The 2017 national budget, with more than $5 billion in expenditures, was passed by the Senate on December 5 without any changes despite opposition from the CNRP. Expenditures in the 2017 budget are up 15.6 percent compared with 2016 and include more than $1 billion in foreign loans. The budget was passed with 43 votes, all of which came from the ruling CPP. The eight senators from the opposition voted against the budget. Opposition party members and some civil society groups slammed the budget for the spending figures slated for a variety of ministries, particularly those for the defense, interior and justice ministries. Combined, these three ministries account for $850 million, significantly more than any other ministries and 21 percent higher than last year’s budget for all three ministries. The government was also criticized for some uncertainty and irregularities found in how it collects revenue.