Malawi Congress of Trade Union (MCTU) has asked government to increase the tax-free income tax band from K25 000 to K50 000 to give employees more disposable income.
Speaking during this year’s commemoration of International Labour Day at Masintha Ground in Lilongwe, MCTU president Luther Mambala also appealed to the public sector to employ graduates loitering searching for employment.
He said the trade union believes that expanding the tax-free bracket will cushion employees from hardships resulting from rising cost of living.
In an interview on the sidelines of the event, Mambala said MCTU expected government to consider its plea in the 2018/19 National Budget during the Budget Meeting of Parliament set to start this Friday.
He said: “We would wish this to be done in the next budget. They should consider our plea as they are going into the next session of the budget.”
The trade union also asked government to find a lasting solution to power outages, saying they were negatively affecting productivity and performance of companies, thereby threatening job security.
In an interview, Minister for Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development Francis Kasaila, who joined the workers in a solidarity march, said government has put in place several initiatives aimed at ending blackouts in the country.
He also said his ministry was working to ensure that youths get employed.
On the tax-free band, the minister said he will refer the issue to the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development.
On his part, Employers Consultative Association of Malawi (Ecam) president Emmanuel Banda observed that businesses which do well have people with a positive attitude who are capable of performing.
Scores of employees celebrated Labour Day at Masintha Ground.
During Prebudget Consultative Meetings, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Malawi (Icam) also proposed expansion of the tax-free band to K50 000. n