JESUIT Center for Theological Reflections (JCTR) programme manager for social conditions Munyongo Lumba says the 15 per cent salary increase for public service workers will not have any impact on the cost of living for most of them.

Commenting on governments decision to increase salaries for public service workers, Lumba said a family of five needed K2.9 million and most public service workers would not earn that despite the increase.

We were hoping that if an increment will be given to public service workers, at least it should be somewhere within the range that allows them to meet their basic needs based on the basic needs basket. The increase is not likely to have an impact on the cost of living for most people, Lumba said.

She said the inflation rate had also gone up from 6 per cent to 6.4 per cent for the month of March which was attributed to an increase in the cost of food.

She noted that the cost of living was increasing.

"One would be expectant at least for a much higher increment for the people to meet their needs,'' Lumba said.

Government on Friday announcement a 15 per cent salary increment for public service workers while housing allowances were pegged at 20 per cent of the basic salary.

Government also introduced transport allowance at 10 per cent of the basic salary and commuted night duty to be paid as a percentage of salary at five percent of the basic salary.

The announcement was made by Public Service Management Division permanent secretary Roland Msiska.

The new salaries shall be paid at the end of May 2012 but backdated to April 1, 2012.