There’s a couple of good things in the budget like the probationary driving licence and larger fines to roll back the sloppiness that had put us on a trajectory of record road fatalities – though it’s better that the fines are a share of income to remove the regressiveness – but there’s also plenty of stuff that’s simply not acceptable. Seriously the Lepep government now plans to sell our citizenship to attract more non-productive FDI which has been defacing Mauritius for more than a decade?
Government needs cash for sure. But that is easy to obtain. It can add a few brackets at the top of the tax structure and things will start improving as public finances will regain a firmer footing and government won’t have to spend that much time getting creative about budgetary numbers. It is also ridiculous to increase the custom duty on sugar more than five times to try to shelter that dead industry and at the same time make it easier for our greatest asset, our people, to see their human capital under-utilised or worse totally go to waste by ‘opening-up’ our labour markets in the most irresponsible manner.
Nice try fooling the middle-class with the small tax break. But they know very well that they have already paid for it with abusive petrol and electricity prices for so many years. They can also compute our GDP growth in USD to refine their estimate of the bean-counting that has been going on and pause to think which pressing problems have been solved during the past three and a half years. They will surely realise that Ramgoolam, a neoliberal just like XLD and Berenger, would not have done any better. And remember that they will be voting soon.