THE National Economic and Fiscal Commission (NEFC) has called on all provinces to improve their spending on health, education, agriculture, roads and other relevant development sectors.
The commission stated in its report on the review of provincial expenditures in 2007 that in overall terms, total spending on health and education decreased by about K1.9 million or 4% between 2005 and 2007 when it should have increased by 10% to match inflation and population growth.
The report said: “How can we expect service delivery to improve in these critical areas when we are reducing spending? At present the reality is that these services are deteriorating.”
The report stated that spending on administration grew by nearly K9 million (19%) over the same period.
“We need to control spending in low priority areas such as administration,” the report said.
It stated that in 2007 alone 62 % of internal revenue expenditure went to non-priority areas as such administration, arrears and smaller sectors.
The report also states that the whole provincial resource enveloped– both National Government grant funds and internal revenue-should be used to support recurrent spending in priority areas of health, education and infrastructure maintenance.
The report called on all provinces to improve spending on the critical sectors that improve the lives of the rural people.
It said: “NEFC analysis shows that often secondary education receives more funding than basic education.
“This means that many children are missing out on the opportunity to have basic education – learning how to read and write and other basic skills.”