. . . Finance ministry says these are malicious rumours
MASERU – The Ministry of Finance has dismissed claims that civil servants will not get salary increments for the 2022/23 financial year. Principal Secretary in the ministry, Nthoateng Lebona, told Public Eye in interview that the information being circulated to that effect are nothing but ill-intended rumours.
She said the public and all civil servants will only know about details pertaining to the matter on the day of the reading of the budget speech estimates for the financial years 2022/23. The budget estimates will be tabled before parliament on March 2, after they were postponed from February 25 set earlier.
Speculations started doing the rounds in Maseru that civil servants would not be receiving increments this financial year, leading to trade unions Lesotho Police Staff Association (LEPOSA), Lesotho Public Service Association (LEPSSA), Lesotho Association of Teachers (LAT), Lesotho Teachers Trade Union (LTTU), Lesotho Schools Principals’ Association (LESPA), Qiloane Nursing Assistants Association (QINUASA), and Lesotho Nurses Association (LNA) releasing a statement on Tuesday expressing concern about the alleged government decision not to increase their salaries.
The workers’ associations say they have been informed by their trusted sources that estimations for 2022/2023 financial year’s projections that civil servants will not get salary increments as the country is facing financial constraints as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
But unionists say the financial constraints excuse is illusive and can no longer hold water as the same government has granted parliamentarians M5 000 fuel allowances under the same financial situation. The associations say this has been happening for the past three years under the same explanation and they, as a result, have been financially struggling as their buying power has been reduced.
They, as a result, demand that the 2022/23 budget estimates be corrected to ensure that civil servants get a salary increase of not less than 25 percent by April 1 or the threshold at which income earners become liable for income tax or PAYE be increased to M48 000 per year with effect from April 1 tax. “We demand that as an alternative, tax credit be increased or a reduction of income tax reduced to 20 percent and 28 percent respectively be effected on 1st April, 2022.
“These changes will go a long way to increasing our buying power and the government will subsequently collect more VAT,” they noted. The associations demand that their grievances be addressed within 24 hours with a written response sent to the office of LEPOSA.