The Malawi Congress of Trade Unions (MCTU) has faulted government over civil servants salary increment which the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning has approved effective July 1.
In a circular issued on July 2 signed by Secretary for Human Resource Management and Development, indicates that government has approved the 10 and 20 percent salary increment for senior and junior civil servants respectively.
Reacting to the salary increment yesterday, MCTU general secretary Dennis Kalekeni expressed disappointment over government’s failure to approve the unions’ proposed minimum of 20 percent increment and the K50 000 tax-free income tax band.
He said: “We are very disappointed that government has failed to take heed of our advice and plea of an increment of 20 percent for senior and 30 percent for junior public servants, and that the tax-free band, pay as you earn from K35 000 to K50 000. Our reasons were that the cost of living in Malawi is going higher every day.”
Kalekeni argued that inadequate salaries aggravate corruption in the public sector.
Kalekeni observed that the budget consultation meetings which Treasury conducted with some stakeholders, including MCTU, were cosmetic as their views were not taken on board.
In a separate interview, Treasury spokesperson Davis Saddo said there are several factors which his ministry considers when coming up with salary increment.
He said: “We look at the budget and the inflow in terms of resources. We ensure that the implementation should not affect the economy. If we were to do that outright, it could result in too much domestic borrowing to finance the salaries.”
In the 2018/19 K1.455 trillion budget passed by Parliament recently, the public wage bill is projected at K392.0 billion, representing a 24.3 percent increase over the previous budget due to the 20 percent salary hike for junior workers and 10 percent hike for senior civil servants.
If Treasury has implemented a 30 percent increment to civil servants, it could have spent an extra K39.2 billion, raising the wage bill to K431.2 billion.