Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube revealed that the government achieved a surplus after it spent within the budget.
However, Harare economist John Robertson says the US$113 million revenue surplus in January 2019 was achieved by over taxation of poor citizens, and not fiscal discipline on the part of the government. Said Robertson:
The surplus has not been achieved due to anything that has to do with financial discipline, but rather, the ongoing widening of the country’s tax base.
Notably, the 2 per cent tax is churning out huge amounts of revenue and this source is now covering up the over expenditures that were experienced in the past.
So it is not as rosy as the government wants to portray it because people’s buying power has been eroded, demand has gone down drastically at a time when salaries are not even matching the cost of living.
Such a surplus is only worth celebrating if it is in tandem with economic growth.