Don’t blame workers for fiscal crisis – Cosatu tells Mboweni

Labour federation Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has accused finance minister Tito Mboweni of blaming government workers for the “fiscal crisis” after he singled out the public sector wage bill as the biggest risk facing the public purse.

Reacting to Mboweni’s Medium Term Budget Policy Statement‚ Cosatu’s Matthew Parks said it was “provocative” for Mboweni to blame workers’ demands for pressures facing the national budget.

Government is spending more than R500-billion on the salaries of civil servants‚ wage increases for the next three years are R30-billion above budget and Mboweni is not setting aside any money for 2019 wage negotiations.

“It is unfortunate and in fact provocative for the minister to want to blame workers for the fiscal crisis. It is not workers who looted Eskom‚ built Nkandla‚ sent money to Dubai. Yet now we hear government complaining about nurses‚ teachers‚ police officers … wanting to earn a living wage.

“We do not hear government complaining about the R2.4-million that ministers earn or the millions we spend flying their wives overseas. We do not hear government announce when it will reduce the ballooning cabinet head count.

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