Statement by Charis Polycarpou, Head of the Economic Research Bureau of the C.C.
AKEL C.C. Press Office, 14th September 2017, Nicosia
The Ministerial Cabinet yesterday approved the State Budget for 2018. We shall of course study the budget once it has been submitted to the House of Representatives so as to form a complete picture. However, apart from the expenditures and revenues it includes, what is equally important is what will ultimately be implemented. Unfortunately, experience so far has demonstrated that the Government is generous in making pledges, but very poor in its performance. For the first seven months of 2017, the implementation of state budget stood just at 29%.
Even more so given that the government’s economic philosophy, despite the increases the expenditures and revenues, will not change. The government is dogmatically obsessed with policies promoting the selling off of public wealth and property, dismantling the welfare state and making Cyprus head the table on income inequality.
The Finance Minister may say he “understands the opposition’s difficulty in identifying existing problems in the economy” but even the European Commission itself has no difficulty in identifying these problems. In its latest report on the Cyprus economy the Commission notes the very high rates of unemployment, in particular with regards long-term unemployment, the high rate of underemployed workers and the deterioration of working conditions during the crisis.
Instead of the Finance Minister delivering lessons to the opposition, it would be preferable if he were to focus on solving the existing problems of the economy and society.