Mohamed Boussaid Defends Govt Budget Calculations Against Criticism by Court of

Rabat – The Minister of Economy and Finance, Mohamed Boussaid, presented his mid-term report of Morocco’s financial situation this Thursday, following heavy criticism by the Court of Auditors of the state’s deficit assessment methodology.Moroccan budget deficit was reviewed downward to 3.5 percent by Mohamed Boussaid, Minister of Economy and Finance. During his mid-term presentation in front of the Government Council on Thursday, the minister categorically refuted the Court of Auditors’ questioning of the government budget assessment methodology. “Our budget is sincere,” insisted Boussaid. In simple and firm words, the Minister of Economy presented the budget deficit figures for 2017, expecting it “to be revised downwards from 4.1 percent last year to 3.5 percent.” Meanwhile, he pointing out that “the current account deficit of GDP fell to 4 percent this year, after 4.4 percent in 2016.” In the first half of the year, tax revenues increased by MAD 8 billion to  8.3 percent growth rate, revealed Boussaid in his presentation, while ordinary income increased to over MAD 113 billion with an impressive 4.8 percent growth rate. Promising numbers indeed, yet questionable ones according to the Court of Auditors. During Court of Auditors head Driss Jettou’s first presentation in front of the two Parliament Houses on July 4, he criticized the government’s budget deficit assessment methodology, saying that it gives a false image of Morocco’s public finances.Still, Boussaid insists on the absolute correctness of his numbers. “Unlike what some group of the opposition might say, the state does not lie when presenting these figures,” stated the minister, adding that the Court of Autidors’ merely “suggested another calculation method in its report.”The Court of Auditors’ report claimed that “the calculation of the deficit according to the adopted approach does not take into account several data.” For its president, it is crucial that the government reviews its methodology for assessing its budget deficit. The Court of Auditors numbers many figures omitted in the state’s deficit balance sheet, such as the debts relating to the refunds of the State Income tax, the debts arising from transactions carried out but not yet settled by the state, the VAT credit, the overpayment refunds of the Corporation tax, and many other factors disregarded by the government’s accountants. However, Boussaid insists that “the deficit assessment methodology of the government’s is irreproachable.”Boussaid was not the only one unhappy with the Court of Auditors’ report. The parties of the majority, led by the Justice and Development Party (PJD) also believe that Jettou’s institution has “stepped out of line.” “The Court of Auditors’ duty is limited to controlling the execution of the Financial Law and the credibility of financial operations,” stated the party. The PJD heavily criticized Jettou’s approach, stating that the court has no right to “evaluate public policies’ choices,” adding that it falls under the Parliament’s prerogatives. read more

Two men sought for multiple break and enters in Milton

Anyone with information about this crime or who can identify the suspects are asked to contact Detective Constable Mark Brewster of the Milton Criminal Investigations Bureau at 905-825-4747 ext. 2428. Halton police are looking for two men who are accused of breaking into a Milton building supply company on four different occasions.Police say a business on Holgate Crescent was broken into on June 23, June 24, July 1 and July 2 between 11:30 p.m. and 4:30 a.m.The thieves cut a hole in the chain link fence to gain entry and stole roofing underlay and other roofing materials. The first suspect is described as tall, thin, with black hair tied in a bun. He was wearing a black scarf over his face, a black t-shirt, black pants and black shoes with white soles. Police say a second man was involved but do not have a description. The suspects used two vehicles, a blue, 4-door Mazda 3 and a white Ford Econoline van during the break ins. read more