By Own Correspondent
The Labour and Economic Development Research Institute of Zimbabwe has implored Finance Minister, Mthuli Ncube to deliver a pro-poor 2023 National Budget.
The call came shortly before the treasury boss delivers the blueprint which is expected to turn around the fortunes of suffering citizens.
Since the inception of the second republic back in 2018, the working class has had to endure hardships as the economy underwent vigorous adjustments hinged on huge expenditure cutbacks due to austerity measures.
At the worst of the situation, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) sanctioned a crippling demonstration in January 2019 which later forced the government to introduce hugely subsidized public transport among other concessions.
But speaking to The Worker this week, LEDRIZ director, Godfrey Kanyenze said beyond considering civil servants’ salaries, Ncube must tilt allocations in favor of the poor.
“An environment which favors the poor must promote macro-economic stability as a critical starting point. The Minister must bear in mind that 49 percent of the citizens are living in extreme poverty hence the need to enact budgetary measures which salvages such a huge number.
“We cannot talk of any growth or stability when we have 5,8 million people living in abject poverty,” he said.
Kanyenze said the forthcoming budget must also focus on youth and women as they have borne the brunt of austerity measures.
“Initiatives such as the creation of mass public jobs through the public works sector revival which will see projects such waste management, road construction and even food for work schemes will go a long way to alleviate the social groups from poverty,” he said.
He pointed out that the fact that 62 percent of the population are earning salaries way below the Total Consumption Poverty Line (TCPL) is also an urgent matter requiring redress highlighting that if left unattended, it carries the risk of undermining aggregate demand which adversely chokes business flow.
“Lastly, the budget needs to focus attention on strengthening institutions like, the courts and parastatals in order to achieve strong supervisory mechanisms for the smooth functioning of the country,” he added.