’s debt takes away from the government’s ability to spend on other projects.
“…The national debt prohibits national development, first of all because in servicing that debt, a portion of the revenue generated, for example just on interest alone on the national debt, 14 cents out of every dollar goes to paying the interest on the national debt,” he said.
“And I am advised, too, by the minister of finance that if we attempted to pay off the national debt, it would require more than 70 cents out of every dollar generated to pay off the national debt.”
He added, “One of the greatest challenges that the executive has and that Parliament is facing is reducing the national debt by controlling executive spending and borrowing.”
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