Women Strike Action Cost US $1.9 Million Loss to The Economy

Sierra Leone’s economy lost out on an estimated Le25 billion (US$1,898,267) due to a one day strike allegedly called by women over fuel price increase that is associated with the rising a cost of living.

The biggest losses were sustained in the daily domestic revenue collection spearheaded by the National Revenue Authority (NRA) accounting for NLe 25 in million (US$334,975,000) by
on Monday 4th July, 2022.

This estimate is according to the Domestic Revenue analysis published by Budget Advocacy Network (BAN) in October 20220.

The shutdown was massively damaging to the country’s economy, especially in Freetown where it was religiously followed by the business community.

In Freetown, Makeni, Kono and some other locations, all commercial transport services and shops were shut down leaving passengers and consumers stranded. As widely observed, the strike action involved street demonstrations by a few market women, sit-at- homes, and a near-shutdown of economic and social activities.

Minister of Finance, DennisK Vandi has said in hisSupplementary Budget Speech to Parliament in June 2022 that the sharp rise in global food and energy prices coupled with the general uncertainty has slowed down domestic economic activities, undermined domestic revenue collection and created , pressures on the budget.

The NRA’s monthly collection is estimated at Le757 billion rev d (Le756,619 billion) according to the Accountant General’s Department (AGD) January low 2022 Statement of Fiscal Operations.

With the weakened revenue collection during Quarter 1, of 2022, the strike action of Monday is likely to impact government monthly
expenditure of Le768 billion Fisheries based on the published January operating expenses.The perceived loss of an estimated Le25 billion would arguably drop the expected July monthly collection to about Le727 billion.

Finance Minister Vandi did also highlight in his speech to Parliament that domestic revenue collected in Quarter 1, 2022, recorded a shortfall of Le 330 billion and was also lower than the amount collected nduring the same period in 2021.

He explained that several shortfall revenue streams, were below rtheir respective quarterly targets, its including Petroleum Excise duties, Goods and Services Tax , Fisheries Royalties, and Timber Export Levy.

The weak revenue performance he said can be attributed to the delay in adjusting fuel prices, reduced tax compliance, public resistance to especially the tax reforms, use of the Electronic Cash Register (ECR), and supply chain challenges in the export of bauxite and timber logs.

The Government would now need to source for additional resources to make up for the shortfall in the July monthly revenue its collection to meet monthly expenditure. ZIJ/5/7/2022

MORE ABOUT: Ministry of Finance

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