Budget Speech 2023 / 2024
The Honourable Dr Renganaden Padayachy, Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development delivered his budget speech for 2023-24 on 2nd June 2023, the fourth of the current Government.
On the back of a GDP increase of 8.7% in 2022, receding Covid-19 outbreak in terms of fatalities but pessimism about the global economy, the Minister of Finance had the delicate task to urgently address the loss in purchasing power of the population, 1 year ahead of the general elections. The Finance Minister presented a socialist budget, implementing a plethora of measures to ensure that low income earners, families with toddlers, teenagers reaching the age of 18 and pensioners receive funds from the State. This ‘’giveaway’’ approach, although an immediate breath of fresh air to the neediest, may prove to be unpopular if reversed in the future and does not encourage upward mobility.
The Finance Minister has rightfully identified that the current scarcity of labour will hamper the growth of the country. The streamlining of procedures for the granting of occupation permits and the lowering of the threshold for professional occupation permits to MUR 30,000 are measures that will enable economic operators to stabilise and grow their operations. The added boost to the economy by such an expanding working force is also not to be neglected.
In so far as fiscal measures are concerned, the abolition of the solidarity tax is a positive measure that will make Mauritius regain its advantage as a competitive and attractive destination to invest, work and live. High income-earning locals and expatriates will thus be more attracted to remain, return or come to Mauritius and live as tax residents. The replacement of the solidarity tax by a progressive tax system, ranging from 0% to a maximum of 20%, is more equitable and fairer for individual tax payers.
We are pleased to present the highlights of the budget speech for 2023-24 and wish you a pleasant reading!