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Teachers miss payrise, budget debate ends

By Vision Reporter

Added 16th September 2011 08:00 PM

PARLIAMENT yesterday tied the final knots on the 2011/12 budget, after MPs and the Government failed.

PARLIAMENT yesterday tied the final knots on the 2011/12 budget, after MPs and the Government failed.

By Henry Sekanjako
and Catherine Bekunda


PARLIAMENT yesterday tied the final knots on the 2011/12 budget, after MPs and the Government failed.

One of the key issues was the proposal to cut money from several activities to increase teachers’ salaries.

By yesterday, it was obvious that Parliament was left with no more options from which to cut money to give teachers.

The opposition had early in the week put up a spirited fight for the teachers, telling Parliament that they had found money for teachers salary increment by effecting an 8% on all sectors.

This, they argued, would result in savings amounting to sh402b enough to meet at least 50% of the sh800b teachers’ had demanded.

Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi and finance minister Maria Kiwanuka opposed the move, saying programmes were already being implemented and reallocations would jeopardise their smooth operation.

Shadow finance minister Geoffrey Ekanya moved that sh52b be cut from the defence budget, sh63.7b from works and transport, sh21.1b from agriculture, sh38.4b from the education sector and another sh31.5b from the health ministry.

Mbabazi, however, disagreed with the opposition, saying they did not have power to shift funds from one vote to another.

Ekanya argued that Parliament had the power to reduce the money allocated to a specific vote and relocate it to wherever they wanted it.

“We are not imposing a charge on the consolidated fund. What we are doing is within our mandate. If you say we don’t have power to reallocate then what is our work here? Let us pass the budget as it is,” he said.

On Tuesday, Mbabazi had indicated that the teacher’s increment would be effected in phases, beginning with a 15% increment next financial year.

Parliament was meant to have passed the budget on August 31 as stipulated in the finance laws, but Deputy Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah extended the deadline to September 9 when some committees failed to complete their reports.

After failing to pass the budget on September 9, the Deputy Speaker then set today Friday 16 as the new date on which the National Budget should be passed after consideration of the Appropriation Bill.

Uganda’s budget for the financial year 2011/2012 is sh10.8trillion.

MPs will meet today to finalise the budget, but no reallocations are expected, the teachers will have to wait for next year.

Teachers miss payrise, budget debate ends

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