Arvin Boolell opened the budget debates in the National Assembly on Monday. He drew up an alarming observation of the situation in the country. He lamented the slow death of the welfare state “for the benefit of those close to power.”

It was Arvin Boolell who kicked off the budgetary debates in the National Assembly on Monday June 10, 2024. “The Labor Party (PTr) was the architect of the welfare state in Mauritius. We offered free transportation and free education. We also made dialysis services free,” recalled the brand new opposition leader.

He made this statement when he deplored the fact that the government has, in recent years, done everything possible to increasingly privatize the health system. “We are slowly killing the welfare state for the benefit of those close to power with the creation of clinics across the country,” insisted Arvin Boolell, adding that “the public sector must raise the quality of service that he dispenses.”

He also criticized the latest Budget presented by the Minister of Finance, Renganaden Padayachy, for having “no mention of the report on salary relativity”. Report whose objective is to increase the salaries of the lowest paid workers. He recalled that “this report has been promised for a very long time already”.

The economic situation was also at the heart of the opposition leader's speech. Speaking on the phenomenon of the depreciation of the rupee, he said he believed that it was, in reality, a form of tax imposed on the poorest. “The regime in place leaves the country in chaos with all the loans and debts that had to be contracted,” he said.

The opposition leader, however, stressed that a possible next government of the PTr-Mauritian Militant Movement (MMM)-New Democrats (ND) alliance will have the duty to do better and act more responsibly. “We say yes to social measures, but there must be sustainability. The next government will give money to the people for their purchasing power and not illusory money,” he stressed.

He also wanted to respond to the Militant Socialist Movement (MSM) which never misses an opportunity to tell the population that the old age pension will be threatened if the opposition wins the next general elections. Arvin Boolell recalled that it was the MSM which wanted to propose a targeting plan around the pension. “The MSM has already done a lot by replacing the NPF (National Pensions Fund; Editor’s note) with the Generalized Social Contribution (CSG), which is a tax that brings billions of rupees to the state coffers annually,” he said. -he explains.

Arvin Boolell also commented on the predictions of the government and the Minister of Finance according to which the country should soon experience growth of 7%. According to him, Renganaden Padayachy should also have taken into account the billions of rupees that were borrowed from the Bank of Mauritius, which he considers an onerous debt.

All of this is, according to the MP for constituency no. 18 (Belle-Rose/Quatre-Bornes), poor economic management. “The population wants their purchasing power to be restored and does not want illusory money. Various surveys, such as those by Kantar and Syntheses, have clearly demonstrated that Mauritians are not satisfied with their purchasing power,” he underlined.

cost of living crisis

He predicts the worst for the economic situation, with the perpetual depreciation of the rupee against the dollar. “The cost of living crisis will persist. The food crisis and rising drug prices will continue under this regime. »

He also expressed his concerns about the health and medicines sector. According to him, the government and the Ministry of Health have a debt of more than Rs 1 billion to different suppliers of drugs and medical equipment. He also highlighted the difficulty for Mauritians in purchasing medicines, highlighting the fact that the monthly bill for many of them for the purchase of medicines amounts to Rs 12,000.
Regarding the tourism sector, Arvin Boolell regretted that no measures had been announced to encourage tourists to spend more in Mauritius. “There is clearly no plan to revitalize this sector,” he lamented.

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