OPPOSITION Patriotic Front (PF) Vice President Given Lubinda has described the 2022 National Budget that was presented in Parliament last week Friday by Finance Minister Dr Situmbeko Msokotwane as a hoax.
And Mr Lubinda has disclosed that the PF party has directed its MPs to educate the New Dawn Administration on the history and rational of Constituency Development Fund (CDF).
Speaking at a media briefing in Lusaka yesterday, Mr Lubinda said the budget is a hoax in its entirety, because it is against the poor.
He further said the 2022 national plan is an illusion and retrogressive.
“From the outset let me state that the budget in its entirety is an hoax as it is not correct, secondly it is an illusion as it is not tenable, thirdly it is a façade or a deception as it hides the real intention of its authors and fourthly it is retrogressive as it brings back the many gains that have been achieved,” he stated.
“Fifthly it is a breach of the fundamental campaign promises upon which the UPND was voted and sixthly and most importantly it is pro-capital and against the poor,”.
The PF Vice President also questioned how the UPND proposes to grow the budget from K119 Billion 2021 to K 173 Billion next year, representing an increase of 45% when they have proposed increases in consumption and reductions in revenue such as Corporate Tax, and customs duties among others.
He has since challenged the UPND government to explain how recurrent expenditures to be financed by the one-time gift shall be paid in 2023 and subsequent years.
Mr Lubinda also questioned if anyone has assured the new dawn government that the gift shall be perennial?
“We would like to ask the UPND Government how SDR which is meant to be balance of payment support can be transformed into budget support? As far as we know SDR can only be sued to finance foreign exchange payments outside the country after the government has provided the kwacha equivalent to the Central Bank. As you can see this is an illusionary budget which cannot be implemented,” he said.
He noted that there is no cost item that is more widely discussed in the 2022 budget than the Constituency Development Fund.
“First decentralisation, by those of us who understand it is an organic process, which is done gradually and systematically to allow for development of capacity and systems to support it,” he said.