The DISY government only cares about the welfare of its chosen privileged few – Article by Eleni Mavrou, AKEL Political Bureau member
Sunday 19 December 2021, “Haravgi” newspaper
After three days of debate on the 2022 state budget, what has remained in the mind of a mere spectator is the gap that separates the socio-economic outlook of the ruling DISY party with other political forces and particularly its differences with AKEL.
The different outlook is evident in the reading of indicators and figures, but also in the funds that have been allocated to specific sectors. It is particularly evident in the consequences of the policies that the DISY government has been implementing for almost nine years now.
Perhaps the most striking example is the distribution of the wealth generated. The policies of the government ruling forces have resulted, steadily since 2013, in an increase in the share of profits, i.e. businesses, in the GDP as opposed to a decrease in the share of wages.
What does this mean? It means that although the wealth produced is increasing, its distribution between labour and capital is unequal. It means that the benefit of any growth recorded is channeled into the pockets of the privileged few.
At a time when approximately 200,000 of our fellow compatriots are below or on the verge of poverty, this unjust distribution of wealth is even more provocative.
If the ordeal of the pandemic has highlighted anything, it is the importance of the people of labour, namely the working people. For it is the conscientiousness and selfless efforts and work of health professionals and hospital workers in general that prevented their collapse and kept the public health system on its feet. It is also due to the shop assistants and delivery workers who met our basic food and medicine needs during the lockdown allowing us all some resemblance of simulated normality.
The pandemic has also revealed how fragile and inadequate the social infrastructures of this state are, undermined by the ideological dogmatism of those in power and the cuts that they have imposed in recent years on the public health system, welfare services and in education…
The government ruling force’s budget does not give any answers to these either. An anti-social budget has been approved by a parliamentary majority at a time when a large part of society is in need of support. This is an anti-growth budget, at a time when the state should be operating as an engine of growth.
It is indicative that just before the end of 2021, the rate of implementation of the capital expenditure included in the budget is only 32%. In 2021, EUR 1.01 billion of funds for developmental purposes were included in the state budget, but by the end of October the implementation rate had reached just 37%, even worse than in 2020, which was marked by the restrictive measures pursued due to the coronavirus that led to the suspension of projects for a long period of time. Developmental projects of about €1.5 billion, which were planned and included in state budgets over the last five years (2016-2020), remained on paper as they were never implemented. So what is the point of listing projects in government plans if they are not going to be implemented?
Every state needs a strong and sustainable economy that can bring progress to the country and provide prosperity to its citizens. But the DISY government only cares about the welfare of its chosen privileged few.