You are currently viewing 2021: It’s a relief budget
DR NG’ANDU accompanied by daughter Mweshi (left) and wife Sarah (right) arriving for the 2021 national budget presentation. PICTURE: MACKSON WASAMUNU

2021: It’s a relief budget

ZAMBIA, like other economies globally, has not been spared from the negative effects of the coronavirus pandemic as evidenced by job cuts, shrinking livelihoods due to low productivity and the high cost of living.
Households and companies are feeling the impact of COVID-19 while economic fundamentals have also gotten a fair share of the economic downturn as witnessed by reduced revenue collections, public expenditure realignments and depreciation of the Kwacha.
Stimulating economic recovery and building resilience to safeguard livelihoods, as well as protecting the vulnerable from harsh economic challenges triggered by COVID-19, come out as major reasons why Government decided to tailor the 2021 national budget around economic recovery.
Critical in the efforts to stimulate economic recovery and build economic resilience to safeguard livelihoods and protect the vulnerable, has been the decision by Minister of Finance Bwalya Ng’andu, in his 2021 budget speech, to give tax relief to the workers and give them more disposable income next year when the country is expected to feel the after-effects of the coronavirus storm more than now.
Dr Ng’andu announced to Parliament on Friday that the pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) exemption threshold will be raised to K4,000 from K3,300, after being stagnant for eight years.
This has been lauded as a move in the right direction as it will result in workers having K700 more in their pockets, which ultimately entails a K455.6 million additional income in the pockets of Zambian workers.
For the labour movement, the raise in PAYE exemption is good news, with Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) secretary general Comas Mukuka stating that the development will cushion the worker against economic waves.
“Most collective bargaining was abandoned in the wake of COVID-19, so this move by Government will sustain the worker in the midst of the CLICK TO READ MORE