Alston, CA, Dec 31 - Premier Daniel Anderson has hailed the year 2013 as a “triumph”, and has said the country is ready to take on the challenges “of what may be our hardest year yet.”
Speaking in Alston this morning ahead of new year celebrations, Anderson said that he was excited for the prospects of the new year, but somewhat sad that such a lively year was drawing to a close.
“2013 has been without question a magnificent year for Sirocco. As a nation we expanded and strengthened, and looking back at 2013 from the other side now, it’s clear that 2013 was truly our year.”
“I am very excited for the possibilities that lay ahead for us in 2014. Already we are hard at work organising our next capital and plotting a road map for the year ahead.”
Anderson did add, however, that 2014 would prove challenging for the state, emphasising financial problems that may threaten to derail some government plans.
“While at present we are hard at work getting the Treasury back in order after a very expensive year, next year will prove difficult for our finances to cope with. We are faced with the possibility of taking out loans to cover expenditure this year, which may be a severe impediment to the government this year.”
“I am confident, however, that we will rise to the challenge, and that in the event of a loan being taken out, we will be able to respond to it with calm heads and financial prudence.”
“We will need to tighten our belts to take on the rising cost of living, but the average Siroccan should not expect much of a hike.”
Estimates put government expenditure this year at around §15,500 (NZ$25,000), mostly pertaining to university studies and the cost of living in Rathlyn.
While it is as yet too early to determine government expenditures in Sirocco, some estimates are putting the government’s books in the red at anywhere between §12,000 (NZ$19,200) to §20,000 (NZ$32,000), which will no doubt serve as a sobering thought to the government as it arranges its new year.
Despite heavy expenditure expected in the near future, sources of income are being investigated, which may bring as much as §250 (NZ$400) a week into the national coffers, which will be welcome help when the government begins chipping away at the debt later this decade.
The government will also have its hands full into the new year, with plans for new legislation and the creation of an atomic age museum and a national railways company on the cards, with the possibility ofnational drivers’ licenses being issued.
These new additions are expected to come into play in January and February, ahead of a scheduled move south to Auckland in mid- to late February.
Despite looming financial pressures, there is still an air of optimism in the country, with several Siroccans looking forward to what the new year has to bring.
“It will be expensive, but I’m sure it will be a good year,” one said. “I just wonder how we’re going to pay for it.”
The general mood across Sirocco has been much the same, with people expressing excitement at the new year, and farewelling a year that for many was filled with new experiences, new love and new prosperity.
Anderson hinted that Sirocco may turn its clocks back tomorrow afternoon to live out the last of 2013, a repeat of its actions on 1 January 2012 when, to commemorate a “fantastic” year, the nation turned its clocks back 24 hours to see out the last of 2011 in the GMT-12 timezone.
Should this action be repeated tomorrow, it will make 31 December 2013 over thirty hours long and 1 January 2014 a little over twelve hours long.