Ncube ‘leaves no person behind’ with punitive taxes in 2024 budget

Finance minister Mthuli Ncube announced a Z$59.5 trillion budget for 2024 on Thursday, raising the price of services and attempting to widen the tax base to shore up the government’s finances.

The main opposition labelled his budget “anti-people” after he increased toll gate fees by 150 percent and also nearly doubled the cost of a passport.

Ncube maintained that his budget “seeks to consolidate and entrench the stability to facilitate economic transformation and preserve disposable incomes.”

The budget would be financed through projected Z$51.2 trillion tax revenues and Z$2.7 trillion non-tax revenue. The 2023 budget was Z$4.2 trillion.

“The fiscal policy thrust for the 2024 national budget is guided by the need to maintain a sustainable budget deficit within the SADC macroeconomic convergence threshold of not more than 3 percentof GDP. Fiscal restraint and tight monetary policy, together with a healthy current account position, provides the necessary conditions for currency and price stability,” he said.

Ncube said the budget for 2024 gives priority to infrastructure spending, government wages and preserving disposable incomes.

“The total budget financing gap amounts to Z$9.2 trillion, comprising a budget deficit of Z$4.3 trillion (1.5 percent of GDP) and amortisation of loans and maturing government securities estimated at Z$4.9 trillion. The deficit will be financed through domestic and external borrowing,” he said.

He said ministries, government departments and agencies submitted funding bids of over Z$110 trillion, against the available envelope of Z$58.2 trillion.

Ncube gave the highest budget allocation to the security services followed by education and health, in what the main opposition Citizens Coalition for Change said showed that the government “values guns more than equipping hospitals, improving schools or feeding the nation.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *