PARLIAMENT has accused the government of crippling the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) by withholding over $180 million from civil servants’ subscriptions.
BY XOLISANI NCUBE
Presenting a report on the 2017 National Budget, chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Social Welfare, Goodluck Kwaramba said the State had effectively sabotaged NSSA by not remitting deducted subscriptions.
“The situation spells doom for NSSA, since it is paying government pensioners, while contributions are not coming in,” he said.
Last month the State-owned pension fund announced a review in pay-outs to pensioners from $60 to $100 and subsequently to $150 later this year.
“It is critical for government to avail sufficient resources to NSSA to avert its possible collapse in the very near future. Only $34 800 000 has been set aside for NSSA in the 2017 budget,” Kwaramba said.
Besides that, Parliament said the government was not remitting contributions to the Premier Service Medical Aid Society resulting in untold suffering among government workers.
“These arrears are affecting the smooth provision of health services to members, who are frequently turned away from health institutions or are required to pay cash upfront for services,” Kwaramba said.
Due to economic challenges facing the country, the government has been struggling to pay salaries and has had to negotiate bonus payments triggering a stand-off after offering land in lieu of the payments. The government has also struggled to pay rentals, telephone bills, advertising in newspapers and car hiring services as well as vehicle maintenance.
“The ministry (Public Service) currently faces the real risk of being taken to court and possible cancellation of leases and eviction if arrears for these services and rentals are not cleared,” Kwaramba said.
Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa last November presented a $4 billion National Budget, with 97% of the expected revenue set to be spent on recurring expenses.
Parliament has until next Tuesday to approve the budget and various committees presented their reports on the