MP Shinali defends bill to tax workers for unemployment fund

Ikolomani MP Benard Shinali. [Standard,File]

Ikolomani MP Benard Shinali has defended his bill that aims to create an unemployment insurance fund for workers in the country.

The fund would be financed by a levy on the salaries of employees and employers.

Shinali, who tabled the Unemployment Insurance Authority Bill, 2022 in Parliament, said the fund would provide benefits to employees who unexpectedly lose their jobs and have no other source of income to sustain them and their beneficiaries.

Speaking during an interview on Radio Maisha on Tuesday, September 19, Shinali said his bill was motivated by the challenges faced by workers during the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the inefficiencies of the National Social Security Fund (NSSF).

“I am saying we have this insurance that is available in other countries called insurance employment fund just like we have NSSF which to me I see it might not help. It will come later as we plan for the future and that is where I am coming in to say, this worker be motivated as opposed to his life being on standstill,” he said.

He added that the NSSF was not responsive to the needs of workers who lose their jobs before retirement age, and that the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) was also affected by unemployment.

“You are losing job without you wanting, you stay at home and your life stops even the tax that you pay stops,” he said.

“I am coming here to say a worker has not been taken care of in all these taxes and when something like that happens, the worker goes home. When he goes to ask for his NSSF contributions, he is told to wait until he hits 60 years and when he looks his NHIF contributions is at standstill.”

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