Tendai Biti and Mthuli Ncube battle it out over rationale of 2 percent tax

Former Finance Minister Tendai Biti and current minister Mthuli Ncube yesterday battled it out as Biti accused the President Emmerson Mnangagwa administration of burdening the already overtaxed Zimbabweans with a two per cent tax when the challenge should have been to cut government’s runaway expenditure.

Ncube said the government was indeed going to drastically cut its expenditure and the budget deficit which is currently double-digit (Biti put it at 25 per cent of GDP) should be reduced to below 4 per cent over the next three years.

Bit and Ncube also differed on whether Zimbabwe was in recession or not with Biti arguing that the country was in a recession so it was actually “cruel” to tax the people, but Ncube said the country’s economy was actually growing and he had revised the growth rate to about 6 per cent this year.

Ncube said the country’s gross domestic product had also been rebased from $18 billion to $25 billion.

“This was not me, this is something that my esteemed Hon. Member knows about,” Ncube said. “Every five years, countries re-base whether in Africa or wherever, I can name them. It is normal and I can assure you that in another five years, we will re-base again. So in short, the economy has expanded. Just check the number of ‘mushikashikas’ as an indicator, on the road, you will agree with me that there is economic activity out there.”

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