The 2024/25 budget is unrealistic and undoable- says Lipipa

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Member of Parliament for Blantyre City South, Noel Lipipa, has expressed concerns about the 2024/25 National Budget, describing it as unrealistic and bordering on populism.

Writing on his Facebook page, Lipipa stated that the budget fails to address issues such as Forex shortages and high-interest rates affecting the private sector, which might lead to delayed salaries and hinder the development budget. 

“The budget estimates that MRA will collect MK.3.3 Trillion ignoring the fact that the private sector is besieged due to forex shortages and high interest rates. MRA’s failure to collect the said amount of money will choke the development budget, salaries will be delayed, and ORT cuts will occur,” he explained.

He also noted that the increase in the non-tax wage bracket reduces revenue collection by MK 20 Billion, while the increased Constituency Development Fund (CDF) only adds MK 19 Billion, putting pressure on revenue collection.

Lipipa has faulted the government for putting less resources into the Agriculture, Tourism, and Mining industries which are at the center of economic recovery according to the government.

According to the Legislature, there is significant wastage in domestic travel, including driver costs, vehicle abuse, and excess drivers.

“We need swift and serious reforms to reduce expenditure, avoid wastage, and reduce borrowing. We also need to introduce a contributory scheme to eradicate our appetite for SUVs which will save the Malawian taxpayer loads of money,” he said.

He also suggested that Parliament should urgently amend legislation to require the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) to disclose all currency swaps and determine their public interest saying this is crucial as losses are automatically recovered from the treasury. 

“An incentive to the private sector through Import substitution is needed. This will reduce forex requirements, increase employment, and improve revenue collection through PAYE. Otherwise, this budget remains unrealistic and hence undoable,” he explained.

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