By Jumah Nsubuga
The Parliamentary Budget Committee chaired by Kyamuswa County MP ,Tim Lwanga have confirmed that they failed to look for teachers’ 20% increment.
During a heated meeting today, Hon Lwanga said that, although government promised to give teachers 20% salary increment, the committee looked around all the corners and failed to raise the shs136b needed by teachers.
The shadow minister of finance Godfrey Ekanya proposed to cut 1.5% across all ministries but it was rejected by NRM members sitting on the committee including the committee boss Tim Lwanga.
“Mr. chairman since we were sent by parliament to look for teachers money, I propose that we cut 1.5% across all sectors and look for teachers money because our children will not go to classes if teachers continue with strike due to government failure to fulfill its commitment to teachers” Hon Ekanya proposed
Kaberamaido MP, Kenneth Omona (NRM) and West Budama MP, Fox Odoi (Ind) said that, the committee cannot cut the ministries budget because for the teachers’ salary to be raised.
“Mr. Chairman , we cannot reduce the budget of the Ministry of Health because of teachers’ money. The ministry of Health has a lot of problems ” Odoi said.
The committee boss said that “we can only manage to get 60b shillings of which it will be a drop of water in the ocean because teachers need over 136b shillings. I therefore recommend teachers and all civil servants to wait for next financial year as it was proposed by the president” Said Lwanga
All the opposition MPs sitting on the budget committee disagreed with the committee decision of failing to get teachers money.
“We should have cut the budget for presidency, State House, public administrations, ministry of finance among others to get teachers money. I have not agreed with the committee decision and am going to write a minority report” Said Hon Ekanya .
Other opposition MPs who opposed the committee decision includeD, Osege Angela (FDC), Odo Tayebwa (FDC) Franca Akello (FDC) among others.
Meanwhile Wakiso district woman MP Rosemarry Sseninde reiterated that government should make teachers issues a priority because it’s going to affect the education sector.
“I am very surprised for the president to say that, he doesn’t have money for teachers but he has money for roads and power yet he is the one who promised to raise their salary. Government by all means should look for money and fulfill its commitment to teachers. The emergency of this country is the teachers not roads and power.Government should push the matter of roads and power to the next financial year and work on teacher’s issue” she noted
She also said that “the country cannot have quality education if teachers are not settled. As a teacher by professional and a people’s representative in parliament, I don’t agree with the president to say that, there is no money for teachers”.
Parliament budget office has also re-examined the budget estimates for 2013/14 financial year and failed to raise shs136b for teachers.