Calls for correction
The Liberian People’s Party, an opposition party here, urges members of the Liberian Legislature and the Executive to redo errors it observes in the national budget, noting that many of the numbers are projections, therefore, they should be adjusted.
In a press statement Sunday, August 22, 2021, LPP explains that paying wages is good for any business, however, a business should finance the logistics if it wants results, warning “For a poor country, chaos becomes inevitable if the government does not repair vehicles, build bridges, equip fire departments, etc.
The statement signed by national chairman J. Yanqui Zaza, says the LPP recognizes the difficulty in budgeting, noting that it involves, many times, taking cash from an important item to another.
It cites for example, a budget planner reduces food money to pay school fees.
“Or for many poor countries, government bureaucrats cut from fire services department and/or hospital maintenance to pay creditors (both domestic and foreign)”, the party says.
However, it cautions that a budget planner should be careful in cutting spending because an unbalanced approach might undermine the stability of an organization.
LPP notes for instance, in the case of reducing spending on programs to paying off creditors, a planner should avoid cuts in programs that might affect a significant portion of the citizenry, recalling that former President Ellen Johnson did not consider this view.
“Her government used savings from downsizing employees and other money to pay debts owed to Monrovia-landlords. LPP is wondering if President Weah is following the budget-cutting theory of his predecessor?”, the party asks.
It wonders why did the Weah administration reduce Budget Line item 22 (Use of goods and services) and increase Budget line 41(Domestic Liabilities)?
The party details that in 2019/20, USD $112M was appropriated for line # 22 (Use of goods and services) but dropped to USD $79M in 2020/21, to USD $43M in 2021/22, and to USD $56M in 2022/23.
It continues that for Domestic creditors (budget line # 41), payment went from USD $28M in 2019/20 to USD $77M in 2020/21, to USD $77M in 2021/22, and to USD $77M in 2022/23, wondering what is the rationale for increasing domestic payment by 170% ($49M/$28M)?
“Is President Weah implying that Liberia will undermine its stability if the government does not increase payments to domestic by 170%? If yes, who are the domestic creditors?
Is it the Central Bank of Liberia, a government state-owned bank, one of the creditors? The 2021/22 budget has another questionable story of domestic creditors”, LPP further asks.
According to the party, the story is about the omission of proceeds or money received from domestic creditors, explaining in the schedule below is the government received USD $10M in 2018, USD $65M in 2019, and USD $98M in 2020.
“Yet, there is zero amount shown under domestic borrowing as sources of cash for 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023, with the exception of USD $8.5M in 2021”, the LPP observes.
The Liberian People’s Party was founded in 1983 by erstwhile interim president and academician Dr. Amos C. Sawyer, as a wing of the Movement for Justice in Africa, a leftist pan-African group. https://thenewdawnliberia.com/finance-submits-special-national-budget/Press Statement