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MP Stéphanie Anquetil Ejected After Her Fiery Budget Reality Check



MP Stéphanie Anquetil Ejected After Her Fiery Budget Reality Check
Image source: Le Mauricien

Labour Party MP Stéphanie Anquetil was expelled from the chamber by Speaker Sooroojdev Phokeer at the end of her speech on the 2024-25 budget. Anquetil believed that this budget is a “budget of the end of an era”, without vision or economic stimulus.

She contrasted this with the optimism expressed by Finance Minister Renganaden Padayachy, who has called the budget “Tomorrow is Ours”. In her view, the budget is actually a plan for future public debt.

Anquetil criticized the budget for being a repetition of projects that have been promised but not delivered. She cited the example of the Rivière-des-Anguilles Dam, which has been promised since 2015 but has not yet been completed.

“Since 2015, we have been promised 24/7 water supply, but in reality, the population has only received 24 seconds of water,” she said. This, she claimed, shows that the government is a “dream seller” or “vander siro”.

The opposition MP also accused the MSM and its allies of using public funds to finance their election campaigns.

She warned that prices will skyrocket in the next month and blamed the government for failing to protect consumers’ purchasing power.

“The budget is creating an illusion of well-being. The MSM has introduced a culture of living on credit. Workers are indebted just to fill their stomachs,” she said.

Anquetil also criticized the government for consistently devaluing the Mauritian rupee since 2015, which has led to price inflation.

She regretted the lack of measures to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which she described as the “poor cousin” of the budget.

She promised that if her party, the PTr, comes to power, it will take measures to stabilize SMEs.

Anquetil also criticized the government’s lack of strong measures to protect victims of domestic violence.

She noted that the allocation of Rs 5,000 announced in the budget was insufficient and that extending maternity leave was not enough compared to the PTr’s proposal for a one-year maternity leave.

Finally, Anquetil addressed the scandal surrounding shelters and promised that her party will offer a second tranche of pension increase in January 2025.

She pointed out that the pension increase from Rs 13,500 to Rs 17,000 was a promise made by Pravind Jugnauth in 2019 and should have been implemented in 2020.

However, it was only increased in June 2023, resulting in a loss of Rs 4,500 per month for each retiree.

During her speech, Anquetil was interrupted several times by Speaker Phokeer, who ordered her to retract certain statements about Finance Minister Padayachy. At the end of her speech, she was ejected from the chamber for continuing to suggest advice to the majority.

Source: Le Mauricien

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