JCTR urges the government to reduce the cost of living.

The Jesuit Center for Theological Reflection (JCTR) has urged the government to include measures to reduce the cost of living in the national budget for 2022.

According to the findings of the JCTR’s trends analysis, the cost of living has continued to rise, rising from K6, 256.95 in January to K7, 704.15 in August of this year.

Modester Mwanza, JCTR Social and Economic Development Programmes Coordinator, stated that the government should address the rising cost of living in next year’s budget.

“Government should consider implementing policies that will promote production of food so that they can be grown at a larger scale for export purposes and revenue collection.

Ms Mwanza said at a press briefing in Kitwe, that government needs to put in place other policies in next year’s budget that will ease affordability to cost of living.

Ms Mwanza said the trends analysis carried out in 15 towns indicate a persistent increase in the cost of living due to an increase in food prices such as mealie meal, rice, fruits and chicken among others.

She said the prices of non-food items such as charcoal also contributed to an increase in cost of living.

She explained that the country has continued to witness an increase in the cost of living which the organization would like to see addressed in the national budget.

She said the upward in price of food and nonfood were affected by volatility in the macroeconomic indicators such as the exchange rate and inflation rate.

Ms Mwanza said the exchange rate necessitated a hike in prices because the country is dependent on imports.

She said the 2022 budget is a window of opportunity to spell out how key macroeconomics indicators will be addressed towards reducing the cost of living.

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