By Confidente Reporter
WITH the wage bill having gone up by 15 percent Government will again cut on subsistence and travel (S&Ts) to achieve a saving of N$4 billion.
Notably Government’s wage bill grew despite the headcount coming down by over 10 000 individuals.
“The Government, through the Office of the Prime Minister has therefore proposed a number of measures to prevent the further growth of the wage bill and related personnel expenditure, but also to reduce current levels. They include the following: Freezing the size of the civil service, streamlining the multiplicity of bonuses and allowances, reviewing of medical aid coverage (re-model PSEMAS).
“The Government has started to implement measures to reduce expenditure on per diems, reduce travel expenditure, curb expensive engagements of consultants when the capacity exists in-house, ensure that workshops and training sessions are conducted at the relevant duty stations and limit overtime expenditure to essential services. We also appeal to the public servants to elevate national interest considerations to a higher priority when next engaging in wage negotiations.
“Undertaking of targeted Public Expenditure Reviews for specific budget programmes will be continued, especially in the social and welfare-related sectors to enhance the quality of spending, administrative efficiencies and value for money.”
After the mid-year budget review last year the Minister of Finance Calle Schlettwein explained that Government budget cuts on non-core activities include overtime; subsistence and travel (S&T) allowances; office equipment and furniture; maintenance; none-operational equipment; and vehicles among others.
“These items are considered not to be of urgent priority,” he said, adding that the funds freed up, amounting to N$4 billion, are proposed for reallocation to urgent commitments of the day.
These include drought-relief; pharmaceuticals; foot and mouth disease (FMD); water capacity; remuneration; wildlife protection; mass land servicing and mass housing project; and an increase in the allocation to Student Financial Assistance Fund.
“Specific allocation will be made for anti-retroviral (ARV) drugs and other medicine, the lease of locomotives for TransNamib and anti-poaching efforts.
”The presence of these urgent commitments means that expenditure reductions are deployed since the urgent needs cannot be postponed. We have taken steps and bold actions to place fiscal operations back to a sustainable path. This requires an adjustment path which is challenging but surmountable.”
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