Malawi’s opposition in parliament has accused President Joyce Banda of traveling too much at the expense of tax payers and tore apart her financial plan for 2012/13 unveiled last Friday.
Malawi Congress Party, the longest serving opposition party and Malawi’s first ruling party, went to town on Banda saying her 2012/13 budget has failed to mitigate the effects of devaluation on the most people population.
Banda, Africa’s new darling of Western donors, took over as President in April after the sudden death of President Bingu Wa Mutharika. She has travelled to six countries since then, a development MCP describe in parliament on Monday as wasteful. She is currently in the United States after spending a week in the UK.
MCP spokesman for finance Joseph Njovuyalema advised Banda not fall into the same trap of attending every foreign event as it is costly for the tax payer, describing the President’s trip to Liberia as an example of wastage of public resources.
On new tax measures announced as safety net,Njovuyalema said: “Our concern is on the extension of tax free threshold for PAYE from K12, 000 to K15,000 is too little an adjustment considering the high cost of living. The cost of living for an average household is over K40,000. It would make a lot of sense if the tax free threshold was moved to K20,000.”