Workers in the country have been urged to support efforts being made to combat inflation and rising prices of essential commodities.
This was said yesterday in Dar es Salaam by acting Dar es Salaam regional commissioner Mwantumu Mahiza at celebrations to mark the International Workers’ Day, whose theme this year is: ‘Low salary, high tax and price hike, a big blow to workers”.
“If we really want to reduce inflation, farmers and workers should responsibly perform their duties. Even if the government increases basic salary to a million still the price of goods will be hiked…so, a million will be useless,” she explained.
Mahiza claimed that if authorities would individually play their part, including taking farm inputs to the farmers on time, it would encourage farmers to produce more and sell their crops at reasonable prices.
She called upon the workers to also put efforts in demanding their rights and in pressing managements to act responsibly in ensuring that workers’ rights were taken care of.
For his part, Regional Secretary of the Tanzania Union of Industrial and Commercial Workers (Tuico), Willy Kibona, urged the government to reduce pay-as-you-earn (Paye) tax charged particularly on salaried workers.
Kibona said that the 19.9 percent of inflation in the country affected the financial ability of the workers; therefore the government has to review it by considering the common workers’ salaries.
“The current system of paying as you earn is not matching to our salaries since the cost of living is so high…they should at least take 9 to 10 per cent and not between 14 and 18 per cent,” Kibona said.
He also asked the government to review various rates contributed to pension funds and the amount to paid during retirement to come up with a uniform amount. According to him, currently all pension funds including the National Social Security Fund (NSSF), Public Service Pension Fund (PSPF), Government Employees Provident Fund (GEPF) and Parastatal Pensians Fund (PPF) charge different rates.
Responding, acting Dar es Salaam RC said the government would work on the workers’ concerns and grievances, noting that she could not give immediate response on specific issues.