Budget, full of election promises - SLFP | Daily News

Budget, full of election promises - SLFP

This is the first time, a budget had been prepared without taking into the account short-term or long-term implications of its decisions, indicating that it is not only populist but also election centric with many blanket statements and manifesto like promises, said Sri Lanka Freedom Party Propaganda Secretary Ranjith Siyambalapitiya.

Speaking at the SLFP headquarters, Siyambalapitiya said that it was evident in the budget that the country’s interest payable on loans outweighs its revenue. “The country’s revenue stands at Rs.2,390 billion but the loans and interest is at Rs.2,400 billion. This is the first time, our country has been in this position.”

He also referred to the many promises made in the budget saying that the government did not have a clear mandate as to how it was going to generate this revenue to meet increasing expenses.

“The only way is to tax the general public and at this rate, given the expected expenditures, every Sri Lanka is indebted to a tune of Rs. 16590. If you deduct the loans that the country would get, a citizen will still be taxed a sum of Rs. 14 000, in order to meet this budget.”

He added that many of the promises in the budget are targetted at the elections adding that increments of government sector salaries is due in June, while Samurdhi funds would be dispensed in November. He also mentioned that the budget does not include anything for the farmers, a matter which every government has attended to in every budget.

Meanwhile, General Secretary of the SLFP Dayasiri Jayasekara questioned as to funds allocated to various sectors during the last budget. “A sum of 30 million was allocated for the Ministry of Education but only 8 million had been spent. What of the remaining funds,” he queried.

“It was also mentioned in the budget that the government was intending to facilitate 600,000 Samurdhi beneficiaries. This is in addition to the number the government repeatedly said when it took over. This only means that 600,000 more people have become poorer during the last four years,” he said. “This is proof and acceptance of the fact that poor have become poorer and the government needs to compensate for its flawed economic policies.”


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