business

Feb. 25, 2022

NEO SENOKO

2 min read

Civil servants demand 25 % salary increase

Civil servants demand 25 % salary increase

Minister of Finance, Thabo Sophonea

Story highlights

  • Associations demand income tax be reduced to 20 percent and 28 percent effective from April 1
  • Civil servants want Prime Minister to increase salaries and to look into other tax measures

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DESPITE speculation that government would still not be increasing staff salaries in the national budget to be tabled before parliament on Friday, a group of associations representing civil servants are demanding a 25 percent salary increase in the next financial year.

Other demands include an increase in tax credit and a reduction of income tax.

In a letter released this week, a total of seven associations representing the police, teachers and nurses amongst others, have called on Prime Minister Dr Moeketsi Majoro to increase salaries and to look into other tax measures in the much anticipated budget.

“We are in receipt of information obtained from good authority that when budget estimates for the fiscal year 2022/23 are presented, civil servants will brace themselves for another zero percent increase repercussions of which cannot be overemphasized,” said the letter.

“The past three years have been the hardest to us. In the midst of myriad of challenges, including Covid-19 that befell the world, we have had to live with the zero increase with the understanding that our country has been economically hit hard too.

“However, with some government decisions, among others, the M5 000 salary increase purported to be fuel for parliamentarians, the foregoing understanding has become illusive and can no longer hold water.”

The letter said the morale of thousands of civil servants had plummeted to its lowest across the aforementioned sectors.

Apart from salary increases, the associations demand that the income tax be reduced to 20 percent and 28 percent effective from April 1. They further request that the threshold at which income earners become liable for income tax or PAYE should be increased or raised to M48 000 per annum, whose return will be M1 300.

“These changes will go a long way to increasing our buying power and the government will subsequently collect more VAT (Value Added Tax),” said the letter.

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These demands echo last week’s ultimatum advanced by a youth group Bachashutdown that wrote a detailed letter to the Minister of Finance, Thabo Sophonea outlining demands in the upcoming budget speech.

Poverty and unemployment were two issues at the top of Bachashutdown’s list of demands, pushing for government to establish a youth and women fund to support startups.

They also demanded the lifting of VAT on telecommunications in order to lower data costs and increase access to internet for all people.

Furthermore, they also requested that government should introduce a monthly cash grant to be paid to unemployed Basotho who are struggling to make ends meet.

The eligibility criteria for the grant should limit the number of beneficiaries to only the unemployed individuals between 18 and 59 years.

Their letter said it would ensure that each loti spend in transfers went directly to the poor.

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