Hakim media Bureau: To adopt austerity budget in line with economic plan suggested in March

The budget in Lebanon bleeds under the heavy weight of irrational spending making the public debt service a real danger on the public finances, a statement issued by the Economy Minister media office said on Wednesday, calling to adopt the economic plan which the economy ministry suggested in March 2016 and which was not listed on the cabinet’s agenda for unknown reasons.

The statement pointed out that the irrational spending is the responsibility of the successive cabinets not of the current one only, stressing that adopting the economic plan presented by the ministry is the only solution to exit the chronic deficit which was translated into a general debt doubled during the last ten years (2005-2015) in the absence of budgets.

The statement said “We (the ministry) are taken aback by the words of some minister s’ statements that the financial situation is not catastrophic. We reiterate that the Lebanese economy is in a state of resilience but that does not apply to the public finances; and this is documented in the numbers of the Finance Ministry which show that the budget deficit for the year 2015 exceeds four billion US Dollars, almost 10% of the GDP (gross domestic product).”

The statement pointed out that checking the spending structure would show that the random employment put the wages budget on top of the spending items with more than 4.7 billion dollars just similar to that of the public debt service, underscoring that with such numbers the income (9.62 billion dollars) of the year 2015 covers only these two items which means any additional disbursement, such as supporting EDL and operating expenses, automatically turns into a deficit.

The statement urged the government to adopt austerity budget in line with the economic plan that the ministry of Economy presented to the cabinet in March 2016, hoping with these two procedures the state would regain control on the public finances .

Source: National News Agency

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