Yesterday afternoon saw Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba deliver his first budget speech, and his efforts were always going to be met with a mixed reaction.
One of the big talking points was the increase in Value Added Tax (VAT), up to 15% from 14%, which quickly led to tweets like these.
COPE member Deidre Carter on the money:
The witch may be dead, but we will be footing the bill for that thievery well into the future.
Drastic steps were needed to plug the budget holes left behind by years of financial mismanagement and corruption, but we’ll start with some basic facts and figures.
This infographic via the Mail & Guardian:
Smokers and drinkers taking a beating again, I see.
Over on Fin24, they’ve gone for ‘budget in a nutshell’:
…an additional R36bn of tax will be generated this year, with a limited income tax bracket adjustment for inflation and other measures.
Richer people will pay quite a bit more in estate duty.
On the spending side, fiscal consolidation is set to continue with expenditure reductions of R85bn over the next three years.
The allocation for phased in fee-free higher education amounts to R57bn over the next three years, of which R12.4bn will go towards needy first-year students in 2018/19, Gigaba said.
New first-year students with family incomes of below R350 000 per year at universities and TVET colleges will be funded for the full cost of their study in the 2018 academic year.
The state’s contingency reserve will also be strengthened, with a provisional allocation of R6bn set aside in 2018/19 and R10bn over three years for, among others things, drought relief and augmenting public infrastructure.
Social grants were increased by an average of about 7%…
In all, the budget could be described as balanced and responsible under the circumstances, which could put the South African fiscal position on a healthy path.
You can find a more detailed breakdown of each aspect here.
If you’re some kind of masochist, you can watch the address in full below:
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