Gov’t employees demand 25 percent salary increase

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By Mamello Mosaefane

Teachers’ unions, Nurses and Assistant Nurses Association, and Police Officers Association are up in arms in demand of a 25 percent salary increment ahead of the tabling of budgetary estimates for the 2022/2023 financial year.

The associations said in a petition that they had received information that they would only be receiving zero (0) percent salary increase during the 2022/2023 fiscal year budget.

The Public Servants associations, Lesotho Police Staff Association, Lesotho Teachers Trade Union, Lesotho Association of Teachers, Lesotho Public Staff Association, Lesotho Nurses Association, Qiloane Nursing Assistant Nurses Association, and Lesotho School Principals Associations submitted their petition in dissatisfaction to the Prime Minister, Dr. Moeketsi Majoro.

The associations demand that the estimates be corrected to ensure that civil servants’ salary increase is not less than 25 percent or there must be changes to the 2022/2023 Pay As You Earn tax and argued the threshold has been unchanged for some years.

The petitioners alternatively asked the Prime Minister that “The threshold at which income earners become liable for income tax or PAYE should be increased or raised to M48 000.00 per annum with effect from 1st April”.

They also demand that the tax credit be increased and that “a reduction of income tax of 20 percent and 28 percent respectively be effected on the 1st of April 2022”.

These changes are according to the Associations will go a long way towards increasing their buying power, resulting in the government subsequently collecting more Value Added Tax.

Part of their petition to the Prime Minister reads, “The past three years have been the hardest to us. In the midst of myriad challenges, (inter alia, Covid-19) that befell the world, we have had to live with zero percent salary increase with the understanding that our country has been economically hit hard too.

“However, with some government decisions, among others, the five thousand Maloti salary increase purported to be fuel for Parliamentarians, the foregoing understanding has become elusive and can no longer hold water”.

The Association has given the Prime Minister a 24 hours ultimatum to have responded to their demands and a response must be directed to the Lesotho Police Staff Association Offices.