The Lebanese National Bloc Party released the following statement:
Our corrupt regime considers that the squandering streams serving its own interests are more important than focusing on citizens' suffering. Today, it is about to approve a budget, where 150 billion Lebanese pounds are allocated to the poorest families. This figure corresponds to only 0.8% of total budget, and is an insufficient amount in the dire conditions we have reached.
But at the same time, the regime had allocated much more than this amount to the funds and councils that constitute a considerable proportion of squandering, as well as to shameful spending such as clothes, car rentals, and works of art. Its insolence did not end there. It even stole the World Bank aid by devising a bizarre scheme to distribute the funds in Lebanese pounds and below the market rate, despite receiving them in dollars.
Another scheme in the budget is to reduce hospitalization services, and to reconsider the pension system of the public sector employees. Both measures will lower living standards and old-age security of employees. Instead of undertaking a thorough review of the public sector and purge it of fictitious jobs and clientelism that are burdening the public finances, they are punishing both innocents and culprits.
On the economic level, the budget is providing facilities by granting residency to foreigners who buy an apartment in Lebanon. While this decision aims to increase the inflow of hard currencies into the country, contrary to all allegations, it reinforces the rent-seeking economic policy that the state is pursuing. It would have been better to give these incentives to those who invest in the productive economy, such as the industry, agriculture, and some services that create job opportunities and reduce poverty and emigration.
We want a state that protects all its people, hence the necessity of allocating in the public budget the adequate amount to help the poorest families, and avoiding reliance on foreign aid, which is likely to change from one year to another, in order to prevent a social explosion that will affect the whole country amid the deteriorating living conditions. However, those who stole the money of the poor were unreliable, and will never be reliable.