PM gets picky over budgetary vocabulary

Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma urged the Finance Ministry to refrain from using the word “consolidation” in reference to the state budget at the Cabinet of Ministers meeting Tuesday.

Having overheard people discussing their worries that consolidation of the state budget will mean the lowering of state salaries and similar cost-cutting measures, Straujuma suggested a preferable phrase for the phenomenon of fiscal austerity might instead be, say, the “failure to fulfill desires.”

“We are facing no such ‘consolidation’,” she told the Cabinet. “What we have is the non-fulfillment of wishes for next year’s budget.”

According to European Commission forecasts for 2016, the Finance Ministry had previously announced the imperative to consolidate the state budget to 0.4% of GNP.

Trying to mitigate concerns over such threatened belt-tightening, Straujuma said this doesn’t mean taking money away from any given sector, just restrictions upon currently wished-for provisions in the state budget.

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