State budget still has room for financing social protection: economist
First, a budget surplus worth Rs 136 trillion through June 2021. The rest of the budget can be used to increase cash welfare and wage subsidies.
Jakarta (ANTARA) – The state budget can still be reallocated to increase funding for social protection, said Center for Economic and Legal Studies (Celios) Bhima Yudhistira director.
“First, a budget surplus worth Rs 136 trillion through June 2021. The rest of the budget can be used to increase cash welfare and wage subsidies,” Yudhistira told ANTARA Friday.
Bhima suggested that the government increase funding for social protection to alleviate economic stagnation in the third quarter of 2021 due to the implementation of the Level 4 Public Activities Restriction (PPKM) to stem the spread of COVID- 19.
In addition to the budget surplus, Yudhistira estimated that the government can reallocate an infrastructure budget amounting to Rs 417 trillion.
“Most of it can be allocated to the priority budget,” he noted.
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In addition, the government can reduce bureaucratic expenses, from employee expenses to property expenses.
“By 2021, the allowance for employee expenses had reached Rs 421 trillion, while it had reached Rs 363 trillion for goods. he explained.
The government can also renegotiate the debt interest burden with creditors to reduce debt interest expenditure which had reached Rs 373 trillion in 2021, Yudhistira said.
He noted that all budget reallocations can then be funneled into social assistance. Yudhistira suggested that welfare recipients be extended to 15-25 million families, with Rp1-1.5 million for each parent.
On a related note, University of Indonesia economist Teuku Riefky also suggested that the government expand the scope of social protection policy to help workers laid off from their companies.
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