People Raise Questions as Public Budget Reaches Parliament

2023-04-08 - 5:33 p

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): The government, headed by Crown Prince and Prime Minister Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, approved the 2023 and 2024 budgets, and referred it to the House of Representatives for discussion and approval. 

The government stated that "maintaining financial stability and positive economic growth and creating promising opportunities for citizens was taken into account" while preparing the draft state budget for the years 2023 and 2024.

The draft budget is the most important step that the Council will face, as the budget will decide whether new benefits can be achieved for citizens or not.

The disclosure of budget details will be a moment of truth revealing in which direction the government is heading. Gulf countries have announced new budgets, unveiled large fiscal surpluses, and promised prosperity in the next four years.  Will the budget in Manama include similar things, or will it carry on with more austerity or higher taxes?

At what price will the government set a barrel of oil, noting that Al-Watan newspaper quoted sources that a barrel of oil will be priced at $60.

How much will the expected revenues for the next two years and their expenses be estimated? What important projects will the government accomplish for citizens? What is the fate of financial subsidies for low-income people? How much will the expected deficit be? These are important details and figures that the public opinion is waiting for in order to know what the reality of the economy and the financial situation of the country will be, far from the noise of empty promises made by the government and its officials. 

Will the high cost of living allowance increase? Will the increase of retirees be disbursed again? Will the standard of living of citizens be improved? Will the "overtime" of government employees be included again? 

Also, the budget will be a clear detail of the performance of the council, which the opposition expected to be "the worst" of its predecessors, and will be a practical revelation of the government's approach in light of the citizens' complaints about their livelihood struggles, high unemployment rates and difficulty of living in light of the rising prices.

These popular questions come after repeated government failure to maintain good living conditions, and the government's inability to control spending and fight corruption, which caused a significant rise in public debt despite the rise in oil prices, and its repeated failure to complete the projects approved in previous budgets, as it failed to implement 40% of the projects, in addition to the continuation of the housing crisis, as citizens wait for at least twenty years to obtain a housing unit.

Arabic Version