'The voter deserves to know how much has been saved from spending cuts'

austerity messages from the voter in malawi

Malawi government is being urged to make known how much it plans to save and how much has already been saved from austerity measures.

Associate Professor of Economics at Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences (MUBAS) Betchani Tchereni said Malawians deserve to know what he described as "Austerity Trade-offs".

Tchereni mentioned expenses being cancelled such as lakeshore meetings, outside travel costs, purchase of vehicles and other contractual agreements.

"It is obvious that government will save a lot of resources ceteris puribus (all things being equal.)"

Since the announcement of the austerity measure, the Office of the Secretary to the President and Cabinet, led by Colleen Zamba, government has not disclosed how much it is to or has saved thus far.

Minister of Finance, Sosten Gwengwe asked to be called later when we tried to get in touch with him and get the figures.

The Social Economic Review published by Oxford University Press said deficit spending and spending cuts are costly and face a trade off between voters accepting cuts in public spending.

Malawians took to social media to explain their displeasure over the cuts on lakeshore meetings citing it as harsh for already ailing economy.

"It is imperative that someone should keep the nation updated periodically, may be weekly, may be monthly at most, about how much resources have been saved in that particular period," said Tchereni.

He is also of the professional opinion that having saved, the nation should also be informed about what those resources have been channeled towards.

"In this way, Malawians will surely appreciate the austerity project, much as there may be some pain and misery, but we will then feel better to know that those saved resources have not grown wings and that indeed they benefited us."

The World Bank has warned Malawi to manage it's public debt which stands at K5.8 trillion.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has also told the government to manage public debt, deal with corruption and report on mismanagement of foreign exchange reserves as prerequisites for Extended Credit Facility.