Belt-tightening time

What they say about the budget…

Rakesli Seethal, head of employment taxes and tax risk, Barclays Africa Tax: The focus of today’s budget was on tax relief to lower and middle income earners and while higher income earn­ers will experience less tax savings, they also have some relief on marginal taxes to look forward to.
The Minister spoke very strongly about improving revenue collection and to intensify cost containment measures in keeping with national guidelines. We applaud the Minister for his strong stance on this matter. There also is now a stronger link between province and municipalities which is great news. Ernst Janovsky, senior agricultural economist, Absa: Sugar tax will in principle support human health. This will lead to a decline in sugar usage, resulting in lower domestic sugar prices which will have a negative impact on the sugar industry.

Neil Roets, CEO of Debt Rescue:

The general fuel levy is going to have a major impact on not just motorists but on the economy as a whole because most goods in this country are transported by road. Terry Ramabulana, Grant Thornton: We applaud the Minister because he clearly addressed some of the broader principles of the NDP The Minister dis­cussed a programme of inclusive growth in the beginning of his address and how we would need to work with peo­ple around our borders and to improve border management.
This is welcomed and it is most definitely an input towards a plan of a strong, increased economy. Kaya Mfono, Grant Thornton: We are extremely pleased by the Minister’s pro­nouncement that if the economic growth is stagnant, equally so the expenditure of public sector should not expand while cost containment measures should be applied. This is fundamentally a conti­nuity of the fiscal policy stance which the former minister Nhlanhla Nene articulated in the 2015 medium term budget policy statement in October.
“Without this fiscal principle, the state debt-to-GDP ratio will grow to unmanageable levels and so we applaud the Minister for his re-emphasis here.

MTHOKOZISI DUBE

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