Minister of Finance and Economic Development Kenneth Matambo has dismissed the proposed 100 000 jobs by the Leader of Opposition Duma Boko. Responding to the 2018 budget speech debates, Matambo took a swipe at Boko saying he is a wild dreamer if he believes 100 000 jobs can be created in 12 months. “We remain firm and clear in our solemn commitment to create 100 000 jobs within the first 12 months of our government in 2019. These jobs will be created within the overarching framework of a living wage of at least P3000 per month,” stated Boko in his response to the budget speech. Armed with figures and projections, the usual soft spoken Matambo said to achieve the 100000 jobs lot of factors have to be taken into considerations.“For you to achieve the 100,000 jobs in 12 months the economy has to grow at 7% per annum but the reality is, it will grow by 4% next year,” he said, adding that the private sector cannot cope with the employment of more people and there is no way Government can force them to employ more people. The only way one can achieve the target, according to Matambo, is for Government to employ the 100,000 people with minimum wage of P3000, meaning government will need P3.6 billion per annum to pay them. “This P3.6 billion will be every year and we are only talking about minimum wage but imagine that some of them will earn more than that if we go by the dream of LOO,” said Matambo.
He said the implication will be far reaching as Government will be forced to adjust salaries of all the people currently earning less than P3000. “It means government will need an additional P223 million to meet those demands and dealing with a bloated civil service,” he said, revealing that the civil service will move from 114 000 to 214 000. Mathambo said looking at the figures it is clear that what Boko was proposing is very unrealistic as the country is operating on a P7.2 billion deficit. “I dream ,” said Boko in his 2018 Budget response. Responding to Boko's dream "of a society where none subsists below the poverty line, a society of zero hunger and zero poverty", Matambo dismissed it as a wild dream that it is easier said than done as it is not possible even in developed countries. Turning to Ndaba Gaolathe, Matambo said that they speak the same language of economics and he agrees with a lot of issues he raised. “He knows the purpose of the budget and I totally agree with him about transforming the economy. I totally agree him when he said we must have ant outward looking stance about the beconomy,” Matambo said. Gaolathe called on Government to incentivise the workers, “we need to increase pay by 15% with a view that in the years ahead, there will be more modest increases". Although he agrees with Gaolathe on salary increment, Matambo said that they have to look at budget affordability. “One has to consider that we cannot have salary increment outside the bargaining council as the employer and the employees have to meet and talk,” said Mathambo, expressing concern that most MPs want to debate the budget without even reading it.