National Budget Described as Partial
A local civil society group, Organization of Indigenous Liberians (OIL) says the 2012/2013 national budget lacks what it calls economic plus to positively impact the lives of the ordinary people.
The group described the budget as very partial, noting that it focuses only on the financial well-being of a few public officials and not civil servants. The group, through its Chairman, Kafa B. Teah, raised the “red-flag” against the draft budget in a protest letter send to House Speaker Alex Tyler, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and Civil Service Agency Director General on 4 July.
“We graciously believe that upon receipt, this letter will meet your timely and usual consideration to increase the minimum wages of civil servants,” the communication stated.
According to OIL, the unfair manner and form adopted by the Executive Branch of Government, through the Ministry of Finance, in developing the 2012/2013 national budgets most often against the interest of civil servants send the wrong signals about the government domestically.
The 2-page statement also said among many things that the draft budget seeks to undermine the growth and development needs of families of civil servants in the areas of health, education, as well as transportation, among others contrary to the Finance Ministry’s justification that it is people-oriented.
However, OIL, in its communication, did not state what percentage of increment they needed in the wages of civil servants in the draft national budget. Since the submission of the 2012/2013 national budget to the Legislature more than a month now, it continues to be hunted by public criticisms and condemnations.
It has also undergone condemnation by several members of the Senate and House of Representatives. The budget, whose passage is already behind time, is currently on Capitol Hill for scrutiny and passage. Public expectations are that the budget will be readjusted in the interest of Liberia and not just a few public officials.