The Zambia National Education Coalition (ZANEC) is looking forward to the presentation of the 2023 National Budget by the Minister of Finance Hon. Dr. Situmbeko Musokotwane (MP). Firstly, we would like to indicate that our expectations on the 2023 national budget detailed in this statement were also submitted to the Ministry of Finance and National Planning in collaboration with ActionAid TaxEd Alliance and the National Action for Quality Education in Zambia (NAQEZ) in June 2022.
Specifically, our expectations on the revenue side of the budget are fourfold.
- We expect that the budget will consider broadening the skills development levy into an education levy that will provide dedicated funding for the education sector.
- We expect government to remove harmful tax exemptions and incentives to ensure that multi-national corporations pay the prescribed statutory corporate tax of 30% instead of the 19% being realized currently. This measure can help realize additional revenue of $406 million.
- We also look forward to the re-instatement of the mineral revenue sharing mechanism (MRSM) clause in the mines and minerals development Act and Policy. This will help increase revenue generation for the country which can be channelled to the education sector.
- Renegotiate and restructure the debt by pursuing multiple solutions such debt cancellation, debt swap and favourable repayment terms.
Our recommendations on the expenditure side of the budget are as follows.
- Increase the share of the education budget from the current 10.4% to at least 15% of the national budget.
- Prioritize the procurement of education inputs such as classrooms, laboratories, libraries, desks, toilets, teachers’ houses as well as teaching and learning materials at all levels from Early Childhood Education (ECE) to secondary education. This will help enhance the delivery of free education of good quality.
- Creation of a budget line targeting gender transformative and inclusive quality education under the Ministry of Education to address teacher training for inclusive education, provision of assistive technologies, appropriate teaching and learning materials, and home-based education for learners with disabilities who cannot access regular schools.
- Increase the budgetary allocation for tertiary education to ensure support towards more student scholarships, payment of student meal allowances and infrastructure development.
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