Sierra Leone President unveils austerity plans to tackle economic crisis
Sierra Leone government has announced a 30 per cent budget cut to tackle the current economic crisis. It’s triggered by falls in commodity prices and the aftermath of an Ebola outbreak. President Ernest Bai Koroma says the austerity measures include a 50 per cent reduction on fuel allocations, travel budgets and vehicle maintenance for all government departments. Overseas travel will be restricted and there’s an outright ban on buying office equipment. Spending in the 2016 budget was originally set at eight-hundred-and-31-million dollars. The International Monetary Fund forecasts that Sierra Leone’s economy will recover by 4.3 per cent in 2016. But public finances are still reeling from a 21.5 per cent economic contraction in 2015. Diamonds and agriculture form the backbone of Sierra Leone’s economy, although iron ore is also a significant source of revenue.