29 November 2012

Gambia: The Budget Session - Will There Be Salary Increase to Bridge the High Cost of Living?


The president is required by Section 152 of the Constitution to ensure that the Minister of Finance lay before the National Assembly the estimates of the revenue and expenditure of the next financial year at least 30 days before the end of the Financial year.

In few days to come the Minister of Finance will lay the estimates and National Assembly members will go through it to find out whether the concerns of the people are addressed.

Principal among these concerns is the high cost of living and low salaries.

Pensioners are receiving sums that cannot even enable them to pay for house rent not to mention breakfast for a month. Most of them have to work on contract. Many have become diabetic and are also suffering from hypertension. Drivers, security personnel and Messengers who receive incomes that could enable them to buy only a bag of rice must engage in the 'taff taff' economy to make ends meet.

Many families have broken down and many are on the way to breakdown because of inability to provide family needs. Today, employed persons are seen begging for few dalasi to be able to buy medicine to cure malaria and other infections or extract a tooth.

It is therefore necessary for the members of the National Assembly to call a spade a spade. There is growing hardship which should be recognized and addressed.

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