OPINION

The downside of benefits

No one questions the necessity of providing financial assistance to the less well-off members of our society, especially in these troubled times, when we are faced with harsh economic conditions as a result of the global crisis. However, the government must be very wary of launching a wave of benefit packages that will be coupled with a loosening of the purse strings and fiscal policy. The government cannot send the wrong message to the market about fiscal policy because it is more than certain that if there is any suggestion there is no intention of keeping a check on spending, the cost of borrowing will become even more expensive than it already is and this will have unforeseeable consequences on the country in general. The situation is already hard enough, thanks to the policies that were instigated and carried out by the previous head of the Economy and Finance Ministry and the country just cannot afford yet another whirlwind of unnecessary expenditures in the form of rashly chosen benefits.