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Sept. 1, 2022

EDITOR

2 min read

Civil servants hard hit by the economic crunch

Civil servants hard hit by the economic crunch

Story highlights

  • The 5 % salary hike made no impact
  • Families struggle to make ends meet, owing to high food and fuel prices

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THE repercussions of the ever skyrocketing inflation are now being felt in all corners of the country. The frustrating situation is now more than ever hitting hard on civil servants whose salaries were only adjusted by a measly five percent in the current financial year.

This follows a zero percent adjustment in the previous two financial years.

The five percent hike has made no significant difference in the lives of thousands of civil servants who regrettably are projected to deliver better services to Basotho.

Their families on the other hand struggle to make ends meet, owing to high food and fuel prices among other things.

The situation therefore, is likely to affect how they perform in their respective fields of work due to this demoralising state of affairs.

Perhaps that is one of the major reasons why people always complain about poor services delivery across the board because the ones entrusted to deliver such services are demotivated and depressed.

To demonstrate this behavior, last week the association representing all civil servants in their respective fields, the Coalition of Lesotho Public Employees (COLEPE) presented its case before the U.S ambassador to Lesotho and the South Africa Regional Labour Officer, Brandon Jackson demanding that the 2022/23 budget estimates be corrected to ensure that civil servants salary increase is not less than 25 percent and be effected effective from April 1, 2022.

Such a desperate move is a clear indication that things are not normal due to tough economic conditions that continue to worsen by the day.

COLEPE’s argument is that the 2022/23 fiscal budget did not make any inflation adjustments to civil servants’ salaries.

While these inflationary pressures were notable even for the past three years, government has failed and denied any form of salary adjustment as requested by civil servants. That simply means government has no intentions of addressing this problem altogether.  

Surprisingly though, the very same government expects things to run without a hitch when things are actually getting out of hand.

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However, despite everything in respect of the country’s debilitating economic affairs, our distinguished MPs were able to adjust their own packages with among others M60 000 per year tax free fuel allowances.

Before then, the legislators were required to submit mileage reports for reimbursement for fuel expenses incurred in the course of their duties.

But, because they also felt the heat of the economic tests, it was easy for them to upgrade their own earnings but failed to do the same for the poor civil servants.

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