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FISCAL CHALLENGES DECAPITATING OTHER SECTORS

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Sir,
 

It is clear that our economy is coming undone and this is very unfortunate because it is happening right in hands of the 20 or so government ministries, close to 50 parastatals, countless commissions, a fully-housed Parliament and a more than capable Cabinet. All these institutions with their highly esteemed personnel are a painful and unsustainable cost to the taxpayer.

Accountability

Yet in Eswatini, it seems okay for things to just fall apart without any major shakes-ups and accountability being pinned on all of these warm bodies in the different institutions that make what we call the Government of Eswatini. It is no secret that at the centre of this economic landmine is our government, which has been failing to manage taxpayers’ money to economic prosperity. The problem is that government accounts for 40 per cent of the economy and has developed intricate dependencies with many of the sectors of the economy. Having government as a major player in the economy is a huge threat to financial and economic stability, because it is quickly becoming synonymous with a huge cash-flow challenge, a non-starter!

Challenges

As a result, the prevailing fiscal challenges are quickly decapitating what is left of the different sectors of the economy. When government makes a mess of public finances, the economy at large quickly turns into a mess that finds even the private sector struggling to operate viable business enterprises. Government needs to come up with radical changes on how to tackle the issue of a ballooning public sector and the huge wage bill, how it can consolidate the many government entities that require subventions out of the taxpayers’ money, and most importantly, commit to spending to create value for money out of every cent that it takes out of our pockets in the name of tax.

In other words, government should not shy away from tackling the real challenges that mar its system and the economy as a whole. If we continue to dance around the many white elephants, government and the economy will be in a deeper crisis sooner than expected. The country should not be saving money and increasing taxes just so it can increase benefits to public servants, as well as establish more commissions and parastatals that will have a huge claim on the already stretched list of taxes paid by individuals and businesses in this country. EmaSwati are tired of losing, particularly losing the little bit of money that they struggle to make in this economy. The country needs a new economic lifeline that will put us on a winning trajectory.

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