By Anthony Bwalya – UPND Member
The United Party for National Development (UPND) continues to sympathize with ordinary people whose lives have been disrupted, and in many cases destroyed, due to the non consultative response approach adopted by the Patriotic Front (PF) regime to COVID19.
Let it be known, that the UPND has always advocated for smart incentives targeted at not only supporting the mainstream economy by delivering targeted incentives aimed at helping the wider business environment ride the COVID19 storm, the UPND is also on the record for having called for the suspension of VAT, PAYE for businesses and individuals, as well as suspending some taxes on the pump price of fuel for a period of at least Three (3) months in order to shore up economic activity.
This is intended to work side by side with a robust public debt renegotiation strategy to suspend debt repayments for a determined duration, with the principal aim of freeing up resources into the mainstream economy.
We are particularly concerned, that our healthcare workers – the doctors, nurses, clinical and laboratory technicians, including cleaners and many other first responders; have continued to diligently serve our country on the frontline of the fight against COVID19 with zero incentives.
Our healthcare workers across the board are having to do an incredibly difficult job of being first responders at a great personal risk to their own health, as well as that of their loved ones; with inadequate protective wear and support equipment, and without any added incentives to motivate their exceptional efforts.
And while we continue to call on the PF regime to deliver robust economywide incentives to help individuals, households and SMEs ride the COVID19, the UPND is particularly calling on the PF government to immediately suspend Pay – As – You – Earn (PAYE) for ALL our doctors, nurses, clinical and laboratory technicians, cleaners; and all identifiable first responders in the fight against COVID19.
This is to say thank you for their effort, dedication and professionalism in our time of this unprecedented public health crisis.
This is not the time for the government to renew its appetite to attack the household economy with persistent taxation. This is a time for the government to loosen its grip on taxation, particularly for our healthcare responders and allow them the lattitude of a liberated conscience as these frontliners lead the fight against COVID19.