2020 NSO Poverty Report Worries Stakeholders
Economic governance experts have expressed concern with the recent findings by the National Statistical Office on poverty reduction which indicate that poverty levels in urban areas have increased and there is a decline of poverty in rural areas.
Consumer rights body; the Consumers Association of Malawi-Cama-says findings of the NSO study are at best frightening. Cama Executive Director, John Kapito points the finger at pronounced partisan politics as the cause of the stagnation in human development.
His view is that Malawi urgently needs to introduce strong long-term development goals.
"These statistics are frightening and scary to any good-intentioned Malawian no wonder we are one of the poorest countries in the world a position that many Malawians mostly our leaders continuously refuse to accept despite all the programs that the country has undertaken over the years," said.
"Malawi seems not to be a country that learns from its experiences we are still repeating the very same mistakes that have made us poor all over the years a country unwilling to come up with realistic strong macroeconomic policies that can lift the country beyond five year election period a country shrouded with corruption at each moment a penny drops on the ground a country is unwilling to move away from patronage to economic liberation for every person," he added.
That view is shared by the Centre for Social Concern Programs manager responsible for economic governance, Benard Mphepo.
He says the increasing cost of living is responsible for the present state of affairs. He thinks a further increase in the minimum wage and taxation rate for those earning less than 200 thousand kwacha is part of the solution.
"Government must increase minimum wage and taxation rate from 25 percent to 15 percent for those earning less than mk200000," he said.
"The cost of living has been increasing every month while the income for urban people has remained the same. According to a report produced by CFSC the cost of living is at mk203 000 and minimum wage set by government is mk50000. The increase in cost of living is pushing more people into the poverty bracket," he added.
The 2020 NSO Malawi Poverty Report says poverty has increased in urban areas from 17.7% to19.2% while in rural areas the percentage has gone down to 56.6% from 59.9%.
The report further notes that while poverty levels have reduced in the northern and southern regions, it has shot t0 55.8 percent in the central region from 47 percent previously.