Leader of the New National Vision (NNV) Fuad Abu Bakr described Monday’s budget as an assault on people in lower and middle-income brackets and said attempts at diversifying the economy were woefully inadequate.
When Newsday spoke to Bakr yesterday he said while he was pleased with government’s stance on taxing banks he was disappointed in its continued failure to address widespread wastage of funds, financial mismanagement and economic diversification.
“What really concerned me is that you can’t tax yourself out of a recession or out of a difficult period. You need to invest in areas that will allow you to diversify and to move forward and not have the problem reoccurring.
All politicians have spoken about diversification for umpteen years but yet there is no commitment for diversification.”
He said unless proper measures were implemented to regulate expenditure and corruption on the part of public officials, there would be an increase in crime, adding that the budgetary allocation to the National Security Ministry was not enough to ensure the safety of citizens.
“There’s a lot of pressure on young people who have just begun working and who are not trying to find their footing in the working world.
We are going to see a spiralling of crime due to these new initiatives as well, because as the economic situation worsens, the poor and vulnerable who are at risk, that is going to increase until the end of this year.
The $6.2 billion that we consistently spend on national security, we will see no value from that.”
Bakr also called on government to get firm with WASA and TTEC in increasing productivity and minimising wastage and ensuring maximum productivity.
“Those are the areas in which we can cut back and get tough on.
He should have said that a subsidy will be placed on energy-saving light bulbs or more energy-efficient initiatives to try and channel the public towards conserving resources.”