Parliament wrestles with budget cuts as debate shifts to govt expenditure reduction

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Parliament wrestles with budget cuts as debate shifts to govt expenditure reduction
Parliament

As Parliament reacts to the sting of budget cuts, discussions are now veering towards areas where the government can trim down public administration costs, relieving the burden on taxpayers.

Legislators argue that alongside budget reductions, it's imperative to address wasteful expenditures to effectively increase discretionary funds.

The government's earlier declaration of intent to slash administration costs, starting with rationalization, has now brought the focus to Parliament's doorstep.

The recent 50% budget cut for Parliament has triggered speculation on where further reductions should be made.

Among the first targets singled out by many, are the presidential advisors, whose numbers nearly double that of the cabinet.

Soroti West MP, Jonathan Ebwaru, highlighted the significant financial outlay for presidential advisors, with a monthly salary expenditure totaling shs644 million.

He emphasized the need for scrutiny and possible downsizing of this segment of government.

Furthermore, concerns were raised about the costly maintenance of the presidential fleet, which comprises 60 vehicles, each requiring a driver's salary and upkeep expenses.

The suggestion to streamline the cabinet, currently consisting of 81 ministers, also gained traction, given the substantial resources allocated to ministerial perks and privileges.

Calls for revision also extended to the resident district representatives (RDCs) and deputies, whose salaries and benefits contribute to a significant annual expenditure of shs7.9 billion.

Despite their constitutional roles, questions have been raised about the necessity and efficacy of these positions.

MP Ebwaru underlined that merely cutting Parliament's expenditure isn't sufficient if the size of government remains unchanged.

He urged a comprehensive evaluation of retirement benefits to align with the country's economic capacity.

While the calls for expenditure cuts are gaining legitimacy, there are doubts about their feasibility and potential impact on discretionary spending.

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