CAP-HAITIEN, Nord, Haiti (sentinel.ht) – 45 mayors and their city halls have announced a three-day work stoppage in protest against the controversial 2017-2018 budget wrought with new taxes and tax hikes, less investments, and more privileges for the central government.
The mayors have taken particular offense because the budget, drafted and ultimately signed into law by the President of the Republic last week, in no sections, provides investments or financing for local governments; in essence, all uses of revenue are centralized.
These mayorships, which are moreover in the departments of the North, North East and Artibonite, “by this decision… intend to fight for the increase of communal funds,” said Mayor Gibson Joseph of the municipality of Limbe (Nord) to the news agency, Alterpresse.
Mayor Joseph criticized the budget signed by President Jovenel Moïse a week prior. In no chapter or section of the law were investments and financing for local governments included.
Protesting mayors, representing about one-third of municipal elected officials, also require funds for the Municipal Section Assemblies (ASEC) and the Municipal Committees (CASEC) to accelerate development on the local, district level.
“The mayors also want to position themselves against elements unfavorable to the population, contained in this budget. In this sense, we want the government to focus on this issue, “Joseph added.
An increase in taxes is necessary, but it is not necessary that the burden rests on the shoulders of the weakest, he advances.
The town halls intend to carry on the struggle until they obtain full satisfaction from their demands.
If they are not taken into account, the elected representative of the Limbe even threatens to close the doors of the cemetery of his commune.
Despite the grumbling of various sectors of the national life against the budget, the presidency maintains the entry into force of the budget on October 1st.
A public transport strike is scheduled for October 2 and 3, after the abortion in the confusion of a slogan of disengagement for the 25 of September.
A coalition of opposition democratic organizations is planning two new days of demonstrations across the country on Thursday 28 and Saturday 30 September 2017 to bring the head of state to withdraw the 2017/2018 budget. [jep emb gp apr 25/09/2017 16:45]