Why the budget matters to YOU

The budget is the single most important piece of legislation that the government brings to parliament because it indicates the government’s overall priorities for the country.

Government rhetoric might stress certain issues, but at the end of the day it is how it spends its money that indicates what issues it thinks are most important.

In the global Open Budget Survey, Namibia usually scores zero for public participation.

However, in the last few years the finance ministry under Iipumbi Shiimi has been organising more and more formal consultation meetings with various sectors and in the regions.

It is expected that Namibia’s public participation score will improve in the Open Budget Survey to be published later this year.

Last August, civil society met with the minister and the National Planning Commission director general to discuss budget priorities. Civil society organisations were able to send submissions to the ministry and we can see the government now acting on some of the issues that civil society organisations were pushing, e.g. housing and land servicing.

It’s important that the public can provide input into the budget process – this increases public trust in the government and helps to ensure that there is accountability and transparency. We encourage the ministry to roll out further consultations in the future.

-Compiled by Eino Vatileni in discussion with public policy analyst Graham Hopwood.

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