THE majority of workers in the formal sector both from the private sector and the public sector have been complaining of low disposable income or salary as it were.
The low salaries are not matching with the high cost of living. This is because the prices of goods and services are too high to cope with.
One way of mitigating the impact of the biting economy particularly to the employees in the formal sector is increase the pay as you earn (PAYE) exempt threshold from the current K3,300 to K4,000 for instance.
The measure, once implemented by the government in next year’s budget, will ultimately benefit the workers and hence put more money in their pockets.
If truth be told; it is this one: The majority Zambians are living on less than one dollar per day. If this is not bad enough, the monthly food basket as released by the Jesuit Centre for Theoretical Reflection (JCTR) is normally between K4,200 and K4,500. It is clear from the figure of monthly food basket that it is beyond the reach of the majority workers. It is only a few Zambian employees who earn a reasonable salary.
This is not good for the economy as a matter of fact.
All said and done, I earnestly appeal to the government through the appropriate authorities to increase the pay as you earn-free threshold from K3,300 upwards.
This will motivate the workers and give them the breathing space as they are already burdened with other forms of taxes which they have to pay.