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Friday June 7, 2024! The day we all await with barely veiled impatience, when our Finance Minister, Renganaden Padayachy, will strive to dazzle us with his fifth and final Budget of this term.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, prepare yourselves for the big electoral spectacle, where promises will rain down like confetti at a royal wedding. Although the Minister of Finance played on words: “We must improve the living conditions of citizens instead of doing 'labous dou'. » The philosophy of the next Budget will be focused, according to him, on human capital, economic resilience and the environment.

Let's not kid ourselves, we all know what's coming. Everyone is already talking about it: it will be an electoralist, even populist, budget, a cornucopia generously opened as a prelude to the general elections.

No one has any illusions. Like Amit Bakhirta, founder of the Anneau company, who believes that it is natural for the government to use its latest Budget for electoral purposes. Or Arnaud Lagesse, the Group CEO of IBL, who recognizes that “in an electoral context, it is natural that certain expectations and concerns are higher in relation to economic priorities”. And even from trade unionist Reeaz Chuttoo who concedes that there is “a tradition of 'labous dou' Budget in years when there are elections. »

This Budget will not simply be electoralist, it could be a real populist orgy. As economist Kugan Parapen points out: “It will be a political Budget. These are not necessarily measures that are in the interest of the population, but promises that the government will not have the means to keep. There may be some overbidding to exceed the opposition's promises. »
Former minister and lawyer Anil Gayan goes further: “There will be no limits in my opinion. The government will go all out with its sights set on victory in the next election. One of the ways to influence the game is to distribute to society what society wants. »

In fact, the population, already well accustomed to receiving gifts from the government at the end of a mandate, is expecting this time a fireworks display of generosity. Previous mandates have taught us that the closer the electoral deadline approaches, the more promises fly into the air.

The opposition has already made its own flamboyant promises: free public transport, lower prices for gasoline and diesel, medicines at knockdown prices. And the list continues. The population, like children on Christmas Eve, now expects the government to outbid them. We are in a rat race where economic common sense is shamelessly trampled.

We are in a period where rationality is an outmoded virtue. Why worry about economic consequences when the ultimate goal is to seduce, charm and captivate the electorate? The government will do everything to create this famous “Feel Good Factor” among the population.

Who cares if this temporary happiness risks turning into a post-election hangover?

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