UAE budget prioritises public services: paper

ABU DHABI, 27th October, 2015 (WAM) — A UAE paper has said that the federal budget for 2016 shows that the UAE government is steadfast in its commitment to nurturing society and developing the skills of its population.
In an editorial today, Gulf News said, “It is to the great credit of the UAE that despite the vastly increased chaos in the region over recent years, it has still maintained its prioritisation of education and social services. The government is well aware that a secure and prosperous future of the UAE depends on these areas of public spending, as a country is nothing without its people.
“Therefore, it is important that the federal government has increased its spending on developing the UAE’s human potential. 2015’s budget allocated 49 percent of its spending towards health, education and social services, and developing government services for UAE citizens.
“This compares to the new 2016 budget of AED48 billion, which allocates 55.7 percent to the same social causes, coming to total of AED26.7 billion.
“The federal budget is a small proportion of total public spending in the UAE, which includes the budgets of the seven emirates. But the federal government’s 10 to 13 percent of all government spending is more important than its small total might indicate, because the federal government plays an essential role in setting standards and expectations across all emirates so that the entire country can work to one standard.
“It is important that schools in one emirate are of the same standard as schools in another, and that quality of health care enjoyed by UAE citizens should not vary from place to place.
“The federal government has to plan to work alongside the spending from the better-off emirates and coordinate with other funds that cross the UAE, to make sure that all citizens benefit from the aspirations of their government, as is illustrated by its success this year in keeping people at the top of its priorities,” concluded the Dubai-based daily.