Fabian Demicoli

The Budget that was stupidly botched

All of us from the civil society front – employers'
associations, trade unions and
NGOs representing civil society representative in general know now how stupid
and irresponsible it was for Parliament to vote out the Budget for 2013. No one
gained anything except the political fanatics and people with an axe to grind.

The rest of us suffered unnecessarily as practically
most projects and schemes have been squeezed out due to lack of funds. The
Finance Ministry has been put in an extremely tight corner. All those who know anything
about Budgeting know that most public expense goes on programmes and
initiatives. These are the Government projects financed directly or partly
through EU Funding that mostly effect enterprise and civil society. No one in
his right senses plans to make all these groups suffer. But that's what
actually happens when there is no Budget approval. All Parliaments know this.
They all pass Budgets even if diluted to non-controversial issues. But
Budgets are approved. Even more so if an election is due as this implys a
relatively long period of no action. Experienced and loyal politicians do not
permit civil society to pay the price for politicians bickering.

Now we are all in the doldrums. Unnecessarily we await
the new Government, the opening of a new Parliament and the commencement of
Budget procedures all over again. It may be the end of many by the time the
exchequer is re-opened. This was one sheer irresponsible act that the country
could have done without.

Hopefully politicians will learn from this experience
and never again play with the livelihood of people and the good of the country
for silly political gain.

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