Salary increases financial suicide

THIS week we read that civil servants’ representatives met in Harare on Tuesday and came up with a resolution to demand a minimum salary of US$540 a month and 30% of basic salary as rural allowance.

Zimbabwe Independent Editorial

No one disputes the fact that Zimbabwe’s civil servants are among the least paid in the region.

However, a sobering thought is that while they are lowly paid, they gobble up 70% of government revenues, according to official figures.

Although the public servants chew up such a huge size of national coffers, they only account for less than 3% of the population.

This might be ironic, but a general complaint by various international lobby groups who advocate for the fair distribution of wealth in the world is that 90% of the world’s wealth is only owned by 5% of the world’s population. Forbes constantly publishes the top 400 billionaires of the world whose combined incomes beat Zimbabwe’s GDP thousands of times over.

The difference with these world elites is that they actually generate the money they earn. Our civil servants don’t. Granted, they provide a service but government is not a profit-making entity.

The real issue is, with such scarcity of resources, can we afford such a large civil service, estimated at 250 000, in the first place, let alone increased salaries for them?

It’s time to look at the facts, which as common speak has it, are stubborn. John Adams, the second president of the United States, said: “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”

We understand the condition our civil servants find themselves in. We also empathise with the desire of government, in particular the president, to improve their lot. But if our president can quote from his long gone fellow US statesman the facts are that whatever his wishes, or his passion to increase civil servants salaries, no one can alter the facts and evidence before us, that is government simply does not have the means to fund these increments.

Whatever little resources we have must be channelled towards improving infrastructure and services that support the private sector to generate income. Once that is done tax therefrom can be channelled towards civil servants salaries. More importantly, civil servants incomes can be increased without pay hikes.

Government can, for instance, provide them with residential stands and amortise this as part of their income. After all, when they receive money, many want to buy these stands.

Civil servants can also have their children going to government schools for free and this benefit can be added to their income package. Another benefit they can have is that they and their families can receive medical treatment at public health institutions for free.

We are aware they already receive free transport. That’s a good start. Furthermore, civil servants can be exempted from paying utility bills to a certain limit.

Otherwise government simply cannot afford such unsustainable direct increases without committing financial suicide and plunging the already broke government into a dire fiscal crisis.

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8 Responses to Salary increases financial suicide

  1. MONEY IS THERE LET THEM PAID September 27, 2013 at 11:00 am #

    MONEY IS THERE LET THEM PAID

  2. Exiled September 27, 2013 at 2:14 pm #

    Saka u want people to suffer. be a little bit serious. let the people get what they deserve. we have the highest reserve of diamonds and you want people to suffer. tibvireipo.

  3. Bruce September 28, 2013 at 6:41 am #

    You are not making any sense brother, let the cevil service be remuerated for they have suffered for a long period.

  4. Bruce September 28, 2013 at 7:09 am #

    Do you realise that the civil service carries on their shoulders the burnden of millions of people in the form of both distant and close dependents, each and every month they recieve calls from kumusha mukomana wemombe anoda pay, musikana arikuchengeta mbuya anoda pay, mari yesipo nesauti etc, believe it or not when the civil service is well remunerated, as the greatest chunk of employees in the counntry this has direct positive implications to everyone, the indegenous, the supermarkets, edgars, topics etc in short the private sector you are talking about will eventually benefit, why coz the civil service will now have more money at their disposal

  5. zvangu September 29, 2013 at 7:44 am #

    the President has already said civil servants will have their salaries increased,who are you to challenge that.

    • Peter Macklyn September 30, 2013 at 12:19 pm #

      An intelligent person that knows the government has no money (except diamond money) and they are lying to the people again. The first of many lies to come yet.

  6. mazonde September 29, 2013 at 10:00 am #

    uyu reporter anopenga you expect good service from the same people you don’t want to be well paid you are a moron

  7. onslo September 29, 2013 at 2:11 pm #

    nyaya dzemari dzakaoma idzi.

    I think President Mugbe has a way to go around it. Coz he said it bluntly that teachers earnings far much lagged behind his own farm workers salaries.

    Since he aid that I propose that teachers should have demanded around $1000 as their average salary….

    What is $540 ? thats peanuts.

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