Debate on the 2023/24 budget began in the Senate on Wednesday. Leading the debate was Minister of Economic Affairs and Leader of Government Business, Sen. Hon. Michael Halkitis.
Halkitis told Senators, “the way to restore our fiscal position and our economy is our commitment grow the economy, to improve revenue administration and to exercise strict expenditure control and to identify new sources of revenue. That is the plan as I will demonstrate it has been bearing fruit and it is a plan that we will continue to execute because we do not believe that the solution is to try to tax our way out of this situation as some other country’s have attempted to do.”
According to the Minister the increase of 0.4% in government spending in the more than $3 billion budget shows discipline. Halkitis also said state owned enterprises will be “required to operate under clear expenditure guidelines in terms of hiring, salary increases, employee benefits and capital commitments. They’ll be under very clear and stringent guidelines. We have issued the Ministry of Finance, the Prime Minister, has issued guidelines to the board and management of these state owned enterprises to ensure that there are no surprises.”