Lift Wage Freeze, Govt Told

THE Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has proposed that Government should lift the wage freeze imposed on public service workers.

Making recommendations for the 2015 National Budget, ZCTU Secretary General, Roy Mwaba said the labour movement was concerned about the sharp rise of the cost of goods and services that is negatively impacting on the workers due to the unlawful wage freeze.

Mr Mwaba said that despite the country recording consistent high Gross Domestic Product (GDP) poverty levels among workers had remained high.

“This year Government imposed a two year wage freeze subjecting public service workers to misery and economic slavery.

He wondered why the issue of the wage freeze had continued to trigger debates when a ruling in the Supreme Court and International Labour Organisation ruled that the wage freeze be removed.

He said the 2015 national budget should have adequate allocations for improving personal emoluments to compensate for the loss of real earnings arising from the increasing cost of living.

Mr Mwaba demanded that Government should reintroduce the windfall tax on sales of copper and also increase mineral loyalty tax from the current 6 to 10 per cent.

He said the revenue measures would allow for unpaid adjustment of the minimum taxable threshold which is proposed to move from the current K3,000 to K4,000 in line with the escalating cost of living.

Commenting on tax collection he said Government should focus on strengthening fiscal management in order to narrow the fiscal deficit and also consider alternatives for extending tax collection.

He said concrete measures to broaden the tax base and expand the pallet of potential taxes to generate additional government revenues.

On Job Creation, Mr Mwaba said the country lacked the capacity to determine the exact statistics of jobs Government had created.

He said there was need for timely data to monitor employment on the labour market to measure the impact of job creation initiatives which was cardinal.

He said Government should correct the distortion of the strike that led to the firing of more than 500 nurses from recurring through allocation of more resources to address the problem.

The ZCTU has submitted proposals to the Ministry of Finance for consideration in the 2015 National Budget.

Source : The Times of Zambia

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