The Popular Democratic Movement's (PDM) Shadow Finance Minister has shot down the country's annual budget for the 2023–2024 financial year as nothing but the usual government rhetoric lacking any means for implementation.

As is customary, Nico Smit of the official opposition took the platform to open the general debate on the Appropriation Bill, tabled by Finance and Public Enterprises Minister, Ipumbu Shiimi, last week.

The motto of Shiimi's budget last week was an economic revival and caring for the poor.

This is premised on pro-sustainability, pro-poor, and pro-growth.

While commending Shiimi for the appropriation, Smit says the budget is not pro-poor and pro-growth, and it is not sustainable.

The PDM parliamentarian pointed out that many people continue to languish in poverty and live in shacks in informal settlements across the country.

The veteran opposition politicians further rejected the government's long-term spending program under the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and likened it to the former Targeted Intervention Programme for Employment and Economic Growth (TIPEEG).

Smit believes that the budget will benefit those who are well off and those with government tenders, but not the poor.

He further argues that the development budget is too low and predicts many sectors, including manufacturing, agriculture, and fishing, among others, will be negatively affected.

While expressing satisfaction with SACU's returns this time around, he warned the government against further borrowing and cutting on foreign debts.

Photo Credits
The Namibian


Jefta Tjihumino