The Federation for Free Trade Unions of Zambia (FFTUZ) has appealed to government to start considering the civil service as one of the important sectors in the country.
FFTUZ president Joyce Nonde expressed sadness that government has continued to ignore issues such as the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) that affect the Zambian workers.
Ms. Nonde explained that workers in the civil service play an important role towards the economic development of the country hence the need for government to treat them fairly.
She told ZANIS in an interview in Lusaka today that despite the number of workers increasing, government has not been improving their working conditions.
She noted that the civil servants’ take home pay has remained pitifully low despite reduced taxes.
Ms. Nonde disclosed that her organisation was concerned with current global economic recession, noting that this will adversely affect workers in the country.
She stated that the current increase in the PAYE exempt threshold from K600,000 to K700,000 did not bring any change, saying only few people earn less than K700,000 per month.
She added that government should have thought of broadening the tax base further to K1, 000,000 for many workers to benefit.
The FFTUZ president further explained that the tax base unveiled in the 2009 budget does not give hope to workers, adding that it is only targeted at a small number of workers who earn less than K700, 000.
Yesterday, Minister of Finance and National Planning Situmbeko Musokotwane presented the 2009 national budget to parliament in which he said government is committed to providing tax relief to the workers and increased the PAYE exempt threshold.
Workers getting up to K700, 000 will not be taxed while those getting between K700, 000 and K1, 235,000 per month will have their salaries taxed at 25 per cent.
Those going home with K1, 235,001 up to K4, 000,000 will attract tax rate of 30 per cent while those getting over K4, 000,001 per month will pay 35 per cent as PAYE.