2022 budget lacks principles of a people’s budget

2022 budget lacks principles of a people’s budget
2022 budget lacks principles of a people’s budget

2022 budget lacks principles of a people’s budget

Poverty Reduction Forum Trust (PRFT) director Judith Kaulem has come against the proposed 2022 national budget, arguing that there is nothing that shows that it is a peoples’ budget.

The budget when it was presented last month, was said to be a peoples’ budget by Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube.

However, Kaulem said the ZW$927 billion 2022 budget ignored peoples’ views and therefore cannot stand the test to be called a peoples’ budget.

She said besides ignoring the views of the citizens, the budget also introduced unfavourable taxes and will further promote inequality.

‘’The 2022 National Budget is dubbed the peoples budget but a closer look at both the allocations and expressions within the budget leaves a lot to be desired. Although people were invited to give their views to the budget through Parliament, through civic society led consultations very, little is demonstrated in the budget to show that those views were taken on board.

‘’The myriad of taxes that the budget pronounced did not come from the people. For example, the US$50 levy or tax on the mobile phone and they have increased the withholding tax from 10% to 30% that would not have come from the people, and we know that it brings in inequality in people.

Budget lumps people together

‘’So, to a larger extent, you find that it fails to be the tools for bringing up developmental, social, and financial inclusivity. People within that budget are lumped together like a homogeneous group. The allocations to education, to health, do not disaggregate between social groups, between people with disabilities. So to that extent you find that it doesn’t fulfil that it is a peoples’ budget because a peoples’ budget has to respond to the different needs of the social groups within the community and we feel this budget is not doing that,’’ she said.

ZW$2.7 trillion vs ZW$927 allocations

Ministries had put in a request of ZW$2.7 trillion for their operations in the 2022 budget. However, Mthuli Ncube declined the requests arguing that they were beyond the country’s purse.

Part of the budget 2022 national budget is going to be financed through borrowing both locally and internationally.

A certain percentage of the Special Drawing Rights (SDR) funds (US$958) received from the IMF will help offset budget deficit.

Former Finance Minister Tendai Biti also rubbished the 2022 budget that is currently under debate in the National Assembly. He said it was much ado about nothing. Biti added that Mthuli Ncube is not an economist but a mere mathematician.

Hatfield legislator Tapiwa Mashakada expressed concern over the gap between the auction system rate and the black-market rate. He said the gap will play a major role in dismantling the aspirations of the budget.

Zimbabwe has struggled to stabilise since the turn of the millennium due to the lack of lines of credit. The blockade is attributed to the country’s soiled image and non-servicing of debts.

Most companies including parastatals have struggled to operate as they are constantly being muscled out of finance by the government.

The government has been one of the leading borrowers of funds in the country.

2022 budget lacks principles of a people’s budget

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