A few days after the 5th national budget of this government’s mandate was presented by the Minister of Finance, Economic Planning, and Development, Renganaden Padayachy, Ashvin Gudday received Ashok Subron from Rezistans ek Alternativ, Teejvin Woodun, Milind Hauzaree, and Mathieu Dacruz for their analysis. Although there are some popular measures that seemingly address the ongoing loss of purchasing power, like the “Revenu Minimum Garanti” of 20,000 rupees for workers, etc. It can be said that major societal and economic problems, such as soaring food prices and high fuel taxes, have not been addressed.

Ashok Subron points out that the measures announced in this budget regarding the arrival of foreign workers will have the same dynamics as the era of indentured laborers. Mauritian society is a rather special society because our economy has long been based on cheap and even free labor. For more than 200 years, the economy has been organized around slavery. According to the Truth and Justice Commission, the value of the labor force provided by the slave system in Mauritius amounted to £6 million at the time. Ashok Subron points out that, post-independence, Mauritius continues to find it difficult to detach itself from this cheap economy. With the various economic pillars put in place, such as the hotel industry or BPO, we are witnessing the continuity of the practice of cheap labor.

The Mauritian economy is the prisoner of its history.”

The reason for the liberation of the market for the recruitment of foreign workers is not because there is a lack of Mauritian workers in certain sectors, as the government wants us to believe, the main reason is that it will cost the employer less if he decides to hire a foreign worker. For example, an employer who employs foreign workers is not required to pay him a meal allowance for overtime. In addition, a migrant worker is not as eligible for vacation leave.


For Teejvin Woodun, the liberation of the recruitment of foreign workers will mean that Mauritians will be marginalized in their own countries because the recruiter will have more benefit from employing a migrant than a Mauritian.

“This budget does not address crucial issues such as climate change.”

Mauritius, being an island, already knows the consequences of the climate crisis.  Between the torrential rains causing frequent flooding and the increase in sea level, nothing has been announced to counter these issues. The various interests of Mauritian youth have been set aside in this budget, and nothing has been done to address the issues young people have at heart, says Teejvin.

“There is no aggressive policy for the transition to renewable energy as well as provisions against natural disasters. We don’t see a long-term vision for our generation. This budget was made as a purely accounting activity.”

Milind Sharma Hauzaree, for instance, highlights that the 2024–25 budget does not provide much to lower the rate of unemployment in the country, especially for youngsters. Figures from Statistics Mauritius show that 20% of Mauritian youth are unemployed.

« This is a very big problem because it is with a job that the youth will be able to make plans, and the massive employment of foreign workers will have a heavy impact on the rate of recruitment in various sectors. »

Another problem with this budget is that it will make circular gentrification worse. On the one hand, Mauritian youth are being pushed to leave the country, and on the other hand, this budget encourages the arrival of rich foreigners. At the same time, there is encouragement for the massive recruitment of foreign workers.


To conclude, several national emergency measures were not addressed in this budget, such as uniformity of law in the event of torrential rain. Indeed, the trade unionists were waiting for the elimination of double standards, which would finally guarantee the safety of employees in the public and private sectors. Although several popular measures have been announced, much remains to be done to improve the daily lives of the working class in Mauritius. The lack of concrete measures to combat climate change was also debated. It is more than crucial that, in 2024, the Mauritian government thinks of investing accordingly in the fight against climate change.

Watch the full debate here: