Economists and opposition spokespersons on finance on Friday reacted to a 2015/16 budget statement delivered by Finance, Economic Planning and Development Minister Goodall Gondwe in parliament, saying the financial plan in “hopeless” and “not so inspiring”.
The opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) spokesman on finance Joseph Njobvuyalema said in an interview after budget presentation that Gondwe’s forecast of 7 per cent economic growth as ridiculous.
Njobvuyalema said the Budget marked the end of the government’s claim that there is an economic boom that will soon translate to a full circle of economic recovery for the country to achieve sustained inclusive growth and development.
He said: “After today’s Budget, many poor Malawians will be paying more through tax while ruling class pay less and abuse more.”
Njobvuyalema attacked the government for failing to help people struggling with the rising cost of living, insisting there had been no progress on the economy.
“This is the type of budget that will see the poor becoming poorer and the rich getting richer,” said Njobvuyalema.
People’s Party chief whip Ralph Jooma, a former economic planning minister, said Gondwe’s Budget “can’t be believed.”
But ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chief Whip, Henry Mussa, parried the criticism, saying they are s “premature and mischievous.”
Economist Thomas Munthali has since observed that the DPP administration is “completely struggling” and does not know “where and how to get the money for the budget.”
President of the Economics Association of Malawi (Ecama) Henry Kachaje noted that the budget falls short of a “transformational agenda” that most people hoped to hear from Gondwe.
Consumer right activist John Kapito also trashed the budget and branded it “not inspiring,” saying consumers will most likely bear the blunt of most tax measures outlined by Gondwe
However, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Country Representative Geoffrey Oestreicher said government seems to achieve a “credible balance” between social and development spending in the new budget, which he said will help the domestic economy attain macroeconomic stability.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :