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Parties to withhold substantial amounts of 2020 proposed budget funds

December 10, 2019 at 9:16am
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With over 60 proposed amendments in hand, political parties in Cyprus are trying to bring some government plans under their control.

That’s why they put aside ideological differences to reach alliances for yet another year on withholding funds provided in the 2020 budget which goes to a plenary vote on Wednesday.

Although withholding budgetary provisions allows for nothing but parliamentary scrutiny, ministry technocrats will again see themselves going in and out of parliament next year asking for the release of this or that fund. As party alliances stand now, a total of 16 to 18 proposed amendments could be adopted.

Just like this year’s budget, 2020’s has opposition parties Akel, Diko, Edek and the Greens getting ready to withhold a total of 50% of the €33 million expenditure provided for Estia mortgage plan.

The main reason behind this – in view of the plan’s failure as well – is for the House to be regularly updated on how the €33 million is managed. MPs also want to ensure that a commitment by the previous Minister of Finance on the implementation of a plan for non-sustainable borrowers will be implemented, indeed.

Under the same party combination, a €4 million budget earmarked for the purchase of limousines for government officials as well as for the purchase of vehicles to meet public service needs will be withheld. And so is €3.3 million earmarked for the improvement of the road from Paphos to Polis Chrysochous (Greece Avenue).

As a matter of fact, the House Finance Committee will have to be informed before any amount over €50,000 is to be spent, according to an amendment proposed by ruling Disy, main opposition Akel, centre Diko and Socialist Edek.

At the same time, withheld funds also concern the remuneration of advisers and aides of the President of the Republic, as well as funds allocated to ministers for the purpose of sponsoring events and other activities.

Read more:

Cyprus 2020 Budget ‘balanced’, forecasts growth rate of 2.9%