Austerity in government expenditures; a decision adopted by the Council of Ministers on August 11, 2015, which was prompted by the critical financial situation the Palestinian NationalAuthority (PNA) is going through. However, the government did not put forth a detailed plan that is founded on principles and considerations with a reasonable timeframe, and follows a professional methodology, where sectors and priorities are defined, as to where austerity and or rationalization can be applied.
Furthermore, no mechanism was specified that would put this decision into practice. In addition, there were no suggestions on how to address economic and or social problems or challenges that might arise as a result of that decision. What the government did, however, was to adopt resolutions in subsequent meetings of its desire for austerity in: the use of government vehicles, concessions granted
for mobile phones, fuel, appointments, or new issues that might arise. in addition to revisiting salaries, and benefits of heads of non-ministerial public institutions that are outside the scope of the Civil Service Law. Certainly, the implementation of these recommendations may lead to some reduction in the current public spending, but it will not be sufficient enough to achieve the main goal epitomized in achieving relative balance in the current budget of the PNA, that is sufficient enough to reach an acceptable level of financial sustainability.
This objective will only be achieved in the framework of a comprehensive and well thought out plan that includes methods for tracking implementation results and measuring its repercussions from one year to the next.
The Coalition for Accountability and Integrity -AMAN