Unions expect budget to balloon

UNION leaders expect a bigger budget injection to be announced in minister of finance and public enterprises Iipumbu Shiimi’s budget speech on Wednesday.

The secretary general of the Trade Union Congress of Namibia, Mahongora Kavihua, says the results of last year’s salary negotiations for civil servants would see the budget increase.

He says because this is an election year, the government is likely to spend more money.

“During the election year, our budget always goes up. In most cases it goes up with an injection in infrastructure, but we are expecting some increase in social settings,” he says.

The unionist says recent budgets have not been promoting the poor.

Ujama Kaahangoro, the deputy secretary general of the Public Service Union of Namibia, says he expects the implementation of the agreed terms of the salary negotiations between unions and the government on the basic salaries of civil servants.

“This must be done retrospectively from 1 April 2023, and the N$600, which was also agreed on, which just reflects on the lower grade,” he says.

Kaahangoro says the government should look at achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, which means improving civil servants’ conditions.

“The only way to do this is to increase their wages. This must be looked at critically in the budget,” he says.

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