Analysts critique Geingob’s proposed old-age grant increase

Hage Geingob

Analysts have questioned president Hage Geingob’s remarks that he wants to raise the state’s monthly old-age grant from N$1 400 to either N$2 000 or N$3 000, commenting that the intended increase falls short in addressing financial challenges faced by the elderly and looks like a political move.

Political analyst Rui Tyitende questioned whether the president’s remarks, made in his new year’s message on Sunday, is just a populist ploy.

“There are no coincidences in politics,” Tyitende said.

“It is not a coincidence that civil servants received back pay on their allowances right before Christmas and are set to receive their five percent increase in salaries effective April 2024,” he said.

Tyitende further questioned where the money for such an increase will come from.

“If the aim is merely to please the voters, then the decision is clearly not sustainable and will ultimately shift the mess onto the next administration,” he remarked.

Tyitende cautioned against the economic consequences of a significant pension grant increase, warning that it could result in heightened government spending and a decrease in public savings.

Political analyst Ndumba Kamwanyah also expressed reservations, saying: “While the intention is good, a N$2 000 or N$3 000 old-age pension grant is a drop in the ocean compared to the cost of living.”

Kamwanyah added that there is a need to address broader issues such as poverty and economic hardships that hinder the elderly from fully benefiting from the pension grant.

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