Where is the money go­ing?

A look at al­lo­ca­tions of the 2017 bud­get

Executive Magazine - - Front Page -

In Novem­ber 2017, Par­lia­ment rat­i­fied a state bud­get for the first time in over a decade. For fis­cal year 2017, the state’s to­tal spend­ing al­lo­ca­tion was al­most $16 bil­lion ( LL23.9 tril­lion).

This rep­re­sents a nearly 140 per­cent in­crease in pub­lic spend­ing com­pared to 2005, the last year for which a bud­get was passed, when spend­ing al­lo­ca­tions to­talled $6.6 bil­lion ( LL10 tril­lion).

In 2017, al­most half of pub­lic spend­ing—$7.6 bil­lion (LL11.5 tril­lion)—went to com­mon ex­penses, such as pay­ing for in­ter­est on pub­lic debt, salaries and pen­sion pay­ments, and to sub­si­dize the fail­ing elec­tric­ity util­ity Elec­tric­ité du Liban.

The Min­istry of Na­tional De­fense, which is re­spon­si­ble for the fi­nances of the Le­banese Armed Forces, was the high­est-spend­ing min­istry in 2017 at $1.9 bil­lion (nearly LL3 tril­lion), fol­lowed by the ed­u­ca­tion min­istry, which over­sees the fi­nances of the pub­lic school sys­tem and Le­banon’s pub­lic uni­ver­si­ties, at $ 1.1 bil­lion (LL1.7 tril­lion). The next-largest al­lo­ca­tion went to the Pres­i­dency of the Coun­cil of Min­is­ters, which over­sees pub­lic in­sti­tu­tions like the Coun­cil for De­vel­op­ment and Re­con­struc­tion, at $1.02 bil­lion (LL1.5 tril­lion). Round­ing out cab­i­net’s bil­lion­aire club was the in­te­rior min­istry, re­spon­si­ble for do­mes­tic se­cu­rity forces, at just over $ 1 bil­lion (LL1.5 tril­lion) in al­lo­cated spend­ing. Health was the next-largest spend­ing pri­or­ity, with the Min­istry of Pub­lic Health al­lo­cated $470 mil­lion (LL709 bil­lion).

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