By Kuvee Kangueehi
The Congress of Democrats (CoD) has expressed frustration over the pace at which the Government is working towards addressing the high food prices and the tough economic conditions facing the country.
The official opposition party says although the country faced these difficult conditions for the last six months, the Government has been moving at a snail’s pace and has not yet come up with a solution.
The CoD says when the national budget was tabled in February this year, the extent of global food crisis was already known but inexplicably, Government announced no long-term measures to address the crisis.
“The Government has failed to address the food security needs of communities in Caprivi and central northern regions affected by floods.”
These remarks were made by the president of the CoD, Ben Ulenga, at a press conference following their National Working Committee meeting last weekend.
Ulenga said the ‘phlegmatic’ government over six months has done nothing and only announced after the retreat that they have set up a committee to address the food crisis.
He noted that in the regions that were affected by floods, the croplands largely submerged under the floods and these communities would need a leg-up from the Government.
The opposition president said it is a constitutional requirement that the State assists the indigent and vulnerable because many families will be destitute and pauperised if not assisted.
The CoD proposed that the Government increase the old age pensions again because the last increase has already been eroded by a combination of inflation, skyrocketing fuel prices and high food prices.
“The combination of these has severely shrunk the basket of goods that N$450 can command.”
Ulenga said many orphans and vulnerable people depend on the elderly people whose only means of income is the pension grant.
The CoD proposed an additional budget before the end of the year to deal with increase in old age pensions, as well as additional money to assist flood victims and distressed communities.
Ulenga urged the Government to raise the income tax threshold from the current N$36?