Bali councilors scrap US$63,000 uniform budget plan following uproar

File photo of a meeting at the Bali Regional Legislative Council (DPRD). Photo: Facebook
File photo of a meeting at the Bali Regional Legislative Council (DPRD). Photo: Facebook

After previously penciling in hundreds of millions of rupiah for uniforms into their budget planning, the Bali Regional Legislative Council (DPRD) announced yesterday that they’re scrapping the plan altogether following an online uproar.

It appears that councilors in Bali paid extra mind when it comes to donning similar clothing as a group, so much so that IDR883 million (US$63,097) was going to be set aside to procure their uniforms from the 2021 regional budget (APBD). If the plan had gone accordingly, each councilor, of which there are 55 in total, would receive about IDR16 million (US$1,146). 

Unsurprisingly, news of this budget allocation did not sit well with a lot of people, who expressed their dismay online.

Screengrab: Instagram
Screengrab: Instagram

“A little suggestion from the people can you use the money to feed people because it’s still hard to [find money to] eat for tomorrow.” 

Screengrab: Instagram
Screengrab: Instagram

“The roads are filled with holes..it’s better to make public road users more comfortable… Er… these kinds of things is why I don’t want to vote the other day..”

With criticism mounting against DPRD Bali on social media, the council announced that they’ll be allocating the budget elsewhere. 

“We have agreed to cancel the budget allocation, so that the budget can be reallocated for COVID-19 handling or other matters that are more urgent,” DPRD Bali Deputy Chairman Sugawa Korry said.

Sugawa told local media outlets that the initial budgeting plan was considered with the assumption that the COVID-19 pandemic has been resolved and that the economy is recovering.

“But considering how the pandemic is still at its current condition, the leadership of DPRD are asking [all the members] to review the budgeting and now it’s been canceled,” Sugawa explained.

We don’t know about you, but it seems a little extravagant to spend so much money just for clothing, during the pandemic or otherwise. After all, it’s not like uniform-wearing is essential to lawmaking.

Read more news and updates from Bali here.

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