31 Mar 2015 21:00pm
WINDHOEK, 31 MAR (NAMPA) Democratic Turnhalle Alliance of Namibia president McHenry Venaani says that for him, the hallmark of the 2015/2016 National Budget is the increase in old age pension grants.
We have increased what we have been pressurizing over the years. The DTA, particularly the late Phillemon Moongo, has been very strong on pensions to be increased. The government has heeded our call, he said.
His statement follows finance minister Calle Schletweins announcement to that effect when tabling the national budget in Parliament on Tuesday.
The pension increases to N.dollars 1 000 from N.dollars 600 - the largest increase in the grant since Namibias independence in 1990.
Secondary education, Venaani said, is also going to be free and thus it is something to marvel the budget for education is a sector that needs to be addressed in terms of quantity and quality.
According to him, by making secondary education free, the country is allowing a lot people to access education, which is a success in itself.
The danger of the budget though is the fact that the country is spending a lot of money on the Ministry of Defence, which got the second largest chunk of the budget, he said.
The Ministry of Defence received a budget allocation of N.dollars 7 229 351 000, second after the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture with N.dollars 11 321 689 000.
The official opposition leader noted that a country that wants to push back the frontiers of poverty, should not start by having the largest defence structures.
You start at building houses and creating jobs. And if you look at jobs, our economy is producing over 24 000 jobs abroad from our raw materials but we have done nothing at this point in time, he noted.
The Minister of Finance, he said, is trying to protect jobs with value-addition when the country is supposed to be at implementation level.