Johannesburg - On the eve of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan unveiling the Budget in Parliament on Wednesday, Cosatu, the Young Communist League and the civil society umbrella Social Justice Coalition called for a budget that increased taxes for the rich and created more taxpayers by reducing poverty and inequality.
Cosatu spokesman Patrick Craven called for the “introduction of a progressive tax system, with a tax category for the super-rich”.
He proposed a “solidarity tax” to “cap the growth of earnings of the top 10 percent and to accelerate the earnings of the bottom 10 percent”.
Cosatu also wants higher taxes levied on imported as well as domestically produced luxury items.
Other proposals are to increase the secondary taxes on companies to encourage reinvestment and job creation, and for a “land tax that would go towards land redistribution”.
Craven called for the zero-rating of medicines, water, domestic electricity and public education, and export taxes on strategic minerals, metals and other resources to support “downstream industries” and to promote value-addition including beneficiation.
“We repeat our call for abandonment of inflation targeting and to target economic growth and employment targets. We call for the reinstatement of capital controls to prevent the asset stripping of South African industry,” Craven said.
Cosatu hopes for the “phasing-out of the use of tenders to enable the state to directly absorb the unemployed” in the delivery of a range of basic services, including the building and maintenance of infrastructure.
It wants the health budget to be substantially increased to enable the speedy implementation of NHI. “This must also enable the integration of community care workers into the public service and the reopening of nursing colleges to ensure the training of more nurses in order to increase the nurse/people ratio from four per 1 000 people to eight per 1 000,” Craven said.
The Social Justice Coalition called for the abandonment of the 25 percent tax/GDP ratio and the “deficit hawkishness” which had been “the standard since democracy”.
It called for an “open and accountable budget” that creates “tens of thousands of decent jobs through a climate change adaptation and mitigation strategy that expands renewable-energy generation, creates energy-saving infrastructure, protects water resources and promotes food security”.
The Young Communist League said it remained strongly opposed to the youth wage subsidy, which it said was pushed by the Treasury and the DA.
President Jacob Zuma’s infrastructure plan, announced last year, would be the league’s “flagship project”.
It called for all public schools to be non-fee-paying and to have feeding schemes for pupils.