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VAT Increase A Blow To Pensioners - BFTU

Staff Writer
The Secretary General of the Botswana Federation of Trade Unions (BFTU), Gadzani Mhotsha, said the two percent increase in VAT will deal a blow to the already dwindling purchasing power of Batswana workers, the unemployed and pensioners who depend on a stipend of P260 per month.

"This will also affect the business community and pose numerous challenges to job security," Mhotsha said. "This development defeats the labour movement's primary object of improving the lives of workers as it further excludes the majority of them from the category that can afford to acquire property and at least a roof over their heads."

Speaking at a press conference at Babereki House in Gaborone last week, he said his organisation has noted that government's commitment to the Ipelegeng programme and that while it may seem to be a noble initiative, it is not being implemented in a good manner.

"We

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are made to understand that one of the objectives of the programme is to alleviate poverty but the wages of those participating in it is much lower than the food basket for the destitute," Mhotsha told journalists. He also criticised the Ipelegeng programme for removing poor people from the destitute list, purporting that they are able-bodied. He said most Batswana are destitute not because they are not able-bodied but because they are unemployed.

"It would therefore make sense if those removed from the destitute list are given at least the equivalent of the food basket," Mhotsha said.

 



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