The British High Commissioner has defended the Government’s decision to take action on the subsidies on fuel and mealie-meal.
In a press statement, James Thornton said:
“I commend the Government of Zambia for tackling these subsidies.
I recognise that the Government’s move has increased fuel and transport prices and may raise the price of mealie meal. This may, unfortunately, cause difficulties for some Zambians. And I also recognise that there has been a debate about whether a phased withdrawal of the fuel subsidy would have been better.
However, in general such subsidies cost the Government a lot of money. They are an inefficient way of helping the poor. In many cases, as with the fuel subsidy, the better-off actually benefit from them much more than the poorest. It is better that money currently used for subsidies is used for more sustainable measures targeted to help the really poor and to promote development in Zambia.
Governments sometimes have to take difficult decisions, and subsidy reforms tend to fall into that category. But, if the money saved from these changes is well used, I believe that Zambia as a whole will benefit.”
In UK, farmers get double subsidies from the European Union and British government itself.