Mthuli presents a worker-centric budget

Staff Reporter

The 2023 National Budget presented today at the New Parliament Building in Mt Hampden by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Professor Mthuli Ncube has set aside over ZWL2 trillion for public service employees.

Presenting the 2023 National Budget running under the theme ‘Accelerating Economic Transformation’, Minister Ncube said that one of the major thrust of the budget was to cushion civil servants against the impact of global economic challenges.

“The 2023 National Budget has a provision of ZWL$2.2 trillion for employment costs, inclusive of grant aided institutions and pensioners, medical aid and pension contribution. This amount includes ZWL$659.4 billion and ZWL$336.5 billion for the salaries and allowances for education and health sectors, respectively.

“The share of employment costs to total expenditure is projected at 52.4% in 2023, an increase from 42.3% in 2022. The increase in the employment cost level is on account of the need to cushion civil servants against the impact of global economic challenges and domestic price increase,” said Minister Ncube.

The Finance Minister added that in 2023, Government will continue to make efforts to avail decent accommodation to civil servants.

“To ensure that public servants acquire decent accommodation, Government will further capitalize the Housing Loan Schemes 130 for both Senior and junior officials to the tune of ZWL$7.5 billion during 2023, which will be on lent to deserving beneficiaries,” said Minister Ncube.

The Minister further said that in order to ensure sustainability of the loan schemes, Government will be strengthening the implementation framework, in consultation with relevant stakeholders.

Meanwhile, in a bid to continue cushioning civil servants and the generality of the citizens from unjustified prices increases, Minister Ncube said that Government would continue suspending customs duty on basic commodities. He, however, said that Government would continue to monitor the prices of basic commodities, with a view to ensuring responsible pricing and affordability, failure of which the suspension of duty will be reinstated.