16th December 2018
Why the 2019 National Budget is One of the Worst Budgets Ever in Sierra Leone History!
By a press release (24/11/18)
Since political independence in 1961, several governments have come and gone, presenting their budgets year after year with less contention.
But this year's budget presented by the New Direction SLPP Finance Minister Jacob Jusu Saffa in the well of parliament is unarguably one of the most contentious one. (Photo: Finance Minister JJ Saffa, facing serious criticism for his maiden Budget).
Though the budget has some goodies, it is replete with a plethora of lacunas, inconsistecies and irrelevancies which prompted a heated debate that some opposition APC parliamentarians have described as "fraudulent, bogus and a criminal budget."
Those who had the chance to watch the debate live on SLBC TV really enjoyed the drama as parliamentarians of both the ruling SLPP party and the opposition parties locked horns in scrutinizing what political pundits have described as one of the most controversial budgets in the country's history.
The ruling SLPP party members of parliament generally saw nothing wrong with the 2019 budget as they defended it with fire in their bellies. But even they have realised the mammoth task at hand to convince the entire law makers to support the budget.
On the other hand, opposition MPs indiscreetly pointed out the numerous fake and inconsistent figures; the inflated budgetary allocation to less significant offices at the expense of those that touch the lives of the ordinary Sierra Leoneans.
And the allocation of funds for already financed, unnecessary and newly completed projects, notably the Matotoka-Sefadu Road completed some two years ago; the issue of tax burden on the private sector; overspending, and a range of other important issues the 2019 budget failed to capture.
A critical look at the budget as well as the debate surrounding it, one would begin to wonder whether the loudmouth and self-praised economist, JJ Blood Saffa (fake Salone Adam Smith) actually held adequate research and consultations with experts and relevant institutional authorities before preparing this "shinka budget" as described by one vibrant opposition APC MP. Or was it deliberately prepared with a "shinka and fraudulent" motive?
However, after the conclusion of the debate in the well of parliament on Monday, the budget has now been sent to the sub-committees of the committee of supply for a properly detailed scrutiny before it comes back to the whole House for approval.
Courtesy: The APC Global Media Network (TAGMEN)