‘Gordhan must take firm stance’

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PravinGordTwo.jpg Independent Newspapers Pravin Gordhan, Minister of Finance. Photo: Matthew Jordaan.

Cape Town - Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan should take a firm stance on managing the budget deficit in his 2014 Budget speech, the SA Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) said on Friday.

“Sacci would like to a see a balance between spending on social priorities and on productive assets that support sustainable economic growth,” chamber chief executive Neren Rau said in a statement.

“Sacci extends its support to the minister in building on the theme of fiscal discipline that has characterised recent national budgets.”

Rau said the minister could build on earlier calls to cut luxury spending by senior officials and rein in the growth of the public sector wage bill.

Gordhan should also provide details on how the chief procurement officer was fighting corruption.

The chamber also hoped he would reinforce the theme of mining sector stability which President Jacob Zuma mentioned in his state-of-the-nation address last week.

“Minister Gordhan has a unique opportunity to support the embattled mining sector by introducing a temporary reduction of mining royalties, thereby easing the financial pressures on the sector,” Rau said.

The Budget speech should provide an update on ways to reduce the tax administration burden on small to medium enterprises and address concerns about the proposed carbon tax in its current form.

Rau said no tax increases were expected in the context of pressures being faced by business and households.

Gordhan will deliver his annual Budget speech in Parliament on Wednesday. - Sapa

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