|CCSJ Budget guide ‘Improve quality of life of ALL our people’ - Oct 9|
|2011 - News|
|Friday, 07 October 2011 11:07|
The Government must “put people first” in the 2011-2012 National Budget to be presented tomorrow, says the Catholic Commission for Social Justice.
In a statement issued to the media last Tuesday, the CCSJ called on Government to focus on the needs of the people and, in particular, the poor and vulnerable.
“Our people are our greatest asset. Pope Benedict XVI calls on nations to promote integral human development, that is, the development of all dimensions of a person and of each person. No one should be left behind. For a small nation of just over 1.3 million persons, far too many of our brothers and sisters live in poverty, many are homeless, many are socially excluded.”
The CCSJ cautioned against deficit budgets, saying it was “essential” for Government to work towards “reversing this trend as we are stewards also for those who come after us and we should not saddle them with huge debts”.
Recognising the fiscal challenges and the difficult choices the Government must make, the CCSJ offered five Catholic social doctrines to guide their budgetary decisions.
The CCSJ said Government must always promote and protect human life and dignity; exercise “a preferential option for the poor and vulnerable”; use the nation’s resources to promote “the common good”; ensure a sense of economic justice “underpinned by a consideration of issues such as equity, equality and distributive justice”; and protect the environment “not only for ourselves but for future generations”.
The CCSJ statement concluded: “Whatever total sum is available in our Budget, let us use it wisely to improve the quality of life of ALL our people. Let us reject the culture of waste, inefficiency and lack of accountability and transparency that exists in certain quarters and which hinders progress.
“Let us promote, instead, efficiency, effectiveness, excellence and good leadership in the public and private sectors and among all citizens. Now more than ever, every penny counts if we are to take our nation forward.”
Finance Minister Winston Dookeran is expected to present the second National Budget of the People’s Partnership Government tomorrow in Parliament.