Increase in tax threshold to help families – JCTR

Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection
The Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) has noted that the wage increase for civil servants implemented by government coupled with increase in the tax free threshold of K800 as announced in the 2014 budget may help struggling families meet their basic needs.

JCTR however states that Government’s decision in the 2014 budget to tax at standard VAT rate several categories of zero rated goods and services may neutralize the impact of these measures as this decision will increase the price of such commodities and consequently cost of living.

According to a statement issued to QFM News today, the JCTR has advised civil servants to focus more on investments and savings for the long term as opposed to increasing consumption in the short term, in order to be able to have sustained livelihoods.

It also hopes that the higher wages awarded to civil servants will serve as a motivating factor and hence translate into higher productivity amongst civil servants.

The statement says this may not be possible however; if measures are not put in place that ensure service delivery is efficient.

And the JCTR says the cost of living for the month of September 2013 as measured by the JCTR’s Basic Needs Basket for an average family of five living in Lusaka stood at K3, 536.69.

This represents a K44.44 reduction in comparison with the August 2013 Basic Needs Basket total of K3, 581.13.

It attributes the reduction to decreases in the unit cost of basic food items such as kapenta by an average of 23% between August 2013 and September 2013.