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Arvin Boolell: Budget Falls Short, Middle Class Ignored



Arvin Boolell: Budget Falls Short, Middle Class Ignored
Image source: Defi Media

Leader of the Opposition Arvin Boolell has criticized the 2024-2025 budget, describing it as “electoralist, disconnected, and disappointing” that failed to address fundamental issues. In a press conference held at the opposition leader’s office, Boolell pointed out that the budget does not provide adequate measures to mitigate the impact of inflation on the population, particularly the middle class.

Boolell emphasized that the government’s failure to address the issue of rising medicine prices is particularly concerning.

“There is no mention of the drug problem or Law and Order issues,” he said.

He also criticized the government’s handling of the economy, citing the dismantling of the Bank of Mauritius (BAI) and the compensation paid to Betamax and Patel Engineering for contractual breaches.

Boolell highlighted that since 2019, the purchasing power of citizens has significantly decreased, while public debt has increased.

“When we examine the figures presented by the Minister of Finance, we see a camouflage of reality regarding debt and growth,” he said.

“The life will become even more expensive, and who will bear the consequences?”

Reza Uteem, president of the Mouvement Militant Mauricien (MMM), echoed similar concerns, stating that the budget is disappointing because it does not bring any new measures.

“For five years, this Minister of Finance has been serving us the same dish. He financed his measures through inflation, devaluation, and loans,” Uteem said.

Uteem pointed out that the government expects to collect Rs 182 billion in taxes, compared to Rs 156 billion previously. “He gives us something and takes it back,” he lamented.

He also emphasized that another way to finance the government’s activities is through public debt, which is expected to increase by Rs 42 billion to reach Rs 567 billion.

Uteem noted that many people are disappointed with the budget, particularly due to the absence of salary adjustments.

He also criticized the government’s handling of gas prices, stating that despite a decrease in price from Rs 240 to Rs 190, it is still more expensive than in 2022.

Khushal Lobine, a member of Nouveaux Démocrates, supported these views, describing the budget as “defeatist” and stating that it is a reflection of a government in its final days.

“There is no ‘wow effect’ in this budget,” he said. He emphasized that important themes such as blue economy and measures to stem emigration have been ignored.

The opposition leaders’ comments came as the government prepared to table its budget in Parliament.

The leaders’ criticisms suggesting that they will continue to scrutinize the government’s fiscal policies and demand more effective measures to address pressing issues affecting Mauritian citizens.

Source: Defi Media

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