Huge wage bill puts pressure on government


If there were a choice, government would cut down its wage bill, which consumes a huge chunk of its budget. It presents one of the big risks to financial sustainability, according to the Department of Treasury’s Annual Performance Plan 2014/18 which was tabled in parliament.

With productivity in the public sector at low levels, certainly, the government is not getting the return it would like to see on its investment.

Besides the massive wage bill it has to foot, ongoing economic uncertainty is another risk.

As part of the stabilisation measures, the Treasury said the government would have to consider additional expenditure and revenue measures.

“Increased spending would be focused on investment rather than consumption,” Finance Minister, Nhlanhla Nene explained. However, he could not elaborate on what would constitute investment focused rather than consumption based expenditure.

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