An appointed Member of Parliament Ismail Jussa Ladhu (CUF) has called on the government to reduce the salaries of political leaders so that the government could get money to raise workers’ wages.
In his supplementary question, Ladhu argued that reducing salaries of political leaders, including lawmakers, was a possible option to help the government raise money for paying civil servants more, who have been complaining about low pay for many years.
In her response, the Minister of State in the President’s Office (Public Service
Management) Hawa Ghasia differed with the MP, saying that there are more than 400,000 public servants in the country, who most of them “are paid high salaries.”
However, she admitted that there were few public servants, who were paid low salaries.
Ghasia also argued that there were only 320 MPs in the country, therefore deducting their salaries won’t help any great deal to increase the salaries of thousands of public servants.
In the basic question, Mpwapwa legislator George Lubeleje (CCM) had wanted the government to state measures being taken to address the issue of workers’ complaints about salary and other concerns by the Trade Union Congress of Tanzania (Tucta).
The Minister said that talks between Tucta and the government were completed on May 8, this year, adding that both parties had agreed to find a regulator to ensure that all pension funds offers equal benefits.
Ghasia said that they had also agreed to reduce the individual income tax rate from 15 per cent to 14 per cent and raise the salaries.
She reminded that over the last five years, the government had increased basic salaries for public servants by 61 per cent from 65,000/- to 104,410/- per month, adding that most of the public servants are paid salaries ranging from 152,849/- to 318,261/- per month.
Ghasia also informed the House that the government had increased the salary budget by 160.29 per cent from 681.9bn/- in the year 2005/06 to 1,774.8bn/- in the year 2009/10.
She said that efforts were also made to reduce the individual income tax rate from 18 per cent in the 2005/06 financial year to 14 per cent, in this financial year.