The technical and financial partners of Benin (TFP) have expressed worry about the country’s rising wage bill following the recent agreement of 25 per cent of the index point to the agents of the Ministry of Finance and Economy.
Speaking on behalf of all donors, on the occasion of the public finance sector review, which started Wednesday in Cotonou, Françoise Collet, Head of the European Union Delegation, said “The technical and financial partners of Benin are, however, concerned by recent government/unions’ joint agreements that provide an increase in the index of 25 per cent for the staff of the Ministry of Economy and Finance and for all departments in the medium term.”
This measure, Collet warned, could further distance Benin’s payroll on tax revenue ratio, currently around 48 per cent, from the 35 per cent recommended by the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU).
The diplomat, who spoke of “real policy choice issues”, examined the part that should be devoted to investment for development and pro-poor growth in a context of limited resources and choices to make when margins are only absorbed by the operating budget.
“The public financial management system in Benin has undoubtedly made progress in recent years but it can and must do better in terms of weaknesses revealed by recent performance evaluations,” she said, lamenting that a number of constraints and weaknesses has been identified, particularly in procurement, budget execution or external control.
Financial sector review, which ends Friday, will allow participants to complete the review of progress since last year in terms of reform actions and performance of the public finance management system