Published on 22 October 2014 by Telesur English

Venezuelan government presents 2015 budgetVenezuelan President, Nicolas Maduro, reiterated that the government´s priority would be to safeguard the social rights of the people.

The Venezuelan government has released its preliminary budget for 2015, pledging to increase social spending in the coming year despite a drop in oil prices. 

Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro, said he held the U.S. government responsible for the fall in the value of oil, stating that the Obama administration had irresponsibly flooded the global market. He said the country was being subjected to an economic blockade by North American imperialism and international capitalism. 

The new budget will require governors of the country´s 23 states to dedicate 60 percent of the resources distributed to them by the central government to public services, as well as to invest 30 percent in projects which produce goods and services for the benefit of Venezuelan society. The move is designed to increase employment and boost national production in a bid to minimise the country´s reliance on imports. 

"Venezuela must begin to produce what Venezuela needs," commented Maduro. 

The government attributed the new budget, which is more than 30 percent higher than last year´s, to its meticulous planning, and said that it had calculated the budget for 2015 using a conservative estimate of US$60 per barrel of oil to avoid any shortfall. 

¨The first thing that any other government would have done in these circumstances would be to announce mass cuts for local governments, but what we have done is prioritize public education, health, and our mission which ensures access to food," he said.