via Govt must reduce wage bill – DailyNews Live 16 September 2014
HARARE – The recent introduction of various taxes by the government at a time life is becoming increasingly tougher for the average man will not help revive the ailing economy.
President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF-led government must slash its bloated cabinet, reduce capital expenditure and cut on the civil servants wage bill.
There is no way the country will grow its economy when more than 70 percent of all revenue is going towards government’s wage bill.
In line with these revelations, it is important for government to improve its human resource management system by carrying out a proper audit to help clean up the payroll system to remove workers who have left public service through resignations or natural attrition.
The public wage bill could be reduced even further by the elimination of duplication of roles within the public service.
Fiscal discipline is necessary for us to manage our resources effectively and efficiently. For us to succeed on this, government must not confine itself to the easy options but instead pursue far reaching and deep reforms that are well thought out.
Therefore, while it is true that the current public wage bill is unsustainable, if the government is committed to reducing the ever rising recurrent expenditure, it must take a much broader approach and check all excesses which have greater impact.
One of the major issues that need to be addressed to contain the recurrent expenditure is travel costs of government officials.
As the high-ranking officials rake in millions in per diem allowances and incur high costs travelling abroad with their large entourages, the middle level officials go to numerous local retreats that also cost the taxpayer millions in per diem allowances as well as accommodation and travel costs.
Government should encourage the use of information and communication technology to help cut the need for these expenses.
Another area of concern is the cost of government transport. The government owns far too many vehicles and spends too much money on the maintenance and running costs of its fleet of vehicles.
Reforming our public procurement system would also greatly help reduce the loss of public resources.
As it is now, our public procurement system is poorly designed, costly and badly managed, making it prone to abuse.
Public procurement is the foundation of the corruption that government is often accused of.
More needs to be done to ensure that every bidder has a fair chance of accessing procurement opportunities without hindrance from rent-seeking operatives and cartels.