Measured against the expectations
prior to the Budget, the Budget must be a great disappointment. The Budget
Speech contains no indication that it recognises that the economy is in
trouble, that it needed a jump start and that this was an excellent
opportunity for the Government to show that it was truly managing the
Last year, we concluded our review
by asking that Parliament and the Opposition to exert greater influence
over the financial system and the financial resources of the country. The
Auditor General’s Report for 2000 has still not been tabled nor are the
accounts of many entities funded by taxpayers’ money. Civil society and
all taxpayers must demand a higher standard of accounting and
accountability from those to whom we entrust our scarce resources.
The indications are that the
international community is becoming slightly concerned about the level and
quality of financial management in our country. We cannot let them lose
confidence and therefore withhold their support.