Civil servants would accept a cut in PAYE
MBABANE – Civil servants have reiterated their willingness to accept a Pay-As-You-Earn cut from government.
They said this would be much better because it would indicate that government is taking their actions seriously.
Civil servants have on two occasions wal-ked out of a meeting with the Government Negotiati-ons Team (GNT) because government had not offered anything to have them return to their work stations but instead ordered them to return to work.
Swaziland National Association of Teachers (SNAT) President Sibongile Mazibuko observed that it could be a positive move as it would show government’s commitment in trying to solve the stand-off.
She said SNAT membership would gladly appreciate any mec-hanism that would have an increment effected on their salaries. She however clarified that in as much as it could be a positive move, it cou-ld also have adverse effects on th-ose teach-ers who will be retiring.
"As long as the reduction of the PAYE percentage mechanism will have an addition effect on what we end up getting in our salaries, we will obviously welcome it. We are for the cost of living adjustment and the idea of the PAYE reduction is part of the solution that government can explore to bring sanity to the obtaining situation.
"However, positive as it may be, it could seriously compromise on retiring teachers. For them there could be no change with regard to their gratuity and pension calculations yet a direct addition of the 4.5 per cent would have effected some positive change regarding what they will be taking home," said Mazibuko.
Swaziland Democratic Nurses Union (SWADNU) President Bheki Mamba said as nurses they were open to any proposal that government would table.
He said if the PAYE reduction mechanism would at the end of the day benefit SWADNU members he saw no reason not to accept it.
"We are not rigid in our negotiation strategy. We believe any mechanism that its objective is to bring all stakeholders on common ground deserves to be explored. Nurses would accept the PAYE reduction if it is a measure that at the end of the day will benefit SWADNU membership," said Mamba.
National Public Service and Allied Workers Union (NAPSAWU) Secretary General Vincent Dla-mini said the PAYE reduction mechanism was a possible solution but his membership would have to consult about its implications.
He explained that the PAYE reduction on civil servants would have direct implications on the private sector yet they now regarded the private sector as their partners in solidarity with their cause.
"The PAYE reduction strategy is obviously one of the mechanisms that government could explore to change the fortunes of the obtaining situation regarding the 4.5 per cent cost of living adjustment.
"However as NAPSAWU we can’t just accept it without doing our own research on the implications it would have on other sectors of our society. Take for instance the private sector that obviously could not have the PAYE reduction cushion like the civil servants.
"We then can’t be seen to be accepting mechanism that will at the end of the day create further unrest on other sectors of our society. We are brothers in arms with the private sector now, this problem needs good introspection and serious commitment from government," said Dlamini.
That’s one way of looking at it but ...
MBABANE – Reduc ing PAYE is a solution but it could have other serious implications and bearing on a lot of critical economical aspects Economist Dr Bhadala Mamba disclosed.
He clarified that the PAYE reduction mechanism is in fact one of the strategies that government could explore as a solution to the obtaining scenario.
He, however, minced no words that critical in attaining a lasting solution in all this was affecting a culture of balancing our expenditure versus our revenue base. He said the economical shocks we are currently experiencing are outside our control and spending wisely and efficiently is fundamental if we are to turn the tide against the situation.
He said the PAYE reduction would have the direct effect of swaying to a different direction further complicating our already minimal budget. "As much as it can be a solution on the issue of the civil servants who need the 4.5 per cent cost of living adjustment, effecting it is not a one man’s decision. The whole budget will have to be reviewed. Simply that means a number of the country’s operations will be disrupted to accommodate the change, said Dr Mamba.
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