MDC Alliance principal Tendai Biti trashed the 2018 National Budget presented by Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa and said that it had “lipstick” reforms which will not do anything to revive the economy.
Biti said the reforms are “lipstick” because they are meant to hide the real issues. He says the dismissal of over 3 000 youth officers is insignificant when Government is paying over 200 000 ghost workers. Said Biti:
We submit that the attempt to deal with the wage bill through the elimination of over 3 000 or so youth officers, the attempt at repealing the Indigenisation and Empowerment Act, the attempt at reining in government expenditure particularly through the curtailing of travel allowances and conditions of service are things that ought to have been done many years ago, but they are nominal, normative and lipstick. If you eliminate 3 000 youth officers where you have ghost workers of over 200 000, then you have a challenge. The inclusive government used to pay 236 000 civil servants and they are now paying 558 000 civil servants and so 200 000 of those are ghost workers so eliminating 3 000 when faced with 200 000 that is lipstick.
MDC-T deputy president Nelson Chamisa said that they will make Government adjust the budget so that the Health Ministry gets more than Defence.