BOSETU urges govt to delay new tax changes
Botswana Sectors of Educators Trade Union (BOSETU) National Treasurer Odirile Aboneng says this year’s Budget Speech will have long-term effects on the general standards of living of Batswana.
Speaking at the media briefing on Monday where the Union sought to provide its view on the budget proposal, Aboneng said the introduction of a plethora of levies and tax changes should be delayed until the pandemic has passed.
“It is worth noting that these taxes and levies are too high and also have the deleterious effects of dampening the growth of the economy,” said Aboneng ruefully adding that it appears the government has given up in trying to diversify the economy to generate growth and revenue.
He said instead, the government has turned to its ordinary citizens to directly grow its purse.
“Henceforth, we urge the government to postpone the fiscal changes in this current period of crises. Households and workers need support from the government rather than being required to lose more of their very limited resources to government during a crisis,” said Aboneng.
For his part, BOSETU President, Winston Radikolo said this year’s budget proposal does not provide any hint on how the Government seeks to confront the Covid-19 pandemic on the next grade while they have not been adequately prepared to do so.
“This is something that has to be taken into account and strategies put in place to deal with this challenge; For technical and vocational learning, disruptions in workplaces have made it difficult to implement apprenticeship schemes and work-based learning modes, key elements of a functional and market-responsive technical and vocational system,” said Radikolo.
However, Radikolo stressed that it is not business as usual for the education sector. “It is doubtful whether the development of the proposed budget, which is clearly more geared towards maintaining the status quo can enable the education sector to effectively deal with the negative impact of the pandemic,” stressed Radikolo.
On the other hand, BOSETU Secretary-General Tobokani Rari said the recently proposed budget does not venture to solve existing problems.
“It is evident that the budget proposal has not been crafted to deal with already existing challenges such as the fact that there are not enough textbooks in schools, state of disrepair of facilities, dysfunctional equipment, just to mention a few. In that regard, the budget is insufficient,” he said