By Angelos Anastasiou
DISCUSSION of the government budget for 2015 will commence at Friday’s House finance committee session, in the presence of Finance Minister Harris Georgiades, it was announced on Monday.
According to chairman Nikolas Papadopoulos, the committee aims to conclude discussion on all aspects of the budget by December 1, when the governor of the Central Bank Chrystalla Georghadji will address the committee to offer the economic outlook and submit the Central Bank’s forecasts on economic performance.
After Monday’s session, Papadopoulos expressed his concern over the budget’s ability to restart the economy.
“The government and the Troika have missed the mark in their expectations as to the depth of the recession facing the Cypriot economy,” he said. “But despite this being reflected in the budgeted expenditures, the growth-boosting measures that could enhance the effort to restart the Cypriot economy are missing.”
Asked whether he has been informed on government plans to unveil its controversial insolvency framework, Papadopoulos said he had but could not speak for the government as to when that might be.
“We are hoping it will be finalised as soon as possible, as it is clear that the next tranche of aid to Cyprus will not be released before the foreclosures issue has been settled,” he said.
AKEL deputy Stavros Evagorou echoed Papadopoulos’ concerns, arguing that the budget “lacks vision”.
“The economy cannot be restarted when the government budget is one of cuts and austerity,” he said. “This budget lacks a vision for growth, since no new development projects have been included.
“With this budget, growth is impossible,” he added.