Budget for 200 at the expense of 20 million people – UNP



by Zacki Jabbar

The UPFA government’s first post war budget would actually benefit 200 persons at the expense of 20 million people, the UNP said yesterday.

National List UNP MP and Economist Harsha de Silva told The Island that the 2011 budget was meant for the affluent as it catered to around 200 super rich Sri Lankans.

The Mahinda Rajapaksa regime treats the people as a bunch of idiots. They present a neo-liberal Appropriation Bill and have the audacity to call it pro-people. This was because it believes the masses are fools and can be continuously taken for a jolly good ride, he said.

De Silva said that the UNP was not opposed to giving concessions to the private sector, but vehemently objects to assuming that the public are "buffoons" who could be mislead by convoluted terminology, that gives the Rajapaksa government an image of genuinely caring for the poor.

Yesterday’s budget, was nothing but a feeble attempt to camouflage crony capitalism in pro-peoples garb. While the cost of living has gone through the roof, the five percent salary increase for public servants and a Rs.600 cost of living allowance for non-staff grades has become a big joke, he said.

"Considering the pre-budget predictions one would have expected the stock market to zoom today, but it ended flat," de Silva said. "The EPF in all probability will get active tomorrow to push the market up. The point is that there was no spontaneous reaction to a budget that was touted as setting the pace for unprecedented development."

ecedented development."
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