Political party funds untouched… despite revenue estimates dropping by N$2.8 billion

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Windhoek

Despite government having reduced the total estimated revenue from N$58.4 billion to N$55.7 billion, funds allocated to the 10 political parties represented in parliament will not be affected.

The government in April approved that parties with seats in parliament share N$116.8 million based on the estimated revenue of N$58.4 billion at the time.

Finance minister Calle Schlettwein told New Era on Friday that the funding allocated to the parties would not be affected by the decreased revenue estimates.

“For next year the revenue estimates will be the benchmark for the determination. The determination does not oblige payments to be adjusted if the revenue estimates are revised downwards,” he explained.

Last week when delivering his mid-year budget review policy speech, Schlettwein announced that the estimated revenue has been reduced by 4.9 percent, which translates to about N$2.87 billion.

Based on the new estimates, the total allowable allocation to political parties should drop to N$111.14 million based on the set 0.2 percent of the estimated revenue.

By law, the maximum funds that government can apportion to political parties through state funding is 0.2 percent of the estimated revenue, which implies that the allocation can be less than 0.2 percent of the revenue or the maximum.

During the last financial year government set aside N$28 million to fund political parties. The ruling party got over N$21 million of that figure.

Parties receive funds on the basis of the number of seats they occupy in parliament. A single parliamentary seat was worth N$391 667 in the last financial year, but the figure ballooned to N$958 000 per seat for the current financial year.

Under the proposed funding for 2015/16, Swapo will receive N$96.7 million from government to fund its administrative and parliamentary functions for its 101 seats in parliament.

The official opposition DTA of Namibia – with six seats in parliament – receives N$5.8 million while Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) and United Democratic Front (UDF), with three seats each, get N$N2.9 million each.

All People’s Party (APP), Nudo and the Workers Revolutionary Party, which all have two seats, will each receive N$1.9 million while Republican Party, Swanu and United People’s Movement will each receive N$958 000 for the single seat they have in the National Assembly.

Parties are allowed to carry money over to the next financial year provided that this does not exceed 95 percent of the money received during the financial year.

Opposition parties have in recent years called on the government to do away with the formula for party funding based on proportional representation, claiming that it disadvantages smaller parties.

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