Strong Emphasis on Social Safety Net

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By Catherine Sasman

WINDHOEK

The 2008/9 national budget tabled by Finance Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila is considered an “extreme expenditure” budget characterised by its strong emphasis on improving the social safety net, the development of human capital and investment for competitiveness.

“This budget might be viewed as an election budget [referring to the 2009 general election], but cognizance must be taken of the fact that the Government is elected by the poor and must therefore look after the poor,” commented Albie Botha, partner at PriceWaterHouseCooper last night.

The tabled budget, said Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, is the biggest ever increase in public expenditure of N$4.6 billion.

Social pension to the elderly has been increased by 22 percent to N$450, where pensioners have increased from 150 000 to 180 000; grants will be rolled out to another 50??????’??

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