Members of Parliament across the political divide rejected austerity measures as demanded that the Finance Ministry improve their welfare. They threatened not to pass the 2019 budget if Ncube refused to budge.
The MPs demanded latest 4×4 luxury Toyota Land Cruisers and state-of-the-art gyms as well as more savoury desserts like trifles and ice cream.
Parliament had demanded a budget allocation of $163 million in the 2019 budget and after much haggling, they got $143 million.
On November 22, Ncube announced a budget premised on ‘austerity for prosperity’. The main objective was to reduce government borrowing and expenditure.
A Newsday report claims that after the MPs got their demands, they ignored the debate on the vote of the Public Service Commission (PSC). The PSC s in charge of civil servants, most of whom are threatening to go on strike. Doctors are already on strike.
Norton MP Themba Mliswa said
MPs are handicapped and we are talking of only one car, a Land Cruiser, which is the only car good enough for MPs to do their work because the Mazdas and Toyotas we get are not good enough.
MPs must have world-class gyms and recreational facilities to play golf. MPs must also be given diplomatic passports.