Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni. Photograph; Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)
Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni. Photograph; Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

Budget Speech 2021: Please don’t raise taxes Mr Mboweni, plead political parties

By Siyabonga Mkhwanazi Time of article published Feb 21, 2021

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Johannesburg - Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has been urged to find the balancing act in his Budget speech on Wednesday and stick to fiscal consolidation.

This comes as the Budget faces pressure from the various competing interests.

The DA, IFP and the ACDP yesterday urged Mboweni not to raise taxes but to provide a comprehensive plan on the rollout of the vaccines.

DA spokesperson on finance Geordin Hill-Lewis said they did not want tax hikes and that the government must provide a plan for Covid-19 vaccines.

"The first thing we would not like to see now is taxes because you can tax your economy to grow. Taxes will be a bad idea. We would like to see a properly funded vaccine rollout plan. That will be a number one priority," said Hill-Lewis.

He added that they did not want bailouts for State-owned Entities.

Hill-Lewis said Mboweni must also allocate more funds for the social security net.

IFP Deputy President Mzamo Buthelezi said South Africa was in a tight fiscal space with Covid-19 worsening the situation.

He said the problems started before Covid-19.

"Even then, we were struggling. We were on a fiscal cliff and we were borrowing to stay afloat," said Buthelezi.

"We want the Minister to present a consolidated Budget that will speak to the local economy," he said.

He said another threat to the country was corruption, they want action on this.

ACDP MP Steve Sweet said the country was still in a serious economic crisis.

"We are still in a dire economic situation due to the Covid lockdown. It is imperative to stick to the fiscal consolidation path to rein in the spiralling debt and debt service costs. The ACDP welcomes the bounce back in the last quarter which economists estimate could result in extra R100 billion collected," said Sweet.

He added extra tax collection must be used to pay and reduce the debt levels.He also said they did not want more bailouts for SOEs. However, they were opposed to an increase in taxes.

Sweet called on Mboweni to allocate more money to the National Prosecuting Authority, the Hawks and the Special Investigating Unit to fight corruption.

Dawie Roodt, an economist at Efficient Group, said this would be the toughest budget in the Democratic order.

He said Mboweni must spend less on things the country does not need.

"It is without a doubt the toughest budget ever by the Minister. There is one thing he must do. He must spend less money. There are two places he can spend less money on, one is salaries," he said.

Roodt said the issue of the vaccines would not be a problem because they would cost between R10bn and R20bn.

Sunday Independent

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